Melt Christmas Magic
- What: Perler Bead Ornaments
- When: 5 years and up
- Why: Fun, affordable, creative
- Where: Amazon or local craft store
Need a last minute craft idea that will keep your kids busy? Try a pack of Perler beads. You might not recognize the name, but you probably remember making your own crafts out of these tiny hollow plastic beads.
These small beads work best with bigger hands boasting excellent hand-eye coordination. Kids can make their own designs, or you can buy patterns to follow. Kids use tweezers or their fingers to place beads on a board. An ironing paper allows adults to melt the beads. Once they melt, the beads run into each other and stick together even after they cool.
I personally prefer the clear boards. You can put a pattern underneath and kids can easily match the color beads to the pattern showing through the board. These boards come in patterns to suit almost any occasion, though I find an ornament size just about right. My kids don’t get tired of placing beads before they finish the pattern in a roughly 4 inch square, and the resulting creation works perfectly for most tree decorations.
You can leave one bead partially unmelted to attach a hanger. Or for more advanced skills, you can create a ring on top of the design and thread string or bent paper clips through that to finish off their masterpiece.
These beads work well anytime you need a craft project for one or more kids. Have a playdate coming up? Need to entertain the kids after they open all their presents? Pull out the Perler beads and let them loose. My kids have worked with them since age five, and even my three year old could manage some of the patterns, though he needed more assistance than the older kids.