Parents React
To Ban

Have your kids gotten in on the Silly Bandz craze? The $5 packs of rubber bands in the shapes of animals, letters and other fun items are worn on wrists like bracelets -- but educators say this fad has become a distraction, and they've been banned in many schools. What's the deal?

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What parents should know

Sill bandz

Like any fad, the interest in Silly Bandz is sure to come and go. But for now, kids are excited and interested in these bands. The cool shapes and bright colors are intriguing. They look funky on the wrist, but when you pull them off, they are clearly special shapes.

"I would encourage my child to not get too caught up in it. Keep it all in perspective, and don't spend too much money on it. Make sure trading activities stay within the school guidelines so the fad doesn't become a distraction. And remember that no Silly Bandz are worth fighting with friends about," says Tiemann.

Educational value?

It's important to note, as well, that the Bandz aren't all silly. In fact, the trading aspect can teach valuable skills. "I was interested to see how much time my daughter spent organizing her bands, and planning and strategizing about the best trades. I thought it was a pretty cool, concrete exercise in economics and social interaction. Kids can spend their own money on them, make their choices and trades, and see how they feel about their deals later. Sometimes they'll be happy, sometimes maybe they'll have buyer's regret, but it's a chance for them to play and explore with real-life interactions," says Tiemann.

Mom Robin Nolan of North Carolina agrees. "[They are a] great tool for teaching kids about generosity, trade, marketing and branding on an elementary level. Teachers should have embraced them [and] used them for math problems and learning," says Nolan. She did note, however, that her children's school banned them after unfair trading and broken trade promises occurred.

Tell us: What do you think? Are Silly Bandz just silly fun? Or should they be banned?

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Comments on "Silly Bandz: Fun or foolish?"

As a kid, I say.... February 29, 2012 | 11:57 AM

Well, I'm a kid too... anyways a couple years ago they were all the craze but now they are not... XD I bought a ton and I discovered that @ Wal-Mart each 24 pack was only 2 bucks. I was so happy! Back to the topic at hand. My school (in fourth grade) totally un-officially banned them after people were toying around with their bandz in class. But I traded w/ my friends and even w/ people I didn't really know that well and I have always gotten fair trades, and the people I traded with never complained to me. I guess my friends had similar experiences. So I agree that there should be regulations in place for trading and I think that students should relinquish their bandz at the start of class to the teacher. After class they could get it back, to avoid people playing with their bandz. So, yeah. That's basically my opinion!

Amanda July 06, 2010 | 7:36 AM

i have like 32 sillybandz i hthink they should be banded but they dont need 2 trede so i never trade cause itz a rule but at my skoool i go 2 a christian skool so there gonna band them and i hoe they dont cause if they do in not goging there any more

As A kid June 22, 2010 | 5:43 PM

Me, as a kid, at first thought these bracelets just down right weird. While I watched my friends going around having bracelets half way up their arms, trading, and showing off how cool these bracelets were got me into it. Our school hasn't banned it yet, but teachers do get mad. I don't think they should be banned. Kids learn more when trading. Looking ways to get a trade and having fun. I have a few and I still am learning how to trade. But they shouldn't be banned us kids are learning from trading. They do need trading rules though. They need to be fair for kids and for teachers and parents.

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