Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Rainbow Loom Vortex: Enter At Your Own Risk

Is anyone else out there currently being tortured by the $16 plastic Rainbow Loom?!?!  It's all the rage in our town, where every child you meet is sporting rubber band bracelets from wrist to elbow.  For those of you who are fortunate enough to not have any idea what I'm talking about, a Rainbow Loom is a series of plastic pegs on which you place rubber bands and then use a crochet hook to "weave" into bracelets.  

And it's way more complicated than it looks.

For weeks, I had to listen to Josie beg for a Rainbow Loom of her own - begging which included endless chatter about the fun all her friends were having making their own bracelets and trading extras on the playground.  Which was bad enough.  But then Josie decided to use her own money to purchase a Rainbow Loom and the whining/complaining got worse.  

No child who is a perfectionist - as Josie is - needs a Rainbow Loom.  Please take heed.  To the parent of a perfectionist, the Rainbow Loom is more than just a craft project, it's a one-way ticket to Hell.

And I'm not exaggerating.

The thing is, there are no instructions included in a Rainbow Loom.  Instead, there is a website you can go to with "instructional videos" and other - more loom-capable - children have put their own videos on YouTube for you to watch and duplicate.  Except no matter how many times you pause said videos, they are always going too fast for you to follow and if you are not particularly rubber-band-loom-savvy and you put the red band OVER the blue or the purple band UNDER the black, you are screwed when it comes time to remove your bracelet from the Loom and put it on your wrist.

Josie has spent countless minutes, sitting in front of my computer, watching countless videos and attempting more and more complicated rubber band patterns - almost entirely without success.

And when she gets frustrated and angry, I will sit with her and watch the videos myself and help her figure out the pattern and the hooking sequence - again, almost entirely without success.

I want to throw the darn thing into the garbage, dust it's rubber-band cooties off my hands and slam the lid shut.

But Josie refuses to give up.  

Obviously, this perfectionist trait is not one that she got from me.  

So far Josie has mastered the two easiest bracelets and has made a charm, an anklette and one super-hard band (which she tried to make a second time but failed).

She's also tried almost every other pattern offered on YouTube.

The children bring their Rainbow Looms to school and the savvier students have shown the less-savvy how to different patterns, but Josie can never duplicate their results at home.

This leaves Josie frustrated beyond belief and the rest of us pulling out our hair.

Gordy has managed to stay completely removed from the entire process but I've been sucked into the Rainbow Loom vortex and I can't find my way out.

The sad thing, is that I WANT to love the Rainbow Loom.  I love a good craft project and I love any quiet, artsy child activity... but this is just the pits.  It's difficult, it involves a computer (a screen-time craft!?!), it breeds school yard competition and the end-products are ugly (not to mention painful when those tiny rubber bands bracelets snag an arm hair).

On the other hand, Josie is occupied and she's using her brain and small motor skills.  She's learning to follow directions (somewhat) and she's being creative (I might be stretching a little bit).  

I don't know what to think anymore.

Help!  We've been sucked into the world of The Rainbow Loom and we can't get out!  Send help quickly before we all lose our minds!



Lisa Witherspoon said...

Oy! Rainbow Loom is a huge thing around here too, but we don't have one yet. I was thinking of getting Rachel one for Christmas. However, I am so incredibly not crafty I fear I would be of no help to her. Maybe it would be easier for my 11 year old?????

Martha said...

Oh dear - resist the urge to buy the loom!!! hee hee! Hopefully your children will be better at following directions than we are! :)

Gillian said...

I've seen these in schools (where I used to teach) and other similar fads in the past years. I can totally empathize with how frustrating it is as a parent because as a teacher, it was really hard to get kids to focus with all those things! No advice here... just another momma giving you a virtual hug :)

Martha said...

Thank you, Gillian! I didn't even think about how frustrating it must be for Josie's teacher. I can't imagine how tired she must be of all these Rainbow Looms!!!

Rainbow Loom Deals said...

Yeah rainbow loom seems to be more and more of a popular item. I made a site myself to help find deals on rainbow loom products . I'm still updating it but hopefully it helps someone

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