Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Loom

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I’m late to the party. The Rainbow Loom one.

This probably comes as no surprise to those who know me. I have been known to excitedly play a song for a shotgun-riding friend in my car while thinking that I am introducing them to the greatest band of all time. Only to have them tell me that, yes, that band wrote the book on bluegrass… in, um, 1978. I have been working diligently on being more punctual and ahead of the curve (whatever that means) but I am late to this party. Better late than never.

Here is the thing. The Rainbow Loom is all the rage right now. Unlike the Xbox, swatch watches, parachute pants, silly bands and beanie babies, this one is worth an endorsement. I know we are a consumerist society and Black Friday is about to showcase our tribe at its very worst but some toys are simply worth having. Some toys encapsulate entire childhoods. This toy might very well be one of those for your kid- and without the pricetag of those others ones that require two days to update an operating systems. Please note: You do NOT have to camp in a tent outside of the Best Buy to score a Rainbow Loom.

Another reason why I can throw my endorsement behind this crafty toy? Because some of us (no names, cough…ME and cough cough probably YOU if we’re being completely honest) struggle with rationing our kids’ screen time. You know you do.

Let’s face it. When the ipad runs out of juice, all hell breaks loose.

Insert Rainbow Loom to assuage your parent guilt for allowing the late Steve Jobs’ devices to babysit your children for the past three years at the exorbitant cost of wifi connectivity and repaired gorilla glass screens. Allow the Rainbow Loom to rescue you from yelling at whoever downloaded a ten dollar app for the eighth time this month. Family rifts NO MORE!

The Rainbow Loom is NOT electronic. I repeat. It does not plug into a wall. It requires no batteries. It is ART! ART for those of us whose public schools have all but kiboshed art from the curriculum in order to buy an extra half point on math standardized scores. ART! You know that stuff that slows us down for long enough to express creativity with our own minds and hands.

On a recent flight to New York, I sat next to a mom who was juggling work and family calls left and right before take-off. I looked down at her arm and saw this.

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We bonded over the Loom art. It was the equivalent of her pulling out a wallet size pic of her kiddo to show me. See that one with a pumpkin on it? How clever. Anything that gives a parent pause to stop and brag and throw some sunshine instead of shade at parenthood can’t be a bad thing.

After all, it might be all downhill after the Rainbow Loom. Curfews broken, mystery Old Milwaukee’s Best beer stashed among your Fat Tires in back of fridge while you’re out of town , children sneaking out after midnight …. Ahhh, we will pine for the good ole days of the Loom. That much is for sure.

At a recent Pearl Jam concert, my friend noticed Eddie Vedder on stage with a rainbow loom bracelet. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the superstitious baseball players that duked it out in Boston and Saint Louis flew back and forth with a few rainbow looms in their smelly duffels. These things are gorgeous one-of-kind talismen that bring luck to the wearers and are made by the hands, fingers and fine motor skills of our very own children.

The real reason I am plugging it as my Product Pick of this month is because, like I said… abated screen time.

Unplugging is grand thing. I’ve heard.  It is also a hard thing. The Rainbow Loom makes it less painful. Actually, quite pretty.

If you’re late to the party too, don’t worry. The Loom isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. My kids are going to start a collection of their wares to sell at our upcoming yard sale. Never hurts to add a little entrepreneurial twist to the wild rumpus called childhood.

Recommended ages: 8 and up (or 5 and up with supervision)

*This monthly product review brought to you directly from our home to yours.