Perler beads can be used to teach a lot of math concepts to children. They also help to improve fine motor skills, pincer grasp, hand eye concentration and the ability to concentrate.
When a child is playfully building 3D shapes with blocks, she is actually learning spacial concepts. Perler beads can be used to easily build 3D shapes.
This melting heart valentine’s day craft made using perler beads is an easy craft project for kids. While making this heart, they will also be learning to read charts, an early math skill that will come in handy later. Knowing how to read charts / graphs does not have academic benefits alone. This skill is required if they want to pursue hobbies like cross stitch / crocheting / knitting.
This is the peg board that is used for perler beads projects. This has been used and abused too many times that you can see remnants of melted beads on it :)
They come in variety of shapes and sizes. You can find more shapes @ Perler’s website.
Tweezers can be used to arrange the beads. If they are not available, the child can be taught to pinch a bead between the thumb and pointer.
Ikea sells Perler beads in bulk for $5.99.
Here is the graph / pattern for this rainbow melting heart.
Arranging the beads one by one.
Pretty rainbow heart is ready.
To fuse the beads, you will need parchment paper or butter paper. Any paper that can withstand heat and has a waxy surface would do. Even the backing of a sheet of stickers can be used. It has to be waxy as we don’t want the melted beads to stick to the paper.
Wilton’s parchment paper can be found in baking section in Michael’s stores or walmart.
Cut the sheet. Cover the beads entirely with the sheet.
Iron only for 3 seconds by gently placing the iron on a spot. Don’t move the iron from side to side as it might make the beads fall off from the pegs. Remove iron and then place on the next spot. Once the beads have been fused, you can quickly iron the entire surface by gently sliding it across the entire project.
Beads have melted and fused. Peel off but make sure all beads are coming out. If not, place it back on the peg board and iron the whole thing again.
Backside / fused side will look like this.
While cooling, the project will try to curl on itself. So place heavy books on it.
This heart can be hung on Christmas trees / on the wall.
I am sure your little one will love doing this project.
I encourage my daughter to make crafts as gifts for her loved ones on all special occasions because I believe it not only provides her an opportunity to do something creative but most importantly, it also helps her to experience the joy of giving and sharing.
She will also learn to appreciate the effort that goes into making handmade items. A lot of handicrafts are dying because our generation failed to appreciate them and protect skilled artisans from being exploited.