Apparently, Rainbow Loom Mania has taken over the world? Or maybe just CT? Well, it’s taken over my son’s elementary school.

As many of you are aware, I am not crafty AT ALL. I don’t attempt many crafts and have banned myself from Pinterest. Plus, I have a son who seems to be pretty anti-accessories. So, I never thought I’d have a need for a “Rainbow Loom” when I saw the ad. Then, just a few short weeks ago, a few kids at the bus stop started showing off their Rainbow Loom bracelets. My son was hooked.

“Mommy! We NEED one of those!”

What on earth is this thing? And where did the mania come from? Before this contraption was on the Today Show, local craft stores couldn’t give these things away. Now, it’s all consuming. When my son first got his loom, he wanted to make as many as possible. We even ended up with 2 looms (of course) since you can make more designs with two looms. Plus the cost of the loom plus extra accessories is far more reasonable than a single 3D movie with the family and provides many, many more hours of family entertainment!

Photo by H. Robinson

Photo by H. Robinson

Soon, he came home from school eager to make bracelets for 2-3 of his friends. I was hesitant and emailed the teacher to ask if this was going to create a problem if he doesn’t bring 20 bracelets in for everyone. She thought it was fine.

Ha.

At the open house the other day, she sheepishly said to the parents that she didn’t quite foresee the chaos that would erupt due to a classroom of 6 year olds trading, borrowing, making some for one friend but not for others, etc. I’m telling you – these rubber band creations are craz-E.

I actually like the loom and am finding it a little bit therapeutic as I’m settling down for the evening and working on a new creation. It’s like finding an activity that is so engrossing that you forget about your own stress – I guess this is why some people find knitting relaxing?

However, stress does occur at various times:

  1. When someone knocks over the organizer and the colors get all co-mingled
  2. When someone at the bus stop has a more complex design and my kid wants to make it
  3. When the 6 year old will absolutely not accept any help and then has a full meltdown when the design attempted is well beyond his ability

In the end, it’s the mommy (me) who ends up spending the hour watching the YouTube video and making the latest “challenging” bracelet design while the 6 year old reaps the rewards and the envy of all of the bus stop kids. I’m now even getting requests from neighborhood kids – “Hey, Andrew’s mom, can you please make me a starburst bracelet??”

Actually, even with some of the frustration of the thing, I like that it becomes quality mommy/son time, some craft projects and gives my son some pride in making something himself – when he does make it himself. It’s cool to have something he likes to do other than trying to make an American Ninja Warrior obstacle course in my living room. He actually gets focused and sits down as long as it takes to make his creation.

It reminds me a little of one of the few crafty things I was ever able to do as a kid – remember these:

In short, I recommend it. It will take some patience, but it is something that the child can do by him/herself pretty well starting at 6 years old. And sometimes, even the adult takes a lot of pride in mastering a new design. (Yes, this mom who’d like to this she’s still the skydiving, mud-running, beer-drinking type is talking about finding cool rubber band bracelet designs). But sometimes nothing competes with spending an eternity making one of these (“hexafish” design below) and having your 6 year old son give you the biggest, warmest hug ever saying “MOMMY, YOU ARE SO AWESOME!”

Photo by H. Robinson

Photo by H. Robinson

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