New craze drags kids away from computers

THEY’RE the tiny bands with a massive hold over our kids.

Loom band mania has exploded into lounge rooms and playgrounds in recent weeks – and local children and stores seemingly can’t get enough.

The crafty craze is simple: participants use a loom board to fashion miniature, coloured elastic bands into jewellery or figurines.

Kootingal seven-year-old Jainah Grant is one of thousands of local kids to be bitten hard by the loom bug.

She spends almost all her spare time creating wrist bands and other figurines with names like “starburst”, “fishtails” and “dragon scales”.

“Some of the boys and girls in my class were doing it so I decided to try it,” Jainah said. “It’s fun to see if it works and if it doesn’t, I can try again.”

Jainah’s mum, Caroline, said it was improving her daughter’s hand-eye co-ordination and managed to do the near-impossible – drag her away from the computer.

Local toy and craft outlets are unable to keep up with demand, many having long waiting lists for the loom boards.

“I haven’t seen a craze like this since Tazos,” Tamworth Toy and Hobby Mega-World manager Dwayne Balsdon said.

“It started a couple of weeks ago and people are just going nuts; they’re buying more than we can hold.

“It’s not just kids either, we’ve got 60- and 70-year- old women doing it.”

Lincraft Tamworth supervisor Rachael Thompson said primary school aged boys were also jumping on board.

“They’re selling quicker than we can import them into Australia,” Ms Thompson said.  “If I had a dollar for every person that had asked me for rainbow bands I’d be rich.”

Part of the appeal for parents is the price.

A loom board sells for about $10, while a bag of bands costs just $3.

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