the rainbow loom: 5 reasons kids need it and parents love it
We are loving–and I mean loving–the Rainbow Loom.
We’re bracelet-making, ring-wearing, tiny-rubber-band toting fools.
And when I say we love the Rainbow Loom, I mean we love it. Like we want to marry it love it.
Though I could count more than a dozen reasons why your kids need the Rainbow Loom and why parents love this silly little thing, I know we’re all busy.
But more importantly? I know we’ve all got bracelets to make.
And even if you don’t have THE Rainbow Loom, you can still make Rainbow Loom bracelets without the loom. Here’s how: How to Make Rainbow Loom bracelets without the Rainbow Loom.
So why do your kids need the Rainbow Loom? Why will you, as a parent, love it?
Here’s the skinny. . .
- The Rainbow Loom–5 Reasons Kids Need it and Parents Love it:
First of all, what is the Rainbow Loom?
It’s a simple plastic ‘loom’ on which people strategically place tiny rubber bands, connecting them, twisting them, and looping them into bracelets, necklaces, rings–you name it.
Secondly, how do you make Rainbow Loom bracelets?
There are an insane number of ways to make bracelets without the loom and on the loom, and the RainbowLoom.com site has a boatload of instructional videos.
The cool thing is that you don’t necessarily need the Rainbow Loom to make Rainbow Loom bracelets. Cora and Owen don’t use the loom quite yet; they are perfectly content creating ‘Rainbow Loom’ bracelets and rings simply by looping and connecting them by hand.
Maddy, on the other hand, loves the loom itself and can really rock it out.
Why do I say kids actually need the Rainbow Loom and parents will love it? Here’s why:
1. Math Skill-Building. Serious, hands-on math skill-building with each and every bracelet made.
We’re talking pattern-making. Two colors, three colors, whatever the number, it doesn’t matter. Kids will begin to pick up on patterns if they haven’t already.
Throw a little: Heeeeey! I love this bracelet you made, Cora. The blue-green ABAB pattern is rockin’! And look at Owen’s mix-up of ABBCABBC. . . into the mix, and your kids will start to see real-life connections to what they’re learning at school.
And there’s shape-recognition. My kids lean heavily on the instructional videos on the Rainbow Loom site, so before I knew it, they were talking about making the ‘double rhombus’ or the ‘crossed hexagon’ bracelets. My heart skipped a beat, and I wanted to dance.
We haven’t talked shapes like this since way back with our Super Sweet Shape Snacks. Woot. Bring on ‘da math.
2. Reading Skill-Building. Reading informational text is not only a component of the Common Core–it’s an integral life skill. Whether it’s recipe-reading, map-reading, newspaper reading, or book reading, kids need to be able to read informational texts.
The Rainbow Loom Instruction Manual is a super starting point for kids for doing some serious instructional reading because it’s high-interest, it’s hands-on, and it’s clearly written and formatted. Photos. Step-by-step instructions. Great combo.
Kids are reading and re-reading to gain understanding. They’re following steps and managing a task.
3. Fine-Motor Skill-Building. Whether your kids are making Rainbow Loom bracelets without the loom (like Cora and Owen do) or with the loom (like Maddy does), it doesn’t matter. It’s all working those teeny little muscles in arms and hands and fingers that help kiddos with all of those super-important skills like mastering the tripod grip (proper grip on pencil).
From the organizing of the bands to attaching, looping, and knotting, it’s all working those fine motor skills. And even those kids for whom doing it by hand is difficult, they can still rock out the little Rainbow Loom tool–it all works. It all counts.
4. Relationship-Building. This weekend, the kids were in small groups all over the pool deck making Rainbow Loom bracelets.
Hanging out, teaching each other how to do it, chatting, and enjoying time together.
My kids have been helping each other make bracelets. They’re forging bonds with each other and with other people in sharing what they know about making these bracelets and in sharing the bracelets themselves.
But all over the pool for the last few weeks, kids have been hanging out together, teaching each other how to make different types of bracelets and really–amazing the adults.
5. Confidence-Building. Maddy had to start and re-start eleven times before mastering the ‘Triple Single’ bracelet. Eleven. Times.
I have yet to master any of the bracelets other than the basic loop that Owen and Cora use. It’s hard. But manageable.
And it takes patience.
I overheard Maddy’s girlfriends talking one night last week, and one gal said, It feels so great to be able to start and finish something that looks so good, you know? You just feel so proud of yourself after you finish one of these.
And she’s right. It’s like the old friendship bracelets of the ’80′s. But with a 21st century twist.
Owen sticks with ring-making, but he loves making them. Cora was on cloud nine yesterday because one of the ‘big boys’ at the pool asked her to make one for him. She didn’t, but she was still flattered.
This weekend, kids were in groups all around our pool, teaching each other. Helping each other. It’s awesome.
And for our little entrepreneurs, who knows what Rainbow Loom bracelets could lead to?
Really. That’s it.
This mama digs anything that sneaks a little learning into our every day. And for me, Rainbow Loom is a big win. Five times over.
What do you think? Rainbow Loom craze hit your family yet?
fyi: Affiliate links are used in this post, which means that if you’re into getting your kids set up with Rainbow Loom bracelets and want to use these links, awesome. We get a itsy-bitsy, teeny, tiny cut and every little bit helps!