Friday, May 24, 2013

Kids' Found Object Mobile Tutorial

Kinetic art isn't just for adults, kids enjoy making and watching mobiles too. The Kids' Found Object Mobile Tutorial shows kids and parents how to make a cool piece of moving art from lightweight objects. This project can easily be adapted to suit young children or teens.

Found object kinetic art hanging mobile tutorial for kids

The Kids' Found Object Mobile is made from the bottom up. Construction begins with the bottom most arm. The bottom arm is then attached to the upper arm. This process of adding arms can be continued to make large mobiles. This tutorials shows the construction of a small 2 arm mobile. This size is good for a beginner learning the concepts of kinetic art.

If you intend for your mobile to hang outdoors , be sure to use weatherproof materials. Plastic and metal objects will be weather resistant. Some objects, such as cardboard shapes, can be painted for waterproofing. Some natural materials from your backyard are naturally weather resistant. Pine cones, leaves & seeds are all good options.

-sticks or pipe cleaners for arms
-ribbon, thread and/or fishing line
-lightweight found objects, such as beads, buttons, fabric flowers, small toys, etc
-paper or thin cardboard
-needle if using thread
Optional materials: hole punch, markers or paint

Begin by cutting out shapes from paper or cardboard. These shapes follow an ocean theme, but you can make any theme you can think of. You can decorate shapes with markers or paint. As an alternative, older kids could make paper airplanes.

Layout your pieces to decide how to hang objects. Cut shapes and found objects hang from a stick or pipe cleaner.

Tie or glue thread, ribbon or fishing line to your hanging pieces. More than one object can be hung from a single thread. Clear thread is used here to make objects appear to float. Young children should use ribbon or thicker string for ease of tying.

Tie ribbon or thread to stick or pipe cleaner to hang objects. Glue can be used as reinforcement. You now have a completed arm.

Attaching the lower arm to the upper arm begins with finding the lower arm's balance point. The balance point is the axis the arm with rotate around. Find the balance point by tying ribbon or string around the arm. Slide the ribbon up & down the arm until the arm is level. At the point where the arm hangs level, double knot the ribbon and add a dot of glue to reinforce.

Tie the lower arm to the upper arm & reinforce with glue. The lower arm can be attached anywhere on the upper arm.

Tie objects to the upper arm the same way as for the lower arm. Find the balance point and tie on a ribbon. This ribbon can be used to attach the mobile to the ceiling or a hook.

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