If someone had asked us if we thought rubber band bracelets would be a multi-million dollar phenomenon with kids, we would have assuredly responded “No!” Boy, the joke would have been on us. We are talking about those multi-colored bracelets woven out of small rubber bands and worn on the arms of boys and girls of all ages. Maybe you’ve seen them in your own homes, or on your kids’ arms.
Soraya’s eight-year-old son, Hayden, recently introduced us to the bracelets when he came home with one that his buddy, Warren, had given him at school. It was a woven, tri-color fishtail pattern and Hayden was keen on getting his own loom to add to his collection. “Mom, can I make one in my LAPFC (L.A. Premier Futbol Club) colors?” he asked. Were the weaving arts making a comeback? It reminded us of the potholders that we used to weave on a loom when we were kids, only these were much cooler and were appealing to girls and boys.
Soraya tried to describe the rubber band loom to Yasmine, but it didn’t quite translate in sister-shorthand in the 30 seconds we had on the phone that day between drop-offs. But Yasmine happened into a toy store that afternoon with Maverick and overheard a mom asking the salesperson where she could find this “crazy loom thing.” At that point Yasmine interjected and said, “Oh you mean the one that you weave the rubber bands with?” The woman’s son said, “Yes but I want the bigger loom!” It turned out the store carried only the small one. Seriously? thought Yasmine, multiple loom sizes? One needs both, apparently, to achieve different weaving projects. What a brilliant marketing ploy.
Soon, another friend was sharing a story about her 12-year-old son, Cade, and his friend, who had had a sleepover. She had told the boys “lights out” at 10:00 p.m. and taken away their electronics. At 11:30 she heard noises and assumed that the two middle-schoolers had found an iPad or something. Nope! They were secretly looming Lakers-colored bracelets with Cade’s sister’s loom, which he had never used before.
If you’re not sure what to get your kids this year for the holidays, and they don’t already have a bracelet-making loom, you’re in luck: this is one trend that is still on the upswing. There are several alternatives to the patent-pending Rainbow Loom, two of which are called Cra-Z-Loom and Fun Loom. Basically, you need a loom, a hook, and the tiny rubber bands in as many colors as possible. Looms sell for about $17-34 depending on the brand. We like the Fun Loom we got because it has an organizer case to separate the different colored bands. Don’t know how to loom? There are loads of how-to videos on YouTube that illustrate the different weaves (i.e. fishtail, chain, ladder, starburst, spiderman, etc.) OK, so getting into this kid trend isn’t as easy as buying a pack of knee-high socks, but one byproduct does make it a little sweeter: we’ve heard enterprising kids are striking deals with local shops to sell their woven treasures, with some even designating the proceeds to their favorite charity.
With seven children ranging in age from one year to seventeen years between them, sisters and bloggers Yasmine Delawari Johnson and Soraya Delawari Dancsecs are experts at parenting in L.A. They take a break from PTA board meetings, cooking, and producing films to blog at CityThink each Thursday.