How to Make a Leaf Mobile
In this post I wanted to explore different ways of how to make a leaf mobile with children. A leaf mobile can be done with easier or more difficult versions, depending the childrens’ ages and abilities. For older children (about 10 years and up) really fine string or fishing line can be used. This will promote continued fine motor skill development, hand eye coordination, and dexterity. Using thicker string or twine makes it easier to do.
To make it easy enough for younger children to manage, have them glue leaves to cut out pieces of paper, hole punch and then tie a string through. Alternatively, with large leaves they can just hole punch a strong part of the leaf and tie the string through the hole (this will only work for thicker leaves). Either option makes it much easier for them to tie the string to the leaf piece and then tie the other end onto a stick. Again, this is a great way to encourage and support fine motor skills and scissor skills. Once the leaves are attached to strings they can then be tied onto a stick and hung up for display.
What you need to make a leaf mobile
- Glue stick
- Hole punch
Questions to ask
- Why did you choose that leaf/those leaves?
- Why did you arrange them this way?
- What could you do or add to make yours more interesting? e.g. For a challenge children can add additional rods (sticks) to hang leaves off on each side of the main stick (they would need to balance). This would require balance, and would make it more like “Kinetic Art” such as Alexander Calder’s mobiles.
What they get from making a leaf mobile
This is a fun way to get children to use and develop fine motor skills. Beyond this, this activity requires children to plan, evaluate and make decisions to create their piece of work based on aesthetic appeal. They also need to consider how to get their artwork to ‘balance’. If children make more complicated mobiles with additional rods (sticks), they will need to plan and adjust their work as they go along to ensure that all the different parts balance.
Take it further
Please see my post on Autumn Leaf Activities for Children for additional activities to do with leaves.
As discussed above there are a range of ways to make this activity easier or harder depending on the skills and abilities of the person doing it. Using different materials or setting different expectations can make it more or less difficult for children to do.