Greetings Learning Expressions Readers!
Over the past few weeks, “Loopdedoo” chat has started circulating around the home office. Come to find out, this oddly familiar word is not a reference to the frustratingly addictive children’s song “Here We Go Loop de Loop” but rather a tool for making fabulous twisted accessories. Frankly, I just assumed one of my coworkers had spread the catchy ditty around the office in an attempt to catch colleagues humming under their breath on the way to meetings.
No sooner was I becoming acquainted with what the Loopdedoo was than I was being asked to evaluate it based on our “form, function, and fun” toy review model. My initial “Oh, awesome!” was quickly replaced by an “Oh no!” as I recalled my earlier attempts at bracelet-making, which, not to be dramatic, were basically a demoralizing amalgamation of twine, tangles, and tears.
But you know what? After I suspended my fear of fine motor craft kits and wrapped my head around the basic techniques of the Loopdedoo, I made a bracelet that I actually wanted to wear! And the fact that I made this Loopdie without speed dialing Sandie (resident Learning Express arts and crafts guru), makes the Loopdedoo my all-time favorite jewelry-making kit. It also makes me feel confident that your child will soon be looping and loving it!
The sturdy Loopdedoo package contains 18 skeins of vibrant embroidery floss, one Loopdedoo spinning tool, two alligator clips which can be used for making longer accessories such as belts, and instructions. The Loopdedoo features kid-powered looping knobs and a convenient drawer for storing materials. The tool seems very durable and there is an extensive array of thread colors ranging from black and white, to hot pink, to sea foam green. The full-color instruction booklet presents the various looping styles and offers step-by-step guidance with many illustrations. The only tool you’ll need that’s not included is a pair of scissors.
Instructions prompt users to choose one of four looping styles. Each style requires a different technique and the styles are presented by level of difficulty. Naturally, I chose the easiest style listed, the “Color Block.”
The booklet breaks it down into more detail, but before you can start turning the knobs and “looping” your bracelet there are some setup steps:
- Choose your desired colors, bundle them together, and double knot them around one of the hooks on the Loopdedoo.
- Wrap your thread bundle around the opposite hook and back to the original several times to create the “core” of your bracelet. The more you wrap, the thicker your bracelet will be.
- If you wrapped three times (which I did) you’ll need to measure four additional lengths for your looping thread (the thread wrapped around the core to make those eye-popping patterns). One length is the distance between the two hooks.
- Cut the thread after you’ve measured the amount you’ll need for looping.
Confused yet? Well I was for a few minutes, but setting up the Loopdedoo is much easier than it sounds the first time you read the instructions. The package says that you can create a bracelet in about ten minutes, and after you conquer the learning curve, a ten-minute bracelet on your second try is not far-fetched.
As I started spinning the thread around the core, I started smiling. My bracelet emerged quickly and smoothly, right before my eyes. I started feeling more creative as I established a color pattern. The Loopdedoo did most of the wrapping work for me; I just had to make minor positioning adjustments as I went along. And discovering those little tricks to success is actually part of what made this project so much fun.
Because the Loopdedoo is kid-powered, crafters feel a real sense of connection to their jewelry (a machine isn’t automatically spinning your bracelet, you are spinning it). And there’s an undeniable sense of pride that goes along with cutting your first Loopdie from the hook and sizing it on your wrist. Kids can create cool, wearable pieces of art. The Loopdedoo is also a perfect sleepover activity. One child could be choosing her bracelet colors while another starts spinning. There is a dazzling array of thread colors which makes Loopdedoo a perfect craft for boys and girls alike. Boys may be more interested in spinning backpack pulls and bracelets with their favorite team’s colors and girls may opt for patterned bracelets and necklace designs.
So there you have it, readers, an arts and crafts product that leaves even inexperienced users beaming with accomplishment instead of sulking over mangled balls of string (not that I’ve ever experienced that firsthand).