I got this idea from the fabulous Steven Caney's Toy Book, which I found at a thrift store a few years ago and on which I based almost my entire Toymaking Camp that I did last summer. I never did this project from the book, however. At the time, it seemed too hard, now I'm all about hammering and nailing and all that business. Anyway, we're going to be doing this in my carpentry class that starts this weekend. It's really simple and entertaining. This first one pictured is a fancied-up version that you can buy from Germany in a nice wooden toys catalogue. The second is obviously my more rough-and-tumble version, but it works. I had a big bag of those wierd little elastics that I once used many moons ago to weave potholders, when I was a kid (remember that?) but I actually think rubber bands would be better, they're stretchier. You could get some colored ones. This would be a great gift for a birthday party and your kid would love making it, I betcha. You could sand and oil the board and pretty it up a whole lot more than I did. You can also play a game where each person takes a turn stretching out a band to form a triangle. No band may overlap another triangle. The last person to successfully form a triangle without overlapping, wins. There's probably lots of different games you could think up with this thing. You could also make some cards with different designs on them, and challenge yourself or others to match the patterns.... the sky's the limit.
A board with nails pounded in it and some rubber bands, who'd a thunk it. Have fun! I'm kinda obsessed with it, myself.