I spotted this gem of a hand-strengthening and boredom-busting activity over at Hands on As We Grow ages ago and finally decided to see if Veronika was up for it. The activity couldn’t be simpler; you just need lots of rubber bands and a can from the pantry and you’re ready to go.
We have a rubber band ball that is an endless source of fascination for the kids, so Veronika was thrilled when I showed her how to peel a rubber band off of it.
I challenged her to get one rubber band onto the can. At first she simply stretched it wide, but quickly realized it wasn’t going to get around the full circle of the cylinder like that.
She’s still young, so she needed my help to loop the rubber band over one side of the can. But from there she could pull it across and over the other side.
She had fun on our first round using only orange rubber bands, but enjoyed it even more when I pulled out a pack of multi-colored ones. She loved selecting which color to put on next (blue was the favorite today).
Your kids might want to be really neat and careful as they go about this task; make patterns with different colors; or just pull on as many as they can in an allotted amount of time. Older kids could even make it into a race or a competition.
Veronika was too young for all that, but when I challenged her to see how many rubber bands she could get on the can, she came up with her own method: Sprinkling them on top! Now that’s thinking outside the box.
This is sure to be an activity we return to again and again as she gets older.