This is the patterns we have at school from S&S Worldwide. We order a lot of supplies from them. That bucket of beads lasts us for most the year, and that's with some where between 15 and 20 kids doing bead art everyday. Among these shapes we also have squares, hearts, octagons, and circles. I've seen Christmas and sea animal shapes also.
We use this during down time to keep the kids quiet and busy. One thing I've discovered, is that if kids aren't kept busy, they'll find trouble! So we do all we can to keep them occupied.
You can do more with these than just make the shapes. I recently bought some beads from Michael's Craft Store for a project at my house and in it came an idea book. You can make all sorts of things from any regular shape. I've seen sheep, balloons, acorns, spiders, owls; the list could go on for ages. I took the book to work and donated it to our bead artist's and ever since then, literally everyday, I have a table or two full of kids busy. These projects are great for all ages, kinder - 5th.
Every child care needs these. Every parent needs these. If you've got restless children...this is your way to focus their energy and keep those little hands busy. Encourage them to make patterns or different kinds of things with their peg boards (that's what you put the beads on to make the shapes). Some of our boys have come up with some fun robots and aliens- YES even our boys enjoy this! There are even some patterns that show you how to make 3-D objects like ships, castles, or even couches! We've added google eyes to some of they're creatures for an extra element and even turned some into magnets by just gluing magnets to the back.
I'll be sure to take some pictures of some of the things my kids have done. They are quite creative!