Last year we discovered these little beads..... I think they are commonly known as hama beads or perler fuse beads. I purchased ours from IKEA and they were called Pyssla beads. They are all the same thing as far as I can tell. Anyway....
They came in a big tub like this....
with peg boards in various shapes.
Basically, you just put the beads on the pegboard in whatever shape you desire. The beads need to be touching each other, unlike the photo below, as you then place a piece of greaseproof paper (it comes with the set) on top of the beads and iron it for about 10 seconds on a low heat, peel the paper away and the beads all stick together.
There is a detailed tutorial here if that did not really make sense!
The kids made some coasters. Frog (3) and Bear (4) made the multicoloured ones and needed only a very small amount of help. Goose (8) then decided to make the heads of her two best school friends to give to them. They can be attached to key rings or even used for a completely different purpose and threaded and woven to make bracelets like Kate from minieco.
I just checked out perler beads on ebay and there are many! Including lots and lots of peg boards in many shapes and sizes for only a couple of dollars. You can also purchase them from craft stores and of course, IKEA.
For more kids craft ideas, check out the FGB kids craft page right here.