When it comes to STEAM projects, my kids love activities that involve a wide range of skills. For example, when making a perler bead rainbow, kids can boost pattern skills, design skills, and fine motor skills with this super-fun and super-colorful melty bead rainbow. We love making our STEM activities so much fun that kids don’t realize they are learning while having fun! But you can’t beat a project like this for teaching math skills, engineering skills, and fine motor skills. This would make the perfect addition to a ST. Patrick’s Day STEM unit!
Kids will absolutely love this project, and you can teach them all about the light spectrum, color theory, and visible light at the same time.
STEAM Activity for Kids: Design a Perler Bead Rainbow
Design and make your own melty bead rainbow using this simple set of instructions! Kids will love this project and will display it with pride.
What you’ll need to make a Perler bead rainbow:
Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links for your convenience at no extra charge to you.
First, design your rainbow. Kids will have to determine how big they want their arch to be and how much the colors overlap. My kids tried to make all colors even, but they still had to work for a little while before they came up with the shape they did.
Once the design is ready (ours had clouds on either end for more fun), place a piece of wax paper over the design. Melt with a warm iron for about 40 seconds (but watch it, because it is possible to melt the beads too much).
After the wax paper cools, flip the beads, place the paper back on top, and iron the other side.
Use a string or hook to hang the Perler bead rainbow, if desired.*****************
Perler Bead Rainbow STEM Elements
If you want to just make a melty bead rainbow, you won’t be able to tie it into STEM because the kids won’t realize they are using STEAM skills. So you have to tell them. This rainbow project would make a fun project to go along with a rainbow unit study or a study on the light spectrum.
Science: Use this project as a jumping off point for a lesson on the visible light spectrum. Why do colors appear the way they do to us? What changes our perception of colors? Do different colors of light act differently? Why is the rainbow always in ROYGBIV order?
Technology: Perler beads are a marvel of technology! You can talk about how the beads are made using large machines and what sort of technology had to be invented before this project could be made.
Engineering: Kids have to think about their design before making it. This requires blueprints, diagrams, planning, and execution, all important engineering skills!
Art: Nothing is prettier than a rainbow!
Math: Patterns and counting are used in this project.
More Rainbow Activity Ideas