Family-mobiles

Make moving memories with your preschooler’s creativity, shapes and color! These easy, twirly sculptures grow social, science learning and more!

 
MATERIALS - click to buy
  1. Selection of magazines, catalogs, grocery store circulars - A few days of “junk mail” is the perfect source for this material.
  2. Scissors - for Adults only! For your 3’s or 4’s who can cut with scissors, use child-safe scissors like these on Amazon.com. 
  3. Clothes hangers - Use whatever kind you have on hand that have a triangular base. Plastic, wire or wood hangers all work well.
  4. Colorful yarn or cotton string like this example - Adults, cut into pieces about 5 to 8 inches long. You’ll need at least 2 pieces per family member. 
  5. Construction paper found here for colorful backgrounds - Cut into small shapes like squares, triangles, circles, about 3 inches in size. Adults, you can do this in advance or your 4’s can help with this. You’ll need at least 2 shapes per family member. If you don't have construction paper, double up on thinner papers, like copy paper to give them a bit of weight.
  6. Disappearing glue sticks work best or Elmer’s All Purpose glue or tape will do too!
HOW TO
  1. Skilly Spark: Let’s talk about our family. Each member likes and cares about different things, don’t they? Can you remember what your sister’s or brother’s favorite foods are? How about their favorite things to play with? And what about Dad? What are his favorite things? Now, we’re going to make a special picture of our whole family, called a mobile! We’ll use this hanger to hang their favorite things so it can move around in the air and show everyone what our family cares about!
  2. Start by asking your little one to choose one family member to begin with.
  3. Then, encourage your preschooler to look through your magazines and catalogues to find 2 pictures of this family member’s favorite things. They can tear or cut out these pictures.
  4. Next, ask your little one to choose two of the construction paper shapes to glue their pictures on. Adults, you can trim these pictures to fit on the construction paper shapes or leave them as is, your choice!
  5. Repeat this process for each family member or until your child’s attention ends. If you have a small family with one or two members, go ahead and encourage your little one to continue cutting out pictures until there are at least 6 favorite-things cut out per family member.
  6. Adults, use your scissors to make a hole in the top of each of the construction paper pieces.
  7. Put a piece of string through the hole and tie a knot near the string’s end. Some 4’s may be able to help you do this if they know how to tie a knot.
  8. Ask your little one where they want to hang each shape on the hanger. Then, lie your hanger on a flat surface, tie the strings onto it’s base, and there’s your family-mobile!
  9. Hang your family-mobile in a place where everyone can see it in motion, like on a kitchen cabinet or door knob, ceiling light, or on the front porch!
Keep the fun going
  • Try a Me-mobile - Cut, paste and hang pictures what your preschooler's cares about!
  • Then, how about a Story-mobile? Choose a favorite book character or, for 3-year-olds and up, make up a story using the cut-out pictures.
  • Re-gift and re-use! Use your family-mobile pieces to make Christmas tree ornaments, bookmarks, or hang in your windows as sun-catchers.