Children have always had crazes, where suddenly something sweeps through the playground like a tornado and everyone is obsessed. I remember as a child a craze of conkers (this still causes great excitement during Autumn every year) and cats cradle (where basically you tried not to get tangled up in string). However, if you work in a school you will understand how these fads can drive you absolutely crazy.
Bottle flipping– THE current craze. The obsession of throwing a bottle half full of water so it lands upright is particularly annoying, especially when you see out of the corner of your eye the bottle spinning, like it’s in slow motion before you can shout PUT THAT BOTTLE AWAY! I am sure now the children don’t even realise they are doing this, it’s become an involuntary action. Like most fads spoilsport schools have tried to ban this craze but I’ve even seen children improvise by using a cylindrical pencil case, in a crowded classroom during an indoor break. You’ve got to give them points for effort.
Loom bands- A couple of years ago miniscule coloured elastic bands swept the nation and everyone went crazy making bracelets. Classroom carpets were scattered with these loops and no matter how much you nagged for them to be picked up, they seemed to multiply. This fad finished as quickly as it started and surplus stock meant months later shops had to dramatically reduce the price of these tarted up elastic bands to just get rid of them.
Cards/ stickers– Whether it’s football or Pokemon, you will see groups of children huddled in corners searching through hundreds of cards, then when the bell goes they are stuffed lovingly back into pockets (or I have recently discovered packed into specially made tins). The cycle usually follows the same pattern every year…
- A few cards appear at school.
- Other children quickly follow the craze and the collections grow.
- There always that one child who has about 100 cards within a week.
- Someone realises a card has gone missing, a massive search begins, the card never appears and the devastated child goes home distraught.
- The cards are banned- end of the craze for that year.
- The following year it starts all over again.
Yoyos- This final fad is so crazy the Simpsons created a whole episode around it, they probably were visited by the same ‘Yoyo Man’ as my school. Basically one cool looking American guy rocked up and put on a free performance for the school- which was spectacular with yoyos flying in every direction and tricks galore. Of course it was an elaborate marketing gimmick as he sold hundreds of yoyos after the show and I am not kidding the next day nearly every child was armed with a yoyo. What tickled me was the hard core group of Year 6 boys who abandoned their precious game of football for a whole week, as they clustered together showing off the tricks they had learnt.
This begs the question why on earth am I wasting my time writing this blog? I should be out there inventing the new craze to sweep the nation, it could make me a fortune.