Mobiles fascinate children, especially younger ones. Your preschooler or toddler will love creating a unique mobile and then blowing on or touching the pieces to make them move. Though there are some pretty fancy ready-made mobiles on the market, it would be a shame for your child to miss out on the opportunity to create a personalized masterpiece to display for family and visitors. Clothes hangers are about as cheap as you can get for a mobile base, and your resident junior artist can create some great things to attach to it.
Brighten up bedroom windows with sun-catcher mobiles your budding artist makes himself. Good transparent materials to draw on or cut shapes from include clear plastic lids, flat sides of juice bottles or clear transparency sheets. You can also help him press items like leaves or crayon bits between two sheets of waxed paper, or he can tape or glue some flat items inside plastic sandwich bags. Permanent markers or paint pens work best with plastics. Staple or tape each of the transparent items to one end of various lengths of fishing line, and tie the loose end of the lines onto a plastic or wire hanger.
Use a colored wire hanger and one or more sizes of paper clips for interesting mobiles. Preschool-aged kids who share a bedroom will love making a paper clip curtain for a room divider, or one preschooler can make one to hang in her doorway. Depending on the size of the room, the kids can make more than one mobile. All they need to do is hook a paper clip over the bottom of the hanger to start each chain. Tape the clip to keep it from sliding along the wire. Hook differently-colored paper clips to each other starting from each beginning paper clip to create a design. Your child can also hook a paper clip from one chain to another to connect the chains. Try connecting in several places along the paper clip curtain for an awesome design.
Toddlers and preschoolers can make a colorful mosaic mobile for their room or any space in the house. Copy some large coloring book or computer-generated pictures that don't have a lot of detail. Big, open pictures of cars, airplanes, princess crowns or animals work great. Encourage the preschoolers to tear or cut small pieces of colorful tissue paper to glue onto one side of the picture. You may need to help a toddler tear the tissue, or provide pre-cut pieces. When the first side is dry, have her turn over the shapes and cover the back side, too. Once the pictures are completed, use a hole punch at the top and use string or yarn to connect the creations to the clothes hanger at different heights.
Continue the Celebraton
Don't toss out those Mylar balloons after they have lost their air. Kids will love to make "leftovers" mobiles from birthday or holiday things, especially those with pictures of favorite cartoon or movie characters. Pull a wire hanger into a round shape, slit open the top of a deflated Mylar balloon, and slip it over the hanger, leaving the hooked end out so you can hang your mobile up. Tape the balloon up again so it won't slip off. The rest is up to your little one to decorate. Salvage some ribbon lengths and tape them to the bottom edge of the balloon. Then, he can cut pictures from greeting cards or wrapping paper. Tape these onto the loose ends of the ribbons. Also consider favorite Christmas ornaments, party hats or leftover decorations.