Our house has become overrun with tiny, brightly-coloured rubber bands. They are under the table, down the back of the sofa and bundled up with the bedclothes. The looming craze has well and truly bewitched my children and their friends. Fishtails, waterfalls, ladders and starbursts are all common terms at our place.
They’re both reasonably proficient now, but the afternoon we picked up a loom and a couple of packets of bands from the $2 shop will go down in history as Frustrating Friday. We learned several important lessons – don’t walk before you can run (start with basic styles before attempting something elaborate), there’s no point in taking your frustration out on the loom (you’ll just end up with broken bands and have to start all over), just because something is popular and everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean it will be easy, and if something about the instruction pamphlet has been lost in translation, head directly to YouTube.
The tears of frustration were quickly replaced by calm and progress thanks to a precocious young called Olivia, of Olivia’s Looms and Crafts, and another series called Bandaloom. Technology has really come into its own helping my children learn a craft that is actually not that different to the weaving and crocheting their great- grandmothers excelled at (and their mother has completely failed to assimilate).
Of course I’m completely unwilling to take bets on how long the loom craze will last, but for now I’m happy to see them immersed in something creative that appeals to both girls and boys. As I know from my own childhood, a new craze is just around the corner. Remember friendship bread, elastics, sticker clubs and tamagotchi? But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few lessons to be learned from this one.