Perler Beads?

Have you ever heard of Perler Beads? I played with them as a child and honestly, I had forgotten all about them until the kits arrived in the store.  If you haven’t heard of them, they are small beads made of food-safe plastic that you place on a plastic peg board. After placing the beads into the desired design or shape, you fuse them together by heating the beads with an iron.  
Looking for a distraction from their TV, computer and video games, I was more than delighted to introduce these tiny little marvels to my grandsons:  Eli, Caleb and Ben.  We have been playing with them for over a year now and have gone through three buckets-full, plus some! 
Last week I picked up the Robots and Rockets Kit (#43087) before heading over to their house to babysit. This kit was a little different that the previous kits we have used.  The plastic pegboard was clear and came with actual size pattern sheet with 11 designs.  This was great!  Instead of looking at the picture and trying to duplicate the shape/design on an opaque pegboard, you just slide the pattern underneath the pegboard and place the Perler Beads accordingly! 

Ben decided to use the pattern just to outline his rocket and fill in with “rainbow colors”. 

Eli and I sat and made the robot to match the pattern colors.  These little beads are great for teaching a child hand-eye coordination, fine tune motor skills, and color matching.
They also help to develop your child’s creativity and concentration levels, as evident with Caleb’s tongue sticking out.  (Sadly to say, he probably got that from me!) Caleb likes the shaped peg boards, so he doesn’t feel obligated to match the colors.  He can make his doggy (#A11061) just the way he likes.  

After all the designs are made, carefully place the supplied pressing sheet atop the beads and iron with medium heat for about 10-12 seconds, moving the iron in a slow circular motion.  Let cool and peel off the paper. Lift your design from the peg board and flip the design over onto your ironing surface. Cover it with the ironing paper and iron the other side to fuse it evenly. The peg board and pressing sheet are reusable. 
It was a delightful afternoon. Next time, I think I’ll pick up some magnets to glue on the backs, or maybe we’ll thread some cord or ribbon through for ornaments!

Guest Blogger: Cheryl Nelson

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2 thoughts on “Perler Beads?

  1. How fun! The kids enjoy regular craft beads. I'm sure they'd be thrilled with the perler beads and the shapes that can be made with them. These are next on my list for the munchkins. Thanks for sharing. =)Heather

  2. Have you heard about fuse or Perler beads? A lot of examples are available on this site.http://www.buildingexamples.com/beadsI'd never seen them until my daughter brought home her creations from school. I thought it was kind of odd that she would be spending her time lining up little pieces of plastic on a board and then having the teacher iron them together. When I tried making one, I discovered how fun and worthwhile an activity it could be.

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