Thursday, August 19, 2010

Perler Beads: A Love/Hate Relationship

If you haven't been able to tell by now, I enjoy crafts.  I enjoy doing them myself and I also enjoy finding crafts for my kids to try.  This post is dedicated to one of our all-time favorite kids' crafts--perler beads.   

Most of you may already be familiar with perler beads, but since they've provided hours and hours of entertainment for my kids over the years, and this summer in particular, I thought I'd share a little more about them.    

 First, you can't beat these beads in the easy, cheap, or cool department.    Here's a visual I found that summarizes what they are...

You can find these in buckets or packages at the craft store or on Amazon .  Make sure you get a kit that includes the beads, a pegboard or two, and the ironing paper. Here are a couple I like (here and here ).   I usually use my 40% off coupon and buy it at Michaels, but I like the convenience of getting it online sometimes too. 

Once you have the kit, 1) you choose a pegboard, 2) fill it with the beads in whatever pattern you choose, 3) then place the ironing paper over it and iron the top side, and lastly 4) flip it over and iron the back. 

The beads melt together slightly and you end up with a super cool creations like this small sampling of what you can find at our house.  .

You can put a magnet on the back and hang it on the fridge.  Tie a string through it to hang on a tree.  Or just keep them in a box and play with them.   

These little beads are tiny, which means they're great for developing eye/hand coordination, but because of they're so tiny I do recommend waiting until your child is about 4-years-old before introducing these.  They're also great for teaching kids about patterns, following directions, and sharing. 


Emma, Adam, and Ellie have literally spent  3+ hours a day some days creating, trading, and sharing their bead creations.  It's actually to the point now, that I've even let them start ironing by themselves, since it was becoming quite interruptive to my day to continually be called in to iron for them.  I figure I'll wean them slowly from here into ironing all their own clothes.  :)

And here's the only thing I don't like about these beads....

Coming soon:  A spreadsheet and a mock....

4 comments:

melissa said...

what a neat craft! keep sharing all of your ideas/books etc. I love it!

Charlene said...

It's one of our favorites too!!

alexandra said...

My kids have found that you can make a ridiculous amount of Pokemon something-or-the-others with Perler beads as well. I should teach them how to iron their own - what a novel idea!

Mom said...

Those are some very nice designs your kids have been making. I can see why they love them so much.

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