The Rainbow Loom set is comprised of a hook (think crochet hook) and a plastic grid (loom). You simply place coloured elastic bands on the loom and use the hook to link them together. Different patterns net different types of bracelets.
I personally hated the instructions that came with the set. I didn't find them clear and they only showed one type of bracelet. I have found that the internet is a great source of instructions for different patterns. Later I noticed that even the company sends you to YouTube to find better instructions than they provide.
It is funny though. The first pattern they teach is the single loop which creates a bracelet like the ones below.
My son and other younger kids all seem to find this one difficult. The hooking takes practice and they often find themselves knocking off an elastic when they are trying to hook one on. I would highly suggest starting with the fishtail pattern. It is easy and the results look far more complicated and impressive than they really are. My daughter even made a necklace (worn as a hairband below), bracelet and ring set in the car as we drove to pick apples.
I found that a tackle box is a great container for keeping all the elastics organized and ready to use. I picked this one up at the dollar store for $1.25. When we first got the mixed bag of elastics we sorted them ourselves. Later we bought packages of individual colored elastics and we just refill the tackle box as needed.
I came across this photo of someone who used baby food jars to separate and store their elastics.
|Image: Mason Jar Crafts Love|
While there are a million videos out there now, here are a few videos that I have found that are clear and easy to follow. I've put them in the order I'd suggest trying them.
I met one lady in a store who bought one for her son in hopes of improving his fine motor skills but unsure if he would like it. She was back at the store buying more elastics because he was obsessed.
I even hosted a Rainbow Loom Bracelet making party for the kids and their friends as we prepared to make them as a fundraiser for the CIBC Run for the Cure. It was a huge success. They each helped the others if anyone got stumped and taught each other new patterns. My friend threw a Rainbow Loom party for her daughter last minute when their pool party was rained out. She picked up a loom for each kid and it became the activity and the loot bag. They loved it!
The Rainbow Loom was a great purchase that has exceeded my expectations. It has provided hours of fun for the kids and if truth be told, for me too. They use it at home and in the car. I have created a Rainbow Loom Pinterest board that I'm always updating. If you're looking for a great activity for your kids/tweens or a present for a birthday party, I highly recommend a Rainbow Loom.