Tag Archives: fine motor skills

EXCLUSIVE Rainbow Loom band colors at Michaels

Starting in December, Michaels has been selling some exclusive new Rainbow Loom rubber band packs in new color/style combinations.  These are licensed by Rainbow Loom but made specifically for Michaels so you can’t get these exact colors anywhere else.

First there are four different band packages that contain a specific mix of bands.

Rainbow Loom exclusive multi-color rubber band packs at Michaels, metallic, gold, camo, tie-dye, glitter
Multi-color Rainbow Loom bands at Michaels

1. Tie dye – each band contains 2 alternating colors.  There are several color combinations in the pack: yellow/green, blue/green, pink/blue, and yellow/orange.

2. Camouflage – a mix of shiny black, dark green, and a light brown.

3. Pastel sparkle – a ‘jelly’ mix of light pastel pink, orange, blue, and greenish yellow with tiny silver sparkles.

4. Metallic – a mix of shiny gold, silver, blue, green, purple, burgandy, and pink.

neon rainbow loom rubber bands exclusively at Michaels
Neon Rainbow Loom bands at Michaels

Next there are 4 separate single-color packs in new neon colors: blue, orange, yellow, pink.

pearlized rainbow loom rubber band colors - hot pink and maroon - exclusively at Michaels

Pearlized Rainbow Loom bands at Michaels

Lastly there are a couple of ‘pearlized’ shiny single-color packs – they are hot pink and maroon.  This is more true maroon – more purple than the original burgandy color.

Happy Looming!

 
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Rainbow Loom - Three Pin Chain pattern

Rainbow Loom – Three Pin Chain pattern

It’s finally happened. I’ve been using my Rainbow Loom long enough that I actually created a new pattern. At least it is one that I can’t find described or pictured anywhere else.  I call it the 3 pin chain. Although the construction is somewhat similar to the 3 pin fishtail, the result is quite different. If you’ve made any sort of Rainbow Loom fishtail before, you should be able to make this new 3 pin chain after looking through these instructions.

Step 1. Reposition your loom to look like the pictures shown here, where the middle colum is shifted up. Notice that this is the end of the loom opposite the starting arrows.

Loom position
position of loom to make 3 pin chain
Loom position for 3 pin chain

Step 2. Place 3 separate bands each in a figure 8 in order to form a triangle over the 3 pins as shown here:
3pinc

First three bands for 3 pin chain

First three bands for 3 pin chain

Step 3. In the next layer, place 3 separate bands (straight on) to form the triangle.Rainbow Loom 3 pin chain -  start of second layer

Bands for second layer

Bands for second layer

Step 4. Start forming your chain by looping the bottom layer of bands over the pins, as in a fishtail pattern. The difference here is that you have only 2 layers on (instead of 3) when you are looping the bottom layer over. Also, you are using 3 bands to form the triangle within each layer, instead of just 1 band as in a fishtail pattern.
3ping3pinh

Rainbow Loom 3 pin chain

Loop the bottom layer of bands up over the top layer. Do this for all 3 pins.

Step 5. Continue adding 3 bands in a triangle layer and looping the bottom layer up until your chain is as long as you want. Pull your chain down as you go to make it easier. I think this pattern looks best if you use a single color for each layer. Finish your creation with a final band and a c clip (or keychain ring).

Start of the Rainbow Loom 3 pin chain

Start of the Rainbow Loom 3 pin chain

I had recently made the wreath and candy cane patterns from Kim S. at madebymommy.com. As I was trying different things, I somehow stumbled upon the 3 pin chain pattern. I used the 3 pin chain to make a wreath and candy cane that look very similar to those created by her, but they are larger. Thank you to Kim and to all of you who share your Rainbow Loom creations for helping to inspire me. Happiness is Looming!

Left side - patterns from MadeByMommy.com.  Right side - creations made from 3 pin chain pattern.

Left side – patterns from MadeByMommy.com. Right side – creations made from 3 pin chain pattern.

Rainbow Loom™ Super Action Figures

Rainbow Loom Super Figures New on the Rainbow Loom™ facebook page are some awesome super hero figures created by a Rainbow Loom fan named Pg David. Here is a link to his tutorial on youtube and to a printable guide that was created at MadeByMommy.com.

Spider man Rainbow Loom VIDEO tutorial from PG’s Loomacy

PRINTABLE Rainbow Loom spider man guide from Kim at MadebyMommy.com

Here are the characters that I made using this pattern.
Rainbow Loom spiderman and hulk

Rainbow Loom spiderman in actionThanks also to the creator of MadebyMommy.com for putting together the excellent pdf. I was able to complete the project by following the pattern on her site.

Make sure to check out the Rainbow Loom facebook page for more examples.
Facebook – official Rainbow Loom™ page

What characters are you going to create? How about Santa Claus, Robin Hood, Cinderella, Frankenstein, King Arthur?

Top 5 Reasons Why Rainbow Loom is Great for Kids

MICHAELS STORES, INC. RAINBOW LOOM1. Helps with Hand Writing.  Handwriting efficiency requires a mastery of multiple skills, including hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity.  When looping the bands on a Rainbow Loom, the hook is held the same way as a pencil (with the thumb and first two fingers).  Using this pencil grasp helps develop and improve the fine motor skills which are critical for success in school.   When children have better small muscle control they are able to focus more on the content of their handwriting rather than the mechanics.  Children who are able to write quickly and confidently will find it easier to take accurate notes, complete school assignments, and finish timed tests.

2. Develops Appreciation for Giving.  The Rainbow Loom makes it easy to share a little happiness with others.  Children can make a bracelet in five or ten minutes and give it to their friends or family members.  Research has shown that people feel happier after doing kind deeds for others.  Giving activates parts of your brain associated with pleasure and trust, and it promotes social connections.  When Rainbow Loom catches on in a group you can see the ripple effect of generosity.  To read more about the benefits of altruism, check out this link: http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/altruism/definition

3. Promotes Spatial/Pattern Skills.  Rainbow Loom involves lots of colors, patterns, and shapes.  The skills used in making a Rainbow Loom creation are the same skills used when reading a map, following instructions, arranging a room, creating an architectural masterpiece, or analyzing the stock market.  These skills of spatial reasoning, pattern recognition, matching, logic, and construction are key inputs into future math and science success.

4. Builds Confidence.  For a young child, it may take a few tries to get comfortable using the Rainbow Loom.  My seven-year-old got frustrated the first couple times he used it.  But now he knows he can do it.  Rainbow Loom is great for helping kids improve their perserverance and confidence.  It boosts self-esteem and creativity.

5. Hours of Focused Fun.  The Rainbow Loom is seriously addictive.  It is an awesome activity to help increase a child’s attention span and ability to focus.  Plus kids LOVE it!

Rainbow Loom is sold at most Michaels stores. There is also a new Rainbow Loom book that you can buy online.  https://books.michaels.com/rainbow

To learn more about why the Rainbow Loom is beneficial for kids, check out this article from a pediatric occupational therapist: http://macandtoys.blogspot.com/2013/08/rainbow-brights.html

Michaels Rainbow Loom book

All About the Hook

hook2

hold the Rainbow Loom hook like a pencil

Who knew that a simple hook could do so much? The most important thing you need to know about the Rainbow Loom hook is how best to hold it. It will be much easier to use the Rainbow Loom if you hold the hook just like a pencil.  This is one reason the RL is a great item for young kids, because it helps them develop and improve their pencil grasp.

hook4

pull the hook up through the center/inside of the pin

The next thing you need to know is how to best utilize the curved pegs (or pins) on the loom.  In most patterns, it is easiest to bring the hook up through the ‘inside’ of the curve, like shown here.  The unique shape of the pins is what makes the Rainbow Loom much easier to use than some of the ‘knock-off’ products.

hook4

Rainbow Loom hook and ordinary crochet hook

Rainbow Loom hook parking spot

Rainbow Loom hook parking spot

The third thing to know about the Rainbow Loom hook is how awesome it is! This is not just an ordinary crochet hook, it is a four-in-one marvel. Here are the key features of the hook:

    1. The hook part is what you use to actually grab the rubber bands (yes, that one is obvious).
      2. The tapered wider part lets you temporarily ‘park’ a partially completed Rainbow Loom creation until you can either put on your C clip or attach to the next part of your creation.  Notice how it is shaped with an edge toward the hook side so that the bands will stay on more easily.
hook with mini loom cover

hook with mini loom cover

3. The larger end is perfectly shaped to help you take apart the loom itself.  Check out my other post at rainbow-loom-square-position/  to see what I’m talking about.

4. The wider end of the tapered part has an edge that helps it fit perfectly and solidly into the blue cover.  This cover even has multiple purposes.  It helps keep your hook from getting broken or from poking someone, and it can be used on its own to create Rainbow Loom bracelets.

3-Pin Fishtail Necklace Pendant

Here is my latest creation. This pattern is called a 3 Pin Fishtail. I made the bracelet first using black and 2 colors of purple. Then I wanted a necklace to match, but I didn’t want to make that long of a Rainbow Loom fishtail. So, I got the idea to just make a short fishtail and loop it into a pendant. I put the mini-fishtail onto a basic black cord and knotted that to a ‘lobster clasp’.
3 pin fishtail rainbow loom pendant necklace

 

You can learn how to make the 3 Pin Fishtail pattern here:

You can buy the cord and lobster clasp at Michaels in the jewelry making section. Michaels has cords with the clasps already attached or you can buy the specific type of cord and clasps you want. Here’s a quick definition of a lobster clasp: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobster_clasp

Have a great DIY day!