THE loom band craze is sweeping the country — but not many children have made one so huge it would stretch around the outside of their school.
Youngsters at School Shuttle, an after school club next to Church Road Primary School in Smithills, produced a 300-metre long loom in just two weeks.
The loom, which was made by 22 children, goes all the way around the school grounds, through Church Road, Ingledene Grove, Brookland Grove and Captain’s Clough Road.
Rachael Byrne, play worker at School Shuttle, came up with the idea of producing a giant loom, after seeing how keen the children were on them.
She said: “The children would come in and make these bracelets every day, so I thought it made sense to get them all to make a big one.
“It’s been great to see the children achieve something together, and it’s amazing how much they’ve enjoyed it and how focused they’ve been on making the band.
“Our target was to make a band that was 250 metres long, so they’ve done brilliantly to beat that.”
Chelsea Byrne, manager of School Shuttle, added: “The children absolutely love this band. Making loom bands is a phenomenon at the moment.
“Making this has got everybody together — people have been staying behind to help out and it’s been a real team effort.”
In making the giant band, children would collect their own loom bands at home, which they took to the after school club.
Staff and children spent every week day for two weeks making the band.
Among those to have contributed to the making the giant band were Ruby Ottley and Adassa Grey, both aged eight, of Church Road Primary School.
Adassa, from Little Lever, said: “I’ve enjoyed making it because it’s really fun and very productive. I think loom bands are popular because you can make so many things with them and they look really colourful.”
Ruby, from Heaton, added: “Making the band has been a lot of hard work, but I’m really pleased with how it looks.”
The world’s longest rubber band chain measures 1.32 miles and was created by Allison Coach from the United States of America.
- Rainbow Loom was created by Cheong Choon Ng, a Malaysian immigrant who came to the United States in 1991 to attend Wichita State University, where he earned a graduate degree in mechanical engineering.
- He was employed as a crash-test engineer for Nissan Motor Company in 2010 when he conceived the idea of a toy loom for rubber-band crafting while watching his young daughters make rubber-band jewellery.
- Ng was encouraged by his family to sell the product commercially and invested $10,000 of his own money into the scheme.
- After he and his wife found a factory in China to manufacture the parts, he and his wife assembled them at their home in 2011.
- Ng renamed his product after discovering an elastic hair band on the market named Twist Band. His brother and niece came up with the name Rainbow Loom.
- At first the product was unsuccessful because people did not understand how to use the product but Ng set up online instruction videos and the product took off.
- As of September 2013, Rainbow Loom had sold more than 1.2 million units according to Ng, has been named one of the most popular toys of last year and is the most searched-for toy on Google.