5 ways to play with rubber bands

It’s easy to keep kids entertained with this simple household item

Images and words: Sara Conway

Bouncy ball: a neat way to gather up rogue rubber bands

1. Ask your child to cut these shapes from the paper: a long rectangle, a shorter rectangle, feet, legs, a strip for two eyes, and a strip of red paper (the tongue).

2. Now, they roll the two rectangles into a ring and stick one on top of the other.

3. Next, they stick the feet underneath (they will make the frog stand up and stop rolling). And then they glue on the front legs.

4. Help them fold the base of the strip for the eyes and tape it to the top of the frog.

4. Then they cut a red strip and roll it to make a tongue (perfect for catching flies!)

4. Finally, they draw eyes, a mouth and stick on the tongue. Or use googly eyes if you have them. 

A new way to paint: use rubber bands to create geometric patterns

 You’ll need: a paperback book, a piece of paper, rubber bands, paint, paintbrushes, a black pen

1.Wrap the paper around the book and hold it in place with a rubber band.
2. Now you or your child can add more bands to create a pattern on the paper with rectangles, squares and triangles.
3. Give your child paints and a paintbrush so they can fill the shapes with different colours.
4. Once their painting is dry, they can lift the bands off and go over the lines with a black pen.

Finally, they trim the edges.

Rubber band banjo: use a jam jar lid for this 5 minute musical make

 You’ll need: a jam jar lid, 5 rubber bands, 3 paper straws, tape

1. Ask your child to stretch the rubber bands over the jam jar lid.
2. Now they tape the three straws together in a row.
3. And finally, they tape the straws behind the jam jar lid.

Ideal for a band of kids on a playdate together!

Rubber band sorting: adapt for children of different ages

 You’ll need: rubber bands and something small to put in them – like raisins.

1. Place a few rubber bands on a table.
2. Give your child raisins (or berries or sweets) to put in them.
3. Give them challenges depending on their age…

  • Fill these bands with 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 raisins.
  • Create a face in this band.
  • Put 3 more raisins in this band.
  • Count 15 raisins into the orange band.
  • Put 3 raisins in each band and count them to help with learning times tables.

Rubber band guitar: the easiest way to make an instrument that really works!

 You’ll need: a metal loaf tin, 5 rubber bands

Simply stretch the rubber bands over the loaf tin and let your child strum them to make a guitar with strings that really twang!

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