Sunday, November 10, 2013

In my family of loomers, apparently I am the hooker....

I swear learning how to make friendship bracelets is a right of passage.  It used to be gimp or thread, now its the rubber band loom.

I giggle because I find it insanely therapeutic (oxymoron, yes).  I first figured it out at my nephew's party because they were having a hard time with the kit loom maker, that giant plastic maze.  But last week, I met an 8 year old girl who showed me how to do it with her two fingers in the shape of a V or peace sign.  When I was doing it that way, my fingers were getting tired quickly as well as I only have 2 hands to help my boys do it.  Then it dawned on me, chopsticks.
Starting of with the same figure 8 and adding the looms 1-2 at a time depending on if you want a fishtail or not, the chopstick provides an easy and stable workspace for loomers.  After teaching my own children (8 and 5), I thought it would be a great activity for some of my students.
So here I am with five 2nd graders with a variety of abilities, chopsticks and loom.  And you know what, it was wonderful.  This activity is engaging because their peers are making them.  It addresses fine motor strength and coordination, patterns, spatial awareness, bilateral hand coordination, and the list goes on and on.  The students were so proud of themselves for getting the few rows completed and are eager to continue.  They were helping each other and socializing.  It was probably one of the most satisfying group activities I had lead in a long time.

And now of course, I have created looming monsters.  The only thing they have difficulty with is placing on that annoying plastic hook.  Hence, why in family, I am the hooker.  Great.

You can find the loom kits at Michaels, but don't forget to check Five Below (their refill packs were 3 for $5), Job Lot and Target for the refills.  And the chopsticks- order out or check out specialty toy shops like BrainWaves in Narragansett, RI for the kits and cool dinosaur chopsticks like the ones pictured above.

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