Fuzzy Felt

Bring back Fuzzy Felt! Ok, so it's stuck around to some extent, but surely it's the ideal toy to invest in right now. For one, it's one of the few toys these days that doesn't require batteries, and secondly it can be played with time and time again, making its super eco-friendly. You could even make your own - but only if you've got a Blue Peter badge!

Simple yet effective, Fuzzy Felt arrived on the toy scene in the 50s. A collection of small, fuzzy pieces of felt in assorted shapes, sizes and colours could all be arranged on a felt-covered board (abour 10x6in) to make a picture or pattern of your choice. Mum liked the fact that no messy adhesives were needed, leaving her prize cushions unharmed. Dad liked the fact it kept you quiet and in one small contained area of the house for hours at a time.

If you weren't feeling very creative, luckily a range of themed Fuzzy Felt sets (ie, Ballet, Farmyard, and much later on Thomas The Tank Engine, Noddy and My Little Pony) were released to inspire your picture-making. And if all else failed, there was always someone at school who knew how to make a Farmyard set of felts into a rather rude picture while the teacher wasn't looking! This didn't stop Fuzzy Felt being favoured by Sunday schools everywhere - there was even a Bible Stories felt set, complete with camels and three kings.

Most kids were just in awe of the feeling of having felt in their hands when playing with the toy set. It didn't seem to matter that none of the felt shapes had any detail - silhouettes kept the scenes simple and most of the time we knew what the shapes were meant to be. Rumour has it that the most coveted shape of all was the monkey, which came with the Jungle-themed Fuzzy Felt set. True fans of this piece would always aim for maximum use out of it, introducing it to a sunny field scene or a ballet class even. After all, if you let it out of your hands for one minute, the monkey would have fallen into some other kids grubby paws, never to be seen again.

Apparently, Fuzzy Felt was invented by Lois Allan of the UK during the Second World War. Lois was helping the war effort by cutting felt gaskets for tanks and other military vehicles, when she discovered the entertainment potential of the felt offcuts! So, what amounted to little more than a bunch of cheap cut-offs has become an iconic toy of our time. Who knew kids could be so easily pleased?

Comments




Just reminising about Fuzzy Felt today I used to use it to teach sunday school children bible stories back in the late 60s early 70s!
St Chad17-Feb-2010, 09:24:03 PM


Good Memories, back in 1965ish
Tara14-Jan-2010, 08:55:59 PM


There's a photo I have of my 4th or 5th birthday party - I got a fuzzy felt set, and I am sitting there playing with it while all the other kids are crowded around. I wouldn't let anyone go near it - to this day I remember how much I loved it. I think it might have been the circus one.
Nee21-Mar-2009, 11:25:25 PM


Used to love this 70's I think. got a set a few xmas's and I remember playing with it xmas morning. Can't quite remember whick sets I got though!
cleomarie21-Nov-2008, 06:47:56 PM


I had the farm fuzzy felt and I remember, for some bizarre reason, sticking a piece up my nose and my mum getting the tweezers to fish it out! Great stuff!!
prettymaids03-Sep-2008, 09:24:03 AM


1970's Fuzzy Felts were great: a box full of felt shapes & a flat board to fix the shapes to, plus a piece of paper giving ideas of designs to recreate. I still have mine, Fuzzy Felt Fairytales, Fantasy, Bible Stories, I could go on! I gave one of the new versions to my godson, he didn't have a clue on how to create a picture, so I spent 1/2 hour putting shapes on, for him to ask at the end "How do you clear the screen". I suspect he never played with it again.
DYR17-Sep-2007, 03:07:28 PM


You used to get a background board and shapes, animals etc. made out of felt that you stuck on the board to make different scenes depending on what set you had eg fuzzy felt farm, fuzzy felt village.
DYR14-Sep-2007, 11:56:46 AM


I had fuzzy felt school and fuzzy felt hospital. We used to have it at schhol too for when it was 'wet play time'
Charly!10-May-2007, 12:32:20 AM


I had the fantasy one which was a black board and almost day-glo bright colours in green, turquoise, yellow, pink etc....some with stars on the pieces. I loved it! I really want to get my son some come to think, it would have to be a thomas tank engine one!
Jo13-Mar-2007, 03:02:36 PM


My boyfriend and I were reminiscing about fuzzy felt the other day, I had several sets but the ballet one is the one I remember, I thought the shapes and the colours were beautiful. What an ingenious invention for little children.
Cathy09-Mar-2007, 10:00:10 PM


I remember at school during Biology we were covering "reproduction" and the lady teacher was using fuzzy felt reproductive parts in the lesson. Except she sorted all the bits out then proclaimed "someone's stolen one of my fuzzy felt testicles!", man that was funny!
Mulletino02-Mar-2007, 04:13:25 AM


Ahhhhh, the memories of the big navy blue lady who ran the shop in my fuzzy felt set. It must have been a shop one as I definately remember a till being in there somewhere & a small red child....hours & hours I spent, mixing the sets up & making up stories....oh to be a child again....
Loz01-Mar-2007, 03:26:26 PM


Ah-ha - you can still buy Fuzzy Felt as I delighted in buying some for my three year old daughter earlier this year BUT... they have changed the board that the felt sticks to and it is really scratchy with bits of needle sharp fibres which can stick in your finger, also the colours are not very nice - lots of black, brown, dark blue and dark green. I was very very disappointed
Lcoops23-Aug-2006, 09:09:22 AM


Fuzzy Felt had to be my favourite toy as a pre-schooler. I had a lot of them - Circus, Farm, Hospital, Fairy Tales, Ballet, Fantasy (different geometric shapes). Absolutely fascinating, kept me quiet for hours, must have been a god-send for my mother.
Grackle22-Aug-2006, 11:53:07 PM


i too had all kinds of fuzzy felts and i used to also get given them to play with when i was ill [must have been a 70's mum thing lol] along with my little wooden brick set [tiny little wood shapes that smelt funny but nice] i had hours of fun and now i know you can still get them i shall buy some next pay day and pretend i'm 7 years old again
kerry clarke25-Mar-2006, 07:32:44 PM


FUZZY FELTS ROCK!! seriously how many hours of fun can you get from a felt board and cut out bits!! You can still buy fuzzy felts from toyshops - my god children now get given all the toys i loved at xmas and fuzzy felts was one of them, they loved them just as much.
jaz06-Dec-2005, 03:29:04 PM


I enjoyed playing with fuzzy felt. I remember having the farm and the cicus set among others. The early ones were just bright coloured shapes but later they had more detail on the pieces
Melissa15-Sep-2005, 01:17:39 PM


We had fuzzy felt. It was kept for when we were ill as a treat. Probably a serious bio-hazard now considering we all had measles and played with it. I loved the original one, with just the shapes. I was less keen on the farm set.
Norty4005-May-2005, 01:06:12 AM


I remember Fuzzy Felt from the Fifties! The colourful shapes could be made into whatever your imagination decreed but they stuck to sleeves just as easily as the board and sadly many pieces were lost.
Buddie21-Mar-2005, 02:10:12 PM


Oh my gosh, I recall playing with Fuzzy-Felt during my preschool days!! I don't exactly remember the shapes let alone the theme, but I remember I would spend a great amount of time playing with the pieces.
MLP17-Mar-2005, 04:33:30 AM


I had fuzzy felt farm when I was very young. It was one of my favourite toys at the time.
Chickin29-Nov-2004, 11:00:50 PM


Gawd thats brought the memories back - I had the circus fuzzy felt too.
rai18-Nov-2004, 02:21:59 PM


i used to love this, so many different versions you could buy, i liked the circus one! can you still buy it now?? i havnt seen it in any shops for ages, possibly too retro for todays kids??
Debbie10-Nov-2004, 09:44:21 AM


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