This week's theme is "the little things". I've done a pitiful job of keeping up with my 52-week project here on the blog, so I'm here to correct that. The picture above represents my vision of the little things. Do you know what it is? Odds are, if you have elementary school aged children, you do. The odds are also pretty good that you've got a million of these hanging around your house and you've sucked a couple hundred of them into your vacuum cleaner. So what is it?
Rainbow Loom bands, of course! DIY rubber band bracelets and rings are all the rage with the younger set. There are multiple different types of looms, a million different colors and at least as many You Tube tutorials. What's interesting to me about this trend is how polarizing these little guys are for adults. It seems (from social media anyway) that you are either a loom lover or hater. Now, I've got to confess, I'm a crafty gal. I knit, crochet, and scrapbook so when this trend took off, I was all in. But I've got two other reasons to be pro-loom.
The first reason for my "rainbow loom is a good thing" stand comes from the inherent kindness in making something for someone else. As soon as little girls and boys get started on these things, they start sharing. First they share the knowledge on how to make the little bracelets and then they start making jewelry for each other. My daughter has made multiple bracelets for me, her little brother, her daddy, her friends, her grandpa and grandma and I'm convinced she's going to start giving them to strangers on the street any day now. I wear mine with pride to celebrate her effort and the heart she put into them.
Aren't they pretty? My little princess obviously prefers pink. And the white ones glow in the dark.
So what's my reason number two? If you notice the picture of my bracelets, they're all exactly the same. My daughter has mastered the fishtail pattern but she struggles with the more advanced ones. However, I keep encouraging her to try new and more complicated patterns. I help her when she needs me to, but I let her fail. I let her experience the frustration of not getting it right away. This is one of the reasons I love Legos too. Kids need to learn to persevere. We live in a society where gratification is instantaneous and we avoid ribbons on field day so no one feels bad. Sometimes, we've got to feel the sting of messing up. These little bracelets let them experience victory AND the frustration of working on the thing for 30 minutes and a rubber band breaks and they've got to start over.
These are compelling pros, don't you think? As far as I can tell, the "hater" camp only hates them because they're messy. That they are. I think there are pink bands in every single room of my house. Truthfully, there are toys of many kinds in every room in my house...because that's childhood. From Rainbow Loom bands to Legos, to Barbie dolls, a child's world is chaotic. Any parent who thinks it's orderly, or more sadly, all about their desires and neuroses being catered to needs some serious re-evaluation. I say, embrace the chaos, because they're going to grow up so very quickly. Do you really want your kids remembering that you nagged them all the time or that you played with them? I know which direction I'm going.