To help give them a bit of brain break, for our weekly STEM time, we decided to do somehting a bit low-key and brought out the Perler beads. As Friday was May 4th (Star Wars Day - May the 4th be With You!), we decided to give the students a choice in creating a Star Wars or Cinco de Mayo themed design. Many of the students in my district observe Cinco de Mayo with their families, so the day holds a different importance to them than many others. This was something they felt connected to and were excited to celebrate in school. Many of the students were not as familiar with Star Wars, but hey, you can't win them all! :)
- Buy the clear peg boards. Students love to create their own designs and sometimes draw it out first and the clear ones allow them to follow their own designs.
- Invest in some of the larger clear peg boards. Not necessarily so the kids can create larger designs, but it gives them a larger workspace and I often see fewer "accidents" in boards getting knocked over.
- Buy the tweezers for students to use. Not only does it help them move faster in putting the beads on, but I have seen more intricate designs from those who use the tweezers. This also helps with muscle dexterity in younger students and helps build confidence in what they are building.
- The giant containers of beads are definitely cheaper, but they are not that accessible to students and creating takes much longer than if the colors were separated. I would recommend buying the colors separately.