Fifth-grader Paige Mooney arrived at school Thursday with 51 SillyBandz nearly covering her lower arm. It’s a kid thing, collecting these silicone, rubber band-like bracelets in the shapes of, well, you name it. Animals, western figures and rock music, to name a few.
Fifth-grader Paige Mooney arrived at school Thursday with 51 SillyBandz nearly covering her lower arm.
It’s a kid thing, collecting these silicone, rubber band-like bracelets in the shapes of, well, you name it. Animals, western figures and rock music, to name a few.
Youngsters across the country, many of them upper-grade elders in elementary schools, are collecting them, trading them, wearing them and coveting more. The goal appears to be stacking dozens of the multicolored bands on one or both arms.
Mooney told Linnea L. Gallagher-Olbon, her principal at T.C. Knapp Elementary School in Perry Township, Ohio, that she has more in her growing collection.
“I have around 65,” the youngster said, deeming them “cool.”
“I like the colors and the different shapes they represent. The animals are my favorite and look all wavy on my wrist.”
It seems like a harmless pastime akin to collecting baseball or Pokémon cards. It’s not like these kids are spending their allowances on demand-driven pricey Beanie Babies or Cabbage Patch dolls.
A 12-pack of Fun Bands, Animal Snap-n-wrap, SillyBandz or Rubbabandz — manufacturers are running like lemmings to the sea with the simple concept — is $3.99 at Kerchner’s Hallmark store in Canton, Ohio. But manager Annette Firth said Thursday afternoon there were but two packs left of an original shipment two weeks ago of 24 clear-plastic tubs filled with them.
“I had a lady in today buying for a kindergartner. He’s a boy, and she says he has them halfway up his arm,” Firth said. “I have a fifth-grader, and he wears one. It’s a penguin. I have a 6-year-old daughter, and her whole wrist is covered.”
The children attend St. Joseph’s school, and Firth said they are permitted there.
“The rule is you can’t play with them,” she added.
But Principal Cindy Brown at Sauder Elementary in Jackson Township, Ohio, has banned them in her building, joining a growing list of U.S. schools where rubber band craze is stretching administrators’ patience.
“As far as being banned in Jackson schools, I think it’s only my school. It is in our handbook that any style of dress, accessory or hairstyle that disrupts the educational process or presents a safety risk will not be permitted,” Brown said. “They have become a distraction in the classroom.”
At Canton Local’s Amos McDannel elementary, Principal Danita Berry said students often wear them, some 40 at a time. “They haven’t been a problem for us,” she said.
“My daughter says her music teacher has one in the shape of a note,” Berry said.
Borders Books in Jackson Township has been sold out of SillyBandz this week.
But computer-savvy kids know they don’t have to depend on local retailers. Internet sites offer them in packs of 20 and 96 with seemingly endless themes including the alphabet, picnics, rain forest, fantasy, baseball, spring, zoo, pets and tie-dye.
The Repository (Canton, Ohio)