As my daughter is obsessed with these, she is usually scoping out the displays at craft stores and I help her look on Pinterest for seasonal designs. As fall and Thanksgiving were approaching, she wanted to look for some designs for Thanksgiving in particular. We were able to find some, but were surprised at how few user-created designs were shared on the popular social-sharing platform. The lack of shared inspiration sparked an idea with me and I decided to bring the problem to my trusty 4th grade problem solvers.
I shared the story of how my daughter and I looked for Thanksgiving Perler bead designs and were not able to find very many. I asked them to complete the sheet on the right before I came to their classroom the next week. When I came to the classroom for our regular weekly Maker/STEM time, the teacher shared with me that this actually was harder for them than either of us had anticipated. Many of the students had not heard of these kind of fuse bead designs, had a hard time wrapping their heads around how the beads could be used to create pixel art, and then actually transferring design ideas to the peg boards. Those who needed some help and inspiration could grab a Chromebook and do some research and look up designs. Those who knew what they wanted to do could get started right away. After the first couple of kiddos started building, the rest followed quickly!