The weekend before last was rainy and miserable here in North Carolina, so Jack, Maggie, and I weren't able to get outdoors to explore and burn off a little steam after a long week. We discussed a couple of things we could do to pass the time (for some reason tidying their bedrooms did not appeal to either of them) and ended up in agreement that we'd like to make something.
Fortunately, we always have plenty of arts and crafts supplies on hand for just such occasions. However, Jack and Maggie knew that I had just received some paracord bracelet making kits from Cobrabraid and asked if we could make those as our project - perfect!
Advantages of a Kit
Cobrabraid had reached out to me recently to ask if I would like to test some of their products and while I'm not a huge fan of paracord bracelets (I do wear them when hiking though) I was intrigued by their easy-to-follow bracelet kits and asked if they had colors for kids. Well they had every color imaginable as it turned out, so I chose pink for Maggie (her favorite color) and Carolina Blue for Jack who is a big sports fan.
I've made dozens of paracord bracelets over the years using various types of knots and find making them very therapeutic - I like knot tying. I was concerned that Jack (7) and Maggie (6) would find the knots too hard and not enjoy this as a project for them to do, but the nice thing about these "kits" is that they come with really nicely illustrated step-by-step instructions, perfect for young children.
Jack started first and needed a little bit of help initially to correctly measure the size of his wrist. This was all explained very clearly in the instructions, but was just easier with more than two hands. After adjusting for size Jack started on the alternating knots that form the bracelet and to my surprise picked it up right away - yay! I ended up helping a little by sliding his knots up tight to one another, but other than that he made it by himself.
The final step was to cut off the ends of the paracord with scissors and melt the ends using a small lighter. Jack cut the cord and I took care of the melting, although Jack really wanted to give it a try - not on my watch buddy! The end result was a very cool Carolina Blue paracord bracelet that fit his wrist perfectly.
Maggie was eager to make her own bracelet too, but had more trouble with the knots than Jack did. To be fair to her I think that partly due to the fact that she has such tiny hands and found it difficult to hold the bracelet cords as she was tying them. I always encourage my kids to do things for themselves, so I waited patiently until Maggie asked for my help and was happy to do so.
One of the things I like most about little projects like this is that it is a fun way to introduce children to something they might otherwise find sort of boring, like learning knots. Even though there were no bowlines or taut-line hitches to learn for making cord bracelets, it did help them become more familiar with cordage and how to handle it. That's a win-win in my book.
I'm also very happy to reports that both Jack and Maggie have asked to wear their paracord bracelets to school each day since they made them, which tells me this was more than just a fun project to kills some time during a rainy weekend - they are very proud of what they each made and wanted to show off their handiwork. Very cool.
What fun projects do you like to do with your kids when it's too wet or miserable to go outside?
Related Posts You Might Like:
- Cord Weight/Strength/Cost Comparisons
- Turk's Head Knot Paracord Woggle
- Measuring Your Distance Using Strides
Disclosure: CobraBraid.com provided Brian's Backpacking Blog with some complementary paracord bracelet kits.