Tweens love fads. And crafts. So it figures that every few years there is a craft that sweeps through elementary and middle schools around the country. This year, that craze is for the Rainbow Loom.
What's a Rainbow Loom? It's a "Super fun rubber band bracelet making kit!!!" And judging by the three exclamation marks, it is clearly marketed to tweens. Successfuly, I may add. My tween did emphasize, though, that even *boys* are wearing Rainbow Loom bracelets at school. (Emphasis is all hers.)
Related Post: How to throw a fun, easy Rainbow Loom party
I confess to being completely unfamiliar with the Rainbow Loom until my tween's good friend gifted a bracelet she had made on her Loom a few weeks ago. Now, they're everywhere.
Seriously - if I had told you at the start of the year that some kind of loom would be the must have tween item of the fall, I doubt you would have believed me. I would not have believed me. I would have thought that even Laura Ingalls Wilder would have found that a little old fashioned. But I'm all for unplugged time and if it's something that doesn't plug in, I'm interested.
So, here we are. Actually, there I was yesterday, buying a Rainbow Loom at our town's Learning Express. We're not alone, apparently. It's a #1 seller on Amazon. it's been big all summer, but a little slow in taking over our Midwestern town.
Confession time: I bought two.
One for my tween and one as a birthday gift.
What's worse, I even got sucked into the personalized carrying case, because dear God, the idea of the little rubber bands all over the floor terrifies me, and my vacuum.
I thought that I was really smart for thinking that perhaps Rainbow Loom rubber bands are actually recycled Silly Bandz - remember that craze a few years ago? Then I saw that the company that makes the Rainbow Loom was originally called Twistz Bandz, so yeah, pretty sure that I'm right, but it doesn't seem quite so insightful now.
My tween says that the Rainbow Loom is awesome because it is fun to make bracelets and it is fun to wear them, and she's really enamored with the different color combinations and patterns that are possible.
Speaking of those numerous intricate patterns, there are thankfully about a bazillion YouTube instructional videos explaining how to create what seem like complicated DNA structures. Videos demonstrate how to make everything from the Double Rhombus to the Butterfly Blossom. The Butterfly Blossom game plan as sketched out with its 8 rubber bands made my head hurt.
The reviews on Amazon are overwhelmingly positive, and the in person testimonials of my tween's friends are also ringing endorsements.
The Learning Express store was filling up with girls who were coming for a Rainbow Loom class. I have a feeling that my dexterity, or lack there of, means my tween will be seeking their instructor's wisdom and instruction soon.
In case you're wondering about this whole confounding craze, check out the very first video, which has been viewed more than 354,000 times:
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