My Plan for Dethroning the Rainbow Loom

posted in: Culture, Kids, Things I Hate | 52

Beanie Babies. Garbage Pail Kids. Pogs. Silly Bandz. The Pet Rock. Bracelets of the Friendship, Jelly, and Slap kind.

What do all these things have in common? Yes, they are all fads which kids at different points in history HAD to have. But they are also the worst kind of fads: the fads that make somebody rich by forcing poor parents to spend hard-earned money on crap we can already find in our homes: Beanie Babies=bean bags. Garbage Pail Kids=drawings of gross characters (my son makes these on a daily basis). Pogs=cardboard and poker chips. Silly Bandz=rubber bands. Pet Rock=rocks. Friendship Bracelets=thread. Jelly Bracelets=more rubber bands. Slap Bracelets=mini-blinds.

And now, there is the Rainbow Loom.

rainbow loom
Totally worth $15.99

I’m going to bet every parent with a school-aged child just grunted. Why? Because the Rainbow Loom is a pain in the ass. For those of you lucky enough to not know what a Rainbow Loom is, it’s basically a combination of Silly Bandz and friendship bracelets. In other words, it’s a super hybrid fad.  I would like to meet the genius who turned orthodontic rubber bands into the hot new must-have item among the juvenile set. And I would like this person to invite me over to his or her home mansion so I can sprinkle those tiny, brightly colored elastics all throughout it. Because if my daughter doesn’t manage to weave those little pieces of junk into a tight-fitting bracelet that cuts off the circulation to my hand, then they ultimately end up on the floors of every room in my house. And if they are all over the floors of my house, they aren’t in her little rubber band organizational case. And if that organizational case it empty, then I am tasked with spending another $5 on a small bag of things I used to get for free at the orthodontist’s office and made my teeth sore while correcting my overbite. And don’t even think about trying to use a coupon to help subsidy this new habit. Because those awesome weekly 40% off coupons at the hobby store can be used on pretty much everything…except the Rainbow Loom and its accessories. Bastards.

Don’t get me wrong. I think fads are fun, especially ones that promote creativity and artistic skill. But wouldn’t it be nice if something would catch on with kids that didn’t involve sweatshops in Taiwan?

Far be it from me to simply complain about something yet remain inactive. So I have taken it upon myself to suggest some candidates for new fads in children’s play…and none of them will cost you a dime. As a bonus, they all have that “reduce, reuse, recycle” thing going for them, because they are all born from crap already lying around your house.

1. Produce Bag Twist Ties Sculpture Kit

twist tie thinker
“The Thinker” a la twist ties.

You guys, we’ve had a goldmine of endless hours of play sitting in the bottom of our refrigerator produce drawers ALL THIS TIME. They twist. They bend. You can turn them into pretty much anything in the whole entire world. And when you run out, all you need to do is head to the grocery store to pick up some more apples. Which brings up another amazing quality of this toy: you can bribe your kids into better eating habits: “The more bell peppers you eat, the more twist ties I can get for your sculptures.” I don’t know, but I kind think this one could be a “Parent’s Choice” Award Winner.

2. Marker Caps Manicure Setmarker cap manicure

Until someone figures out a foolproof way to teach kids that the caps go back ON the markers after they are finished with them, this fad will likely enjoy some good longevity on the market. And you don’t have to use any harsh chemicals to remove them…or risk your child setting all her nail polisher remover-soaked cotton balls directly onto a bathroom shelf, adding yet another piece of household furniture to the “claimed by children” list. As for all those dried-out markers, sorry. The idea ends here.

3. Granola Bar Wrapper Headband Makergranolaheadband

We can finally all be free of those overpriced Lululemon headbands. I mean, my kids eat granola bars like they are going out of style, but it’s also apparently not in style to throw away the wrappers. Because they litter my house with them. No worries. Now our daughters can use them to make stylish headbands that promote adequate daily fiber intake and Puritan modesty, instead of ones that might become see-through if their heads exceed the maximum circumference deemed acceptable by some sad excuse for a CEO who doesn’t know how to apologize to his customers and all of humankind.

4. Dog Hair Knitting

dog hair sweater
So I was kind of joking. But this is apparently a real thing. There is even an eHow article on how to knit a dog hair sweater. Source

Think about it. It’s cruelty-free fur, and your floors will have never been cleaner.

5. Crayon Stubs Mosaic Kit

crayon mosaic
Um, this is pretty freaking awesome. Source

Pretty self-explanatory. I wouldn’t mind buying a new box of crayons approximately every three months if I knew the nubs would end up someplace other than the bottom of random drawers, under couch cushions, smashed into carpets, and melted inside my floor vents.

So, what do you say, fellow moms and dads? Should we take the matter of fads into our own hands? Create the next big thing every kid in school has to have (and already does)? Keep our money for more important things, like college tuition…or splurging for heated seats on our next car purchase?

Let’s keep tiny rubber bands where they belong: in the metalled mouths of middle schoolers.

Do you have any more ideas for free fads? I’d love to hear them!

Perfection Pending
I’m linking up! So can you!
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52 Responses

  1. Bahahahaha… I absolutely love it, Kelly. So clever. So you! And I am SO running to the store for some apples before the fad catches and I can’t get my hands on any of those twisty ties! Friggin Rainbow Loom. I’m right there with ya.

    • Not gonna lie…I *may* have grabbed a handful at the grocery store yesterday :)

    • I held out .. and held out … and held out, thinking I could wait out the fad. Nope, Palmer is getting a freaking Rainbow Loom for his birthday. I am cherishing the next few days of being able to walk across the floor without getting a rubber band stuck between my toes.

  2. I had no idea that I had a giant crayon-stub mosaic kit sitting in my kids’ playroom right now! (Minus the ones that melted all over our baseboard heater, of course.)

  3. I love your ideas! Did you make that twist tie thinker? It’s pretty cute. We are now past the majority of toy fad (not to say that I’m STILL finding the bits ans pieces lying under the bed). I used to used cereal boxes to make doll houses…so there’s that.

  4. Fads coming back to haunt you….hahahaha! Since you brought it up, you can come get your beanie babies, Cabbage Patch Kids, jelly shoes, friendship bracelets, pogs, etc, etc, and get them out of my house 😛 Some things NEVER change, but you have some great creative ideas and I am gonna gather up a handful of twisty ties at Dierbergs before that fad catches on :-)
    Glad you posted today so I can find my Rainbow Loom ring that Grace made me before I see her later 😉

    • Pogs was Kevin…not me. And yes, you better get that Rainbow Loom ring out…she will probably ask if you’ve been wearing it.

    • Ummmm…I don’t see how Cabbage Patch Kids fit here. Not that I had any or 6 of them. 😉

      • Cabbage Patch Kids do not fit into this scenario, because they were totally worth whatever inflated price was paid for them, as well as all the drag-down-fist-out fights that occurred to get them.

    • hahahaha Fads your kids just beg and beg for them ahh instead of buying them come to my house i have no room and i find them everywhere even things i dont buy i wonder [: trying to keep my kids away from toys no more room [:

  5. So clever! And yes, did you make the twist tie thinker?! That crayon nub mosaic is pretty cool actually!

  6. I’d like to invest in the marker cap manicure set. That could easily be the next Snapchat. I’ve never heard of this Rainbow Loom stuff prior to today… Which worries me. AM I OUT OF TOUCH WITH THE YOUNG PEOPLE!?

    • I will be honest…I think I would be a little worried if you DID know what the Rainbow Loom was. You have much better things to do than be in touch with the 7-13 year old set.

      However, I’m super psyched to have landed my first investor. Woot woot!!

  7. Didn’t they recall slap bracelets because they could accidentally slit your wrists? Is this just a lie my parents perpetuated so that they could refuse to buy them for us??Either way, I’m gonna head right home and pull together all my twisty-ties:)

  8. Erich Suellentrop

    So just to ruin your plans for cheap twist tie art… its the etsy twist tie market. Because even the thing that keeps a bag closed and be cute and match your theme. http://www.etsy.com/market/twist_ties
    Some models come out to about ten cents a twist tie. How awesome is that!

  9. I’m so glad you posted this, because I was seriously considering the rainbow loom purchase. Luckily, my daughter knows nothing about it!! So, I think I will pass. See, you’re helping people already! And, that twist tie sculpture is seriously amazing!! Thanks for linking up with me!!

    • I feel so powerful :) But truthfully, I may have been a *bit* overly harsh on the loom. It’s not the worst of the fad toys. It does occupy my daughter for long time, and I love how creative she gets coming up with new patterns. So it’s not ALL bad.

  10. Oh, and last year, my kids wanted Stompeez….HUGE mistake. Their feet were too little to even make them work. Now every time a fad commercial comes on like that, I remind them of the stompeez disappointment. It usually shuts them up!

  11. This is hilarious and makes me grateful that both my children are too enjoy to understand this fad!!! But I can only imagine what will be trendy when they are older . . .

  12. I love this! Since this is C’s first Christmas where she actually has a clue about what’s going on, I am going to be aiming low so that she can know that marker tops really are where it’s at. I will save a fortune in the long run.

  13. BRILLIANT POST!! Funny, clever, and so so true! Admittedly, I feel very lucky to have missed this one… because you missed something: my dog would eat these things and I’d be finding little colored bands in his poop! So very funny, Kelly!

  14. BAHAHA! Slap bracelets=mini blinds. Yes, yes, yes. I laughed out loud by myself. Also, I’m insanely impressed with your twist-tie sculpting abilities. That is legitimate artistry.

  15. Produce twist tie sculptures = seriously genius! Stimulating creativity, honing fine motor skills, and promoting healthy eating! Someone get this lady a Nobel Prize in parenting! :-)

    • *Politely bows and accepts the honor*

      I mean, I might be biased, but I spent a good twenty minutes playing with twist ties just to get a good picture for this post. And it was pretty entertaining.

  16. Brilliant! Nice work on the twist ties. They’re like the toys in the store though, I look at the picture and say “oh, that’s so cute, I can do that” and then it’s just another mess of twist ties and disappointed kids. 😉 can I buy a robot to assist, assemble and organize said annoying toys? Now that is a good idea!!

    • But see, the beauty of the twist ties is that there isn’t anything SPECIFIC they have to be. If you suck at sculpting humans, you can make them into jewelry. Or spell out messages. Or use them as tiny swords.

      Or we can do the robot thing. That sounds good, too :)

  17. Where was this post when I was buying Beanie Babies and Pokemon cards by the truckload? Thank goodness I am now out of the loop, particularly the Rainbow Loom loop! Pretty sure I have a Marker Top Manicure in my basement yet somewhere, though…maybe it’s with my Crayon Stub Mosaic.

  18. I’m thinking maybe something made out of the zillion teeny tiny rubber bands from my kids’ braces. I find those all over the house (and find it quite strange).

  19. My daughter got one of those rainbow loom things for Christmas. The horror. You should totally try to patent some of those fine inventions you have there.

    • I’m really partial to the twist ties. Thought I’m not sure supermarkets would appreciate me trying to re-patent something they’ve been using for ages.

  20. The story of the “genius” that invented them is actually really inspiring, if you’re interested :) Yeah I have rubber bands all over my house but this is the only thing that holds my daughter’s attention for more than 20 minutes, and for that I am grateful lol.

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/228081

  21. […] few months ago I wrote about my plan to dethrone the Rainbow Loom and offered multiple suggestions for new, cost-free, eco-friendly fads. Little did I know I […]

  22. But, but, Rainbow Looms keep kids SO quiet.
    They are the worst. The looms, not my kids. Well, most of the time.

  23. […] few close friends…who don’t have blogs. I will save my public outrage for earthquakes, toy fads, annoying kid shows, smug contributors to newspaper columns, Fifty Shades of Grey, ruined Target […]

  24. […] #2 My Plan for Dethroning the Rainbow Loom […]

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