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Rainbow Loom: How to survive and thrive with the latest toy craze



Friends gather at a home in South Pasadena to practice looming together.
Friends gather at a home in South Pasadena to practice looming together.
Mary Plummer/KPCC
Friends gather at a home in South Pasadena to practice looming together.
Nine-year-old McKenzie Mack makes a fishtail bracelet during a Rainbow Loom gathering at the Burbank Central Library. The rubber band bracelet trend has taken off has captured the attention of millions through YouTube channels.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Friends gather at a home in South Pasadena to practice looming together.
Four-year-old Ariana Demirchyan shows her grandmother a rubber band bracelet. In 2010, Cheong Choon Ng, a father and engineer in Michigan, first came up with the idea for the loom while trying to make rubber band friendship bracelets with his daughters.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Friends gather at a home in South Pasadena to practice looming together.
In addition to bracelets, YouTube videos have tutorials on making purses, hair accessories and other objects out of the florescent-colored bands.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Friends gather at a home in South Pasadena to practice looming together.
Nine-year-olds Valentino Maldonado, left, Lucy Stuck and Amanda Sanchez look through Stuck's Rainbow Loom bracelets.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Friends gather at a home in South Pasadena to practice looming together.
The loom allows for more complex designs and layering. Ng's Rainbow Loom won the Toy Industry Association's 2014 Toy of the Year award.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Friends gather at a home in South Pasadena to practice looming together.
Four-year-old Ariana Demirchyan shows her work to Children's Librarian Ingha Chopra, who led Tuesday's first-ever Rainbow Loom event at the Burbank Central Library.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Friends gather at a home in South Pasadena to practice looming together.
Kids learn how to make a starburst bracelet on a Rainbow Loom during a Rainbow Loom get-together at the Burbank Central Public Library.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Friends gather at a home in South Pasadena to practice looming together.
An attendee at Tuesday's Rainbow Loom event removes her colored band bracelets from her wrists.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Friends gather at a home in South Pasadena to practice looming together.
Satynne Pyles, left, makes a rubber band bracelet for the first time during a Rainbow Loom event at the Burbank Central Public Library on Tuesday, April 1.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Friends gather at a home in South Pasadena to practice looming together.
Kids take free colored rubber bands at the Burbank Central Public Library's first Rainbow Loom event on Tuesday, April 1.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Friends gather at a home in South Pasadena to practice looming together.
Sophie Durrett (left) and Makyla Clinton-Kaplan watch YouTube tutorials on Rainbow Looms in South Pasadena.
Mary Plummer/KPCC


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Rainbow Loom has become one of the top toys in the country. The plastic crafting device uses a template board, tiny rubber bands and a hook to weave everything from bracelets to elaborate charms. Weaving may seem an unlikely subject for a YouTube boom, but currently there are more than 500,000 Rainbow Loom instruction videos on the website. For millions of kids around the country, it has become something of an obsession.

"I get a minimum of 100,000 views a day and I'm just one channel," said Kim, a stay-at-home-mom who’s become a YouTube crafting super star. "On the weekend that number doubles," she told KPCC.  Online, Kim goes by the name "Made by Mommy" and she prefers not to share her full name for privacy reasons. Kim's one of about 30 people now making a career from ad revenue generated by online video tutorials. 

If you are a fan of Rainbow Loom or just a parent or teacher trying to cope with the craze, here are tips and local resources - some of them straight from YouTube looming stars. 

Do you have other Rainbow Loom tips? Maybe you have looming stories to share from Southern California schools or meet-ups. Let us know in the comments below.