Arts & Crafts

4 Clever Rubber Band Crafts

By: Alexandra Gakos
Image of child’s hands in a bowl of colorful mini-rubber bands.
Ages 3+
Critical Thinking
Fine Motor Skills

Here are 4 fun ways to get creative with rubber bands!

1. Rubber-band eraser

Why: It’s so much more fun than a plain old eraser! 

Best for: Young artists who demonstrate patience and resourcefulness

You’ll need: One small bag of multicolored rubber bands per child; a small marble (or a small bouncy ball equivalent in size to a marble) is optional.

What to Do:

Step 1: Use the marble or ball as the center of the rubber-band ball. Or create a central core from only rubber bands by folding a short, thick rubber band repeatedly in half so it’s tightly packed, and then wrapping a very small, thin rubber band around it to keep it together as a solid unit.

Step 2: Wrap rubber bands tightly around the center core until the eraser is the desired size.

Tip: Add rubber bands in size order, using smaller ones first and then larger ones as the ball grows. Space bands out as evenly as possible so the ball doesn’t become lumpy or uneven in size.

What to do next: Show it off … and wipe away mistakes!

2. Wall art

Why: To personalize your kids’ decor

Best for: Creative thinkers with an eye for detail and a knack for visual planning

You’ll need: A pegboard, small and large multicolored rubber bands

What to do:

Step 1: Help your child stretch rubber bands over the pegs of a pegboard, forming designs in various shapes and colors.

Step 2: Encourage your child to arrange and rearrange the rubber bands until they find a desired configuration.

Tip: Invite your child to stretch their imagination and try their hand at animal, vehicle and sports-equipment shapes.

What to do next: Display the finished product for all to see!

3. Rubber-band bracelets

Why: Because every fashionista needs a few colorful accessories.

Best for: Kids with fine motor skills

You’ll need: Multicolored mini rubber bands, small colorful plastic paper clips and a creative eye!

What to do:

Step 1: Feed the rubber band through one loop of the paper clip and then fold it in half. Next, hold the two loops of the rubber band open and thread a second rubber band through it.

Step 2: Have your child select the next rubber band and help your child thread that one through the loops of the second.

Step 3: Encourage your child to continue adding rubber bands to form a pattern of colors. When your child settles on a length, attach the final rubber band to the opposite end of the clip.

What to do next: Encourage your child to try a belt or to make more bracelets for friends!

4. Funky napkin holders

Why: To jazz up a table

Best for: Kids whose creativity, resourcefulness, fine motor skills and visual-spatial skills are in place

You’ll need: A bag of rubber bands of various thicknesses, kid-safe paint (the more colors, the better!), scissors, paper-towel tubes, glitter, waxed paper or old newspapers

What to do:

Step 1: Lay waxed paper or old newspapers on your crafting surface.

Step 2: Encourage your child to wrap rubber bands around the paper-towel tube in various directions, forming a variety of patterns and leaving plenty of uncovered space. 

Tip: Rubber bands close in size to the cardboard tube’s circumference will yield the best fit.

Step 3: Help your mini-Picasso paint over the roll and the rubber bands, alternating colors and patterns. Sprinkle with glitter and let dry.

What to do next: Remove bands to expose the designs your child created. Cut the cardboard tube in 2-inch increments and fill each with a napkin.

Important: Safety goggles are a must when working with rubber bands

Author Alexandra Gakos
By: Alexandra Gakos