Children will find joy even in simple things

SINGAPORE - It’s an odd feeling.

When we hear about kids’ crazes, it’s usually because they are deemed dangerous, are actually dangerous, or are just so bafflingly inane you wonder if our nation’s young minds are going to turn to mush.

Also, crazes these days usually come as an app (remember Flappy Bird?). The over-reliance on tablets and smartphones as babysitters prompts a lot of grumbling (often online, but the irony seems to be lost there). There will be lots of talk about the old days when children ate mud, fell out of moving vehicles and leapt off cliffs without a care.

But then there is Rainbow Loom, a toy where kids actually create things – with their hands!

It requires skill and dexterity. Our reporter met youngsters who can weave intricate bands in a matter of minutes. She gave it a go but was still struggling after an hour.

But it’s not just bracelets. What these kids can create – even bandy figurines of comic book characters like Thor and Spider-Man – is nothing short of amazing.

This could be the healthiest kids’ craze to happen in years.

Granted, the kids do turn to the Internet and YouTube for tutorials on how to make advanced bands. But isn’t it better than zoning out on a diet of movies, games and TV shows?

It’s surprising what kids will go crazy for. It isn’t always the flashier devices.

Every Christmas, I am guaranteed to see Facebook posts by exasperated friends, all wondering why their young’un has forsaken the carefully chosen, long sought-after and strenuously hunted down expensive toy and is happily playing with the box that it came in.

There were family holidays where the greatest achievement possible was to find a perfectly round and smooth stone – which would then be thrown into the water in a skimming contest.

Getting kids to enjoy the small things can only be good. Getting them to be creative? Even better.

I’m off to rediscover the joy of skimming – just as soon as I find an app to teach me how.

This article was first published on JULY 6, 2014.
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