Giant Perler Bead Fine Motor Activity

Giant Perler Beads and Design Plate

I absolutely love the creativity sparked from Perler Beads. We bought some pretty designs for my older kids. Although i found the beads to be too little in size for my toddler until i came accross what i refer to as Giant Perler Beads available from Dischem, smaller bead sets for older kids available at PerlerBeads.co.za

I chose the heart design specifically because i assumed my toddler wouldn’t necessarily want to fill the design plate according to the pattern card that is underneath. Toddlers are rather random little characters. The other patterns were: puppy, kitty and pony and i thought that they would deserve some conformity to the pattern guide.

So anyway we went with the heart.

Set up as an activity tray for my toddler

This is the design plate with blunt spikes to hold the allocated beads. This particular one is for the smaller Perler Beads

Basically the design plate is made up of little blunt spikes on top of which u place the beads. It is necessary to fill the entire plate with beads. However for older kids who want to create smaller different patterns(which can be googled for some very interesting designs and ideas) it would be necessary to make sure that all the beads are adjacent to each other-the reason for this is that the final step is to infact iron over the design. This causes the beads to melt on contact with the heat from the iron and join to the adjacent bead thereby forming a single unit. If however there are any gaps the bead will not have anything to stick to.

Randomly placing beads on the heart shaped design plate

So basically once your little ones design is complete, turn on your iron, place the ironing sheet(or some wax or baking paper) over to cover the entire plate and rub the warm iron over. You may want to gently lift the baking paper to peek underneath and see that the beads have infact joined each other. If they haven’t then turn up the heat and stroke over with the iron again. Repeating the step until the entire design is one unit.

This is how the beads look once they start melting. I may have added too much heat to the lower part of this as you can see they have melted a bit too much

It is now safe to lift the design off the plate so that u can iron the other side. Remeber to again place the ironing sheet over the design otherwise the beads will end up melting and sticking to the iron. 
We have kept our designs to use as suncatchers(by threading a string through and hanging it in an area that gets a good amount of sun, u can put them outside too) and other designs saved as little creations in the girls trinket boxes. You can also thread them onto a string so the girls could wear them as necklaces.

Completed Perler Bead Mermaid design

Purchased in themed sets or available as a bucket of beads which can be used creatively or by following designs that can be found on the internet

Toy Organising

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Every 3 months i rotate the toys in our home that are open and available for the kids to play with. Over the years i have come to notice that if there were too many options available the kids would easily become bored with seeing all of it. Often the floor would be strewn with toys because they were not captured and interested enough because there was just too much to play with. So i started keeping just one set of shelves with toys that are easily accessible to them. The balance would go into already packed toy boxes right at the top of some storage cupboards. Im my mom organiser folio (which i will post seperately) i keep a list of which toys will be found in which boxes. Of course i would go along with their interests too and if they were particularly attached to something i would keep that out. When i see they are losing interest in a toy i would then pack it away. If i thought certain toys were not age appropriate i then too would keep them aside from our rotation. I photocopy the list and stick it onto the respective boxes making the toys easier to locate.
Often i would surprise them by leaving some “new” toys out (from our packed away goodies) and the interest and excitement would be overwhelming.

With our sensory bins i keep them in a closed cupboard. That is easily accessible for me but not for my toddler. Most of the time the sensory bins and trays are a supervised activity so i dont want her taking them out freely. I have a monthly planner where i jot down the activities we would be doing thay day and almost 5 out of 7 days of the week it would include a sensory box.

Shapes & Colors – Melissa & Doug

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I am a HUGE fan of Melissa & Doug toys. They are all so appropriate and exciting to play with. Today my tot (2 years old) enjoyed playing with this shape sorter. I love this because it encourages hand-eye coordination, color recognition & shape recognition.
Older kids can also use the shapes to trace around on paper and then colour them in.

Available at Toy Adventure Stores or online at TAKEALOT.

Colorful Caterpillar – Melissa & Doug

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I love Melissa and Dougs Colorful Caterpillar for my almost 2 year old. Teaches colour recognition, cause and effect(when you turn one gear they all rotate – how cute?), hand-eye co-ordination by placing each gear on the corresponding colour knob. Count them too if you would like to!!! Available at Toy Adventure Stores (SA) & online at TAKEALOT