Published January 27, 2011 by
Babies need interesting things to look at. It’s been proven that a mobile situated where baby can see it will help the new baby engage in her world. You can easily make a creative mobile that hangs over your child’s crib or play mat. Store-bought mobiles are sure cute, but they can also be pricey. With just a few simple materials, you can craft a mobile that will keep your baby’s attention for hours.
You’ll need some basic things no matter what type of mobile you choose to make, such as wooden dowels, a ceiling hook, sturdy string or yarn, and cardboard or paper. Keep scissors and glue on hand as well.
First, take a look at some store-bought mobiles online. Get a feel for what’s being sold. Then, pick a base to start with. Using wooden dowels that criss-cross are safer than the traditional coat hanger method used in the past. And be sure you have a way to secure your mobile to the ceiling or crib so that it will not fall.
There is a great site http://www.sleepingbaby.net/jan/Baby/mobile.html that offers patterns for mobiles that are proven to grab a young baby’s attention. Young infants like to look at bold patterns and colors like black, white, and red. Until they are older, these will be the easiest for them to see and recognize. So choose swirls, circles, squares, and dots.
Choose a pattern and print it out. Instructions are included and are very detailed.
Picking the theme for your mobile can be really fun. Do you want the individual shapes that hang to be two- or three-dimensional? Should they be teddy bears, circus animals, or cars? Match them to your child’s nursery theme or create something out of your favorite childhood story book. Cut out shapes that will serve as your focal points on the mobile. Choose to make flat shapes like squares, or 3D animals that stand out.
The 2-D designs are easy. Just glue a design to a piece of foam board or cardboard, and then attach it by string to the mobile. Hot glue works best for the attaching as it dries fast and makes a quick connection.
You can choose to make all ponies or butterflies (or any animal) out of felt, stuffing, and glue. Draw a shape on felt and cut out two identical pieces. Using a glue gun, glue around the edges of the felt leaving one portion open. Stuff with fiberfill or raw beans. Seal the opening with more glue. When the animals have had time to dry, create a yarn loop to secure them to their hanging strings. You can do this by hot gluing a loop of yarn to the top or back of each one. Remember, baby will be lying down looking up, so you want the animals to face her.
Securely tie string or yarn to the ends of the criss-crossed wooden dowel. Knot the yarn through the loop on the animal and you’ve got yourself a mobile. All you need to do is hang it from the ceiling with a hook. You can find hooks at home supply or hardware stores. Make sure it’s secure and not so low that baby can pull it down.
Watching your baby enjoy a mobile you made yourself is fun and exciting!