Integration into the mainstream is a reality. At some point kids have to step outside the bubble I've created for them: No network or cable TV programming or magazines that thrust ads of "must have" latest fads. But, friends with varied interests are always fun to learn from.
With the right message and thoughtful practices applied consistently, it should become a healthy habit to be conscious of our impact on the environment. So, after some talk about reuse and safe handling and disposal, the 8 yo got the okay to use the Rainbow Loom™ her aunt sent her for Xmas.
Beginning January first week, she has been earning her time to watch youtube tutorials on using the loom to make various designs. I kept out of the way. From starburst and ladder to triple-single and fishtail bracelets, from sweater charm and ring to matching earrings to go with the bracelets, the girl has been dedicating herself to making more stuff.
Naturally, the limited supply of the rubber bands that came with the kit ran out. And, after asking for more bands for the sake of asking, and knowing the answer, I was happy to hear, "It's all right, Mama. It just has a C-clip to hold it together. I can undo the single bracelets. I know how to do it so I don't need to keep it. If I undo those I'll have enough to try this new Butterfly Blossom pattern. We don't have to buy more."
And, just for the fun of it, she asked if I can videotape her making up a new pattern (on the fly!). Which I did, dutifully. And keeled over laughing when at the end of a series of meticulous instructions for about 4 minutes she said, "Now, when we peel it off the loom.... We have a Surprise Design, also known as A Giant Mess!"
It sure was!