Some time ago I bought a big pot of craft beads from Ikea. They came with shaped and square pegboards which you could put the beads on and then iron them to stick them all together. At the time I had no idea that they are called 'Perler Beads' and there's a HUGE industry of perler craft and infinite designs.
We had a rainy day at home and so I decided it was time to get out the Ikea beads - interestingly not called Perler but "Pyslla beads" (guess that's why they were cheap). I wasn't sure how many would end up on the floor or stuck up nostrils, but both Eli and especially Audrey really enjoyed playing with them.
Eli's small fingers were adept at picking the right colour out of the pot whereas Audrey, Amy and I depended on tweesers for a lot of our work. What was good about them was that a few beads seemed to go a long way - even after making a number of creations we're still left with a seemingly lifetime supply of little plastic beads. Good fun for the next rainy day.