Perler beads were a big part of my childhood. They showed up in everything from Christmas ornaments to friendship bracelets. My love for all things perler beads was strong! The other day I was crafting with my kiddos and I came across an unopened bag of beads. How could it be that we’ve had these beads for 3+ months and I hadn’t even opened the bag?!? That seemed like a crafting tragedy that had to be rectified. I set out to use them at least once of a week, if for nothing else than the nostalgia they bring me. Today’s preschool activity uses Perler beads for a fine motor color sorting activity.
Materials for Color Sorting Fine Motor Activity
After rummaging through our craft cabinet, I came across our plastic paint palette. Immediately I knew that it would make a perfect sorting tray to organize our beads by color. I placed a handful of beads in the center of the palette with an example of where to sort each bead in the surrounding wells.
Paying attention to the different colors of the beads and organizing them into separate wells is a great visual discrimination activity. Some of the beads were even the same color (blue, for example), but different shades. This had my preschooler really investigating each color before sorting.
Besides color sorting, this activity also provided an opportunity to work on fine motor skills. Pinching each bead between the forefinger and thumb is excellent fine motor work! Fine motor activities like this are a great way to strengthen the small muscles of the hand and get them ready for writing.
You could extend this activity by counting how many of each bead there was. Using vocabulary like “more and less than” is another great way to bring math into this sorting activity.
Once the beads were organized, we, of course, made friendship bracelets. You can’t go wrong with that classic activity!