I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that G & M are not the only children across the UK, or indeed the developed world, who are currently obsessed with the latest craze to sweep the nation: Loom-bands. Every day as the children walk up to school with their friends, we pass child after child sporting an armful of bracelets made from these brightly coloured elastic bands. Mike and I even have our own growing collection, consisting of bracelets and rings made by both G and M, in a variety of colours and patterns.
For the uninitiated amongst you, and I know there will be a few, you can create a range of unique jewellery, or charms, or just about anything else you think you might like, from relatively little. All you need is:
…a vivid imagination and an endless supply of patience.
From the simple single-loom bracelet (where we unwittingly started before I knew that each pattern had a name) to the Starburst and the Inverted Fishtail, my children have been kept occupied for hours designing and making a constant stream of new creations for us to admire. I have discovered loom-bands lurking in unexpected places and have had to think on my feet to enable emergency repairs when, at the last moment, a previously undiscovered fatal flaw threatens the final piece of art.
I love this latest craze. It’s not prohibitively expensive as you can pick up a bag of 600 bands and 24 s-clips for under £1; it appeals to both boys and girls, with M and his friends spending time during their mid-morning or lunch-time break to teach each other new techniques; and my pair are spending time after school to work on their bands together, rather than spending the time arguing.
Even better, it is proving to be a great way for M to hone his fine motor skills, which is such a critical part of the occupational therapy for his dyspraxia. Putting the bands onto the loom is tricky and he has to focus on what he is doing to make sure they go in the right places. M has also taught himself how to make some of the different patterns using just his fingers, which is really challenging the strength and mobility of his fingers and hands. We’re yet to see whether this activity improves his pencil grip and his motor skills, but I’m grateful we’ve found something he loves to do which should prove to be extremely beneficial.