This is a fun, simple project that can be expanded or pared down to meet a number of skill and interest levels. It uses materials that you most likely have on hand already but, if not, there are plenty of substitutions that can be made. (See our list of substitutions at the end of the post.)
This project is suitable for all ages. However, younger children will need to be monitored and may need assistance.
With this project, each participant has full creative freedom. Each and every finished piece will, and should, look different. This example happened to be inspired by nature. However, if your child loves Pokemon and really wants to create a Pokemon mobile, encourage that. If your teenager is into drawing people, suggest that they create a family tree mobile filled with portraits of family members. Their drawings could be done in pen or pencil and you could go through family albums together, looking for images to use as references. The options are literally endless!
The materials used can be scaled up or down depending on what you have available to you and the skill level or interest of the participants. It can even be done with a different medium (crayons, markers, watercolors, colored pencils, etc.) on each panel. The point is to be creative and have fun!
-Cereal Box (flattened)
Decide on your subject matter. Your mobile can be about whatever you want! Some ideas are: nature, your favorite animals, your favorite colors, your favorite food, your friends from school, the things that are under your bed, etc.
Decide how many shapes you want your mobile to have and what shapes you want to use. Do you want to use all the same shape or a mixture of shapes? Do you want to use shapes that are recognizable (circles, squares, diamonds) or do you want to create your own shapes?
Using the crayons, draw your shapes on the blank side of the flattened cereal box. You might need to press hard in order for the colors of the crayons to be bright. Once you have the shapes drawn, fill them in with your ideas!
Next, you’ll need to cut your shapes out. You might need help here. If you do, that’s ok. If you don’t, cut out all of your shapes and move on to the next step.
Now you’ll need to decide how you want your mobile to hang. Decide which shapes will need to be connected by string. These are the shapes that will need holes punched in them. Some shapes will need two holes and others will need one. Shapes that connect two shapes together need a hole in the top and bottom. Shapes that are on the very top of your mobile and on the very bottom of your mobile only need one hole. Don’t forget to punch a hole in the top of your top shape so you can hang your mobile! If you do not have a hole punch, go on to the next step.
Cut your yarn in equal lengths. You’ll need enough to connect each of your shapes together and one more to hang the mobile. If you don’t have a hole punch, you can tape/glue/staple your yarn to the back of your shapes. (Additional substitutions at the end of the post.)
Hang your mobile up somewhere that you can see it!
Don’t forget to email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) photos of your final pieces and of you creating your mobiles so that we can see your work and post them!
List of Material Substitutions
Cereal Box: any kind of paper, any other similar box (pizza/popsicle/cracker), old paper back book covers
Crayons: watercolors, colored pencils, oil pastels, pens, pencils, markers, highlighters
Yarn: ribbon, wire, garden twine, sewing thread, shoelaces, thin strips of old cut-up t-shirts, strips of paper, strips of plastic grocery bags
Hole Punch: tape, stapler, glue, rubber cement, electrical tape, duct tape, candle wax (like a seal)