I was a bit late to the movement but I noticed how popular the rubber band bracelets were in our area. I saw many kits in stores. I saw many kids at the library wearing their creations. I decided to have a program to teach kids who don’t know how to make bracelets as well as a session for those who do know how to make the bracelets.
There are many different ways to make bracelets but the one I liked best was the fishtail bracelet because it didn’t need a loom. We had tons of unsharpened pencils so it was easy to get enough pencils for everyone. I wasn’t a fan of any of the tutorials I found online so I wrote my own up and printed them out for the event.
Supplies: the biggest perk of a rubber band bracelet program is how cheap it is. You can buy bags of rubber bands for $3 for 500 to $15 for 2400. Depending on the type of bracelet you’re making, you need 40-50 per bracelet per person. If you’re doing the fishtail bracelets, you’ll need some kind of ‘sticks’ for everyone to use. Pencils and pens work great. I’ve heard (unused) chopsticks would work too. Just work with what you got. That’s basically it. Instructions for people to read are helpful but not required. Rubber band project books are great to have for the program as well but all of ours had a large wait list.
The event was pretty easy going. The younger kids and the ones who were new to making the bracelets needed a bit of help. It worked out well enough though because between the older kids, my volunteers, and myself we got to everyone who needed help. We had everything from really simple bracelets to some pretty fancy ones. I loved that everyone walked away with something.
Verdict: Great success. The kids loved it. The children’s librarian told of my success at a Summer Reading Program meeting and many of the branches took my idea and used my handouts for their own programs.