As a child, I remember making little bead images with Perler Beads, having my Grandmother iron them, and then doing nothing with them. What is the point of this? Now as an adult, married with 2 boys (and a 3rd on the way), I am realizing the importance of what seemed like a frustrating waste of time.
My boys are 6 & 7 years old, and this is the PERFECT project for them!! They are enjoying the “searching” of Google Images to find their next project, or just “creating one from their brain.” They have always been fans of LEGO’s, but there is something different with these beads. The patience, the fine motor development, the steady hand, the frustration of having to rebuild after bumping the board and messing it all up, and then the feeling of accomplishment when you see a finished product. We have a box where the completed ironed products go, and my boys have found a way to use them as toys.
Gross motor development comes more naturally for many kids, but fine motor skills have to be worked on constantly. My 7 year old has a much easier time with fine motor skills and patience. My 6 year old WANTS to succeed so much that he puts too much pressure on himself. Perler Beads have been a process for him. He loves working on them, but he gets frustrated too easily. He isn’t giving up though. I like watching him work through it. He refuses to use tweezers – a LIFE SAVER when it comes to placing beads on the board – which I see as a good thing for him, because it enforces more of a steady hand than the tweezers would. He gets extremely excited when he finishes a “creation,” and prefers to make his own instead of trying to follow off of a picture.
As long as they maintain the interest, my husband and I will continue to invest in these beading projects. Watching their growth & development in fine motor skills and patience are well worth it. Even if it just gets ironed and then sits there to never be touched again. A developmental investment for sure.
Coming Soon: Links to purchase Perler Bead supplies and accessories, as well as specific craft instructions and templates!
Coming Later: A custom template generator (to create PB templates from images)