|SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center|
Making Loom Bracelets With Less Stress and Frustration
Do you love to loom? This crafty hobby has exploded and kids are looming all over the place, even at school. But making bracelets, keychains, and other stuff from tiny rubber bands can be difficult, especially at first.
Are you already frustrated? If so, relax. It takes a little time to develop the skills needed to make loom bracelets.
Or maybe you know a few simple stitches and you want to challenge yourself by learning more complicated ones. Using some stitches, like the hexafish, means it can take as long as an hour to complete just one bracelet!
So here are some tips for getting started — or challenging yourself:
Skills You Can Use!
Did you know that when you learn to make loom bracelets you are working on other important skills? Let's start with handwriting. When you hold your hook in your hand it's very similar to how you hold your pencil. So when you use your hook to make bracelets or when you stretch out the bands onto the pegs, you are strengthening the muscles you use to write. When your writing muscles are stronger, you can write more neatly and for longer periods of time.
Using your loom also helps you learn how to copy what you see. When you follow the directions in a book or a video, you have to figure out how it is in the picture and then do it exactly the same way on your loom. Being careful with copying makes your new bracelet a success. Working on your copying skills will help you get better at copying other things, like assignments your teacher writes on the board at school.
Your loom helps you learn how to make both hands work together. This is called bilateral coordination. You use bilateral coordination for other things like baseball, cutting with scissors, or playing an instrument.
Each of the little movements you make as you put bands onto your loom improves your fine motor skills. You use these small, precise movements when you tie your shoes, button your shirt, or zip your backpack.
It will come as no surprise that you have to focus and pay attention when you are working on your loom. You have to put the bands on the correct way, and then link them together in the right order. When you practice focusing and paying attention, you'll get better at doing it in other situations, like studying for a test or memorizing your spelling words.
Finally, and maybe most fun of all, you can show your creativity when you work with your loom. Choosing color combinations and making up new designs lets you express yourself and helps you develop problem-solving skills. So what are you waiting for? Happy looming!
Reviewed by: Wendy Harron, BS, OTR/L