Oh they’re a fun thing aren’t they! For those of us with Primary school kids the school yard trend is the most important, all encompassing, obsessive thing that can happen at school. Once the trend is in, it’s the ONLY THING THAT MATTERS in your son or daughters life.
Wouldn’t it be lovely if they came home with a homework book where they have to write a creative story about their newfound obsession, why they liked it, how they felt about it, what things they could do with it and finish with a conclusion about when they think they’ll be done with it. If that were the case, my kids would get A’s every week.
I went to a toy fair in New York 2 years ago and was given the greatest piece of marketing advice ever from the Rob Croak who invented Silly Bands he said: “the way to make a hit product with the kids is get it banned in schools”. He could not have been more correct. His company made $200million in 2010 from Silly Bands. Uh huh…..
The boys in this family have had love affairs with handballs, Slap bands, Pokemon cards, Woolworths animal cards, Disney Infinity, Skylanders, Bakugun, Silly bands, Bloody Lego and the corker that sent every mother nearly mad, Minecraft which is essentially building Lego on a computer but with really bad graphics. WIth the amount of Lego I step on each day, I’m now wondering why I hated it so much?!?
The obvious question is, why give in? Usually because it’s not a huge financial outlay. It’s a nice little treat in between birthdays, it takes up more time than a $5 milkshake at the shops and they combine well with a parents favourite trick. Bribery.
“If you don’t do your home work I’m confiscating all the Pokemon cards” or
“Eat all your veges or I’m turning off the WiFi and you will NEVER be able to play Minecraft again”.
Secondly, they can be a great reward for good behavior. There are naturally those parents who do none of the above and simply buy their kid everything they want because the kid is a spoilt little turd (note to self, don’t judge. NEVER judge. Sorry, can’t help but judge, they are turds.). These….. ahem……. spoilt children are the envy of all in the schoolyard and are the epicenter of the school yard trend. Their mother goes on Ebay and buys the entire set of Woolworths Animal cards because Little Jonny couldn’t possibly miss out. This is before your own child even knows what the latest ‘in’ thing is. When the peer pressure eventually hits your child, it’s important to work out which kid you want yours to be, the one who doesn’t expect it just because everyone else has it, or the turd.
The latest trend has hit our house like stream train. It took exactly one day for the kids to start negotiating with me.
“Can we PUHLEASE get some Loom Bands?”
“We NEED Loom Bands, EVERYONE has them”
“If we do all our homework tonight, can we PLEASE go to the shops and get some”
I didn’t even know what Loom Bands were but it then took them a further 4.5 seconds to find some loom bands that I had put in the pressie cupboard for birthday parties. I didn’t realize that’s what I had bought. I’ve never been that trendy and this is the only time in my life I can recall being ahead of the trend. The lady at Uncle Pete’s recommended them as a “must have” for all pressie cupboards, so I bought 10. Reduce that now to 7. I gave in. Naturally after homework, reading and maths website thingy was done.
WTF are Loom Bands? Well as I discovered last night, it’s crochet with elastic bands. It’s a plastic frame where you weave elastic bands into intricate designs with a crochet hook to form a bracelet that you then give to your BFF, beloved or some other poor kid whose parents don’t give into the trivial school yard trend.
The problem with Loom Bands is, most trends can usually be obsessed over without parental supervision. This one, you need a Masters in Crochet to be able to master. After 3 hours of research, tears, frustration, giving up, giving in and then You Tube tutorials and a lot of swearing from Mum, the cherubs mastered a few colourful loom bands. I’m sure the sales spiel says something about being great for fine motor skills and all that but it should come with a warning stating that “mother is going to lose her shit trying to navigate her way round making these things.”
Once the kids had made a few they realised they can’t show them off to their friends today. Loom bands have been banned at school! Another sure fire hit and gazillion dollar idea!
Wonder what the next big hit will be?
What’s the one school yard trend that has driven you up the wall?