Just when you thought your child might have had enough of the friendship bracelets or Silly Bandz, a new variation has evolved and taken over the spotlight. Stores are already having an extremely difficult time, keeping the supplies and products on the shelves.
Problems have developed with the manufacturing and distribution of different pieces of this craze. Rainbow Looms are all the rage, as kids are staying after school and making different pieces of jewelry in their free time.
Rainbow Looms are elastic rubber band bracelets that are created on a plastic grid with notches, called a loom. This loom is approximately 2 x 8 inches. Using a crochet hook, hundreds of different patterns are created to make fun looking bracelets, rings and charms. Anything from simple fishtail patterns that the younger children can create, all the way up to a complex American flag that might take several weeks to complete.
As this crafting niche continues to grow, more rainbow loom patterns will emerge, thanks to technology outlets like YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest. There are three different types of rainbow loom patterns to tackle.
Beginner Rainbow Loom Patterns are fairly basic and a perfect way to indoctrinate younger children to this artform. If your child has never attempted to create a Rainbow Loom, it is strongly encouraged that they stick to the beginner patterns because there is a smaller amount of rubber bands needed and some of the looming techniques aren’t too difficult.
Intermediate Rainbow Loom Patterns are wide-ranging. Some of these designs have a few more techniques to utilize than your garden-basic variety, but there are others that are classified in this category that prove to be quite challenging. Intermediate designs will usually require more rubber bands and take longer to make.
Expert Rainbow Loom Patterns are usually reserved for older loomers and should only be attempted by seasoned crafters, who seem to be bored with the Intermediate Patterns and are craving a good challenge. Supplies needed for these creations are much larger than the Intermediate patterns and some designs have been known to take weeks to complete.
The best part about this new hobby is that the children have this big sense of pride, after successfully completing the pattern. This is proving to be a win-win situation for everyone because the stores are happy that they continue to run out of the products, the parents are happy because their kids are doing something productive and the kids are happy because they are getting to show off their wares to their peers and actually help each other improve their skills.
An entire generation for children were glued to their Xbox or PlayStation consoles and would rarely venture outside to play with their friends or get exercise. As a result, this lack of physical activity has been one of several causes of the obesity epidemic that is sweeping the United States.
Rainbow Looming is enjoyed by both girls and boys and might not cause physical exertion, but it sure beats a Cabbage Patch or Tickle Me Elmo doll. Parents are excited about this craze because, whether the kids know it or not, looming is actually helping them learn critical skills and patterns that will prove to be necessary in outside-the-box thinking and creativity.
After doing a round of basic research, I was amazed at the hundreds of videos online that are made by kids, some as young as 8, showcasing how to put together different rainbow loom patterns.
Believe it or not, some of these tutorial videos have received over 4 million views on YouTube alone. Children really like being taught new patterns by kids their own age and the videos are helpful because it helps speed up their learning.
The downside to this Rainbow Loom phenomenon is that the lack of supplies and slowdown of the assembly line will cause long lines and panic at the retail level. We’ve read the articles and watched the newscasts about deaths happening on Black Friday. Expect aggressive parents to be fighting over remaining rubber band kits and looming essentials.
The upside is that non-traditional retail outlets are carrying the products, which will create more locations that have it available. The big question is: Will Rainbow Loom have enough product out in the retail sector to satiate the demand?