Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Rainbow Loom Phenomenon

We had never heard of Rainbow Loom before the middle of August. Then, all of sudden within two days, we had heard about it AND received one as a gift. And now, my girls are somewhat obsessed (and admittedly, so am I!).

Just in case you don't happen to have a tween girl or boy living with you and have missed the news stories about this latest friendship bracelet craze, Rainbow Loom is a plastic loom with three rows of spokes. You place small rubber bands (that are non-latex--in case your child has a latex allergy) in a certain pattern on the loom and then flip them in half to "knit" the pattern together. Pull it off, add a plastic clip, and voila, you have bracelet!

There is a TERRIFIC post over at the Teach Mama blog discussing all the reasons that Rainbow Loom is amazing aside from the sheer entertainment factor. It is math-skill building, reading skill-building, fine-motor skill building, relationship-building, and confidence building all in one fun activity!

There are a ton of patterns you can create and a million you tube videos made by girls your daughters' age demonstrating how to do each pattern. You can start off super simple and do increasingly harder patterns as you get more acclimated to using the hook.

These can be purchased at Michael's, Amazon, and many independent small toy stores. I also LOVE that this was created by a family who run their business out of their house. And when they made the deal to have their loom in Michael's they stipulated that no coupons could be used so that Michael's wouldn't be competing with the small mom and pop stores that got the Rainbow Loom craze started in the first place. Awesome!

I REALLY like this activity for my kids for all the reasons stated in the Teach Mama blog, but especially like it for my older daughter who has a tough time with sequencing and motor planning. It is a great exercise for her to have to think through and execute all the steps. I could see this being a great tool for speech or occupational therapy!

We spent our morning together working on these fun bracelets:
My younger daughter created the "triple single" bracelet on the top and we added a cute plastic button in the middle. You can get these fun buttons at Micheal's in a variety of themes. There are several in a pack for less than $2.

My older daughter decided to tackle the more advanced "starburst" bracelet today. She tried this on her own last night, but just couldn't pull them through in the right order. Because I know she struggles with motor planning, I told her it might be a good idea to use a different color band around the starburst for her first bracelet in this style. That way she would always know what color she had to pull through, and not have to worry about the order so much. This tip helped her tremendously and she was able to complete the bracelet all on her own!

I predict this will be one of the most popular gifts for Christmas this year! Correct me if I'm wrong. ;-)


  1. we sure love ours! do you think it would be appropriate as a donation for a school?

  2. What a nice idea! Are you thinking as a classroom donation? Maybe you could go in on it with a couple other moms and donate enough for a small group to use together. I would just ask the teacher what they think about it. I also think it would be a nice donation for a speech/language teacher at a school or an occupational therapist that works with school-age kids. You could also think about donating one to the children's area of a hospital. Now you have me thinking!! I'm a troop leader for my daughter's girl scout troop, maybe something like that could be a service project! If you do talk to the teacher or donate one (some), please come back and let me know how it was received. I think it's such a neat idea!