Children use familiar materials in a new way to design a collaborative, large scale mobile. They’ll explore concepts of balance and symmetry as they build their creation.
- Hula hoop
- String/fishing wire
- Metal sheets, plastic sheets, wood scraps, foil, other scrap materials
- Pre-cut shapes of cardstock (optional)
- Wire and wire cutters (optional)
- Hole punchers
- Find pictures of artist Alexander Calder’s famous mobiles, and share them as inspiration.
- To start the activity, hang the hula hoop from the ceiling using string or fishing wire. Be sure to hang it low enough that it will be within reach.
- Design and cut shapes from your selected materials.
- Work as a group to attach the shapes to the hula hoop using string, fishing wire, and/or wire.
Try these add-on activities:
- Challenge older children to create a non-symmetrical design with objects of different sizes and shapes on each side of the mobile. Can they find a way to place objects so that the mobile remains balanced?
- Invite younger children to notice how the weight of the object they add affects the movement of the mobile.
- Help children isolate different variables: what is it about an object that affects the way the sculpture balances? Is it color? Shape? Weight? Try removing variables by, for example, using only one color, or one shape, in a variety of materials.
- Try creating a large-scale sculpture from the ground up. Use the same materials from the mobile, but stack them on top of a base of foam or cardboard.
- To encourage collaboration, turn this into a game where each child gets their turn to add a shape of their choosing.