4 August 2014

Trading skills with rainbow looms

In our house, like in so many houses with children, there are rainbow looms. This involves a plastic loom and many, many small coloured rubber bands. The children spend hours weaving intricate bracelets and charms. They get their ideas and instructions mainly from YouTube, so their weaving time - hours a day, in this house - is usually spent in front of a screen.

Recently we bought some rainbow loom rubber bands from a shop in town. It had a few bracelets on display to show what could be made with the loom and bands. We thought we could do better, so I rang the shop and suggested my children supply them with some clever and inspirational bracelets for their display, and perhaps they could give us some rainbow loom merchandise in exchange.

It worked! The children each came home with an 'original' loom - as opposed to the inferior cheap copies they'd been using - and the weaving went on and on into the evening. What a great deal! I had hoped they'd get more sales as a result of the donations, but when I went in for some more bands a few days later, the whole display had gone. Strange.

My boy Jack (10) is the family leader in this adventure. It's turned into another one of his passions, and he spends most or all of his free hours thinking and finding out more about what he can make. Did I really write this post a couple of months ago about him being like a caged bird? Since he's found this new passion the bars of the cage have dissolved. For now.

The new loom from the trade has led to even better bracelets! He was even part of a business the children at his school set up, making loom bracelets to order. Sadly the deputy principal put a stop to it - a learning opportunity lost.

But there are girl bracelets around here too. Oh yes.

Is it 'good' for the children? Not for their bodies, I think, as they sit hunched up and still for hours - apart from their fine motor skills, which definitely get a work out. Here's an article about all the other skills they develop - persistence, patience, visualisation, creativity etc. It's from the Rainbow Loom website, of course.

There might even be some Mama creations in future. Not with rubber bands - the loom products are non-biodegradable junk. Instead, I'm going to try crochet! Have hook, have wool, have instructions, have inspiration....

A free pattern at Ravelry

The three images above were found on Pinterest.

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