As mom to a kindergartner and a third-grader, I thought I’d seen every toy/craft activity out there. But on a playdate at S’s friend house recently, I discovered something totally new-to-me. It’s called Perler Beads and it’s basically tiny beads plus reusable pegboards that your kids can use to create fun shapes that you (the grown-up) iron onto special paper to create solid charms. I watched a small group of 5-year-old boys riveted to this activity for about an hour–no small feat! And I was pretty entranced by it, too. It’s recommended for ages 5 and up (and obviously you need an adult for the ironing part), but I think some kids with good fine motor skills could try the beading designs at a younger age. At Amazon.com you can get a Perler Beads 6,000 Count Bucket with fun shapes that appeal to both boys and girls for just $8.90. Add this to your list of affordable holiday toys!