These are the mobiles we used with Alfred. I did make the segments to the traditional black and white munari mobile but never got around to hanging it. There are four traditional Montessori mobiles, in order of when they are used:
+Munari – black and white with a glass bauble. Presented around 3-6 weeks.
+ Octahedron – blue, red and gold holographic octahedrons. Presented around 5-8 weeks.
+ Gobbi – 5 spheres with an ombre colour affect from dark to light, as well as hanging from low to high. Presented around 7-10 weeks.
+ The Dancers – 4 holographic dancers hanging off 3 pieces of dowel. Presented around 8-12 weeks.
Below is a little on how I made and used them. I do want to note that while I lovingly made these, I found the first 0-3 months a fog of trying to figure out life as a new mum! Cuddles, feeding, sleeping, crying, changing nappies and getting through each day took the front seat and these took the back seat. When Alfred did lay under each mobile though his eyes would widen and he would kick his legs excitedly! If you asked me if its worth making or sourcing them, I would say – definitely.
I printed, glued and cut out the munari segments but never got around to hanging them. I used the PDF from this blog
The thought behind it: “The Munari Mobile is designed to capture the infant’s limited visual capabilities and stimulate her inherently mathematical mind and sense of order. Black and white contrasting colours and shapes follow a precise formula based on the size of the clear, glass sphere. The gentle counter-balanced rhythmic movement allows the infant to develop the skills of focusing on and tracking an object.” NAMC Infants Guide
The Octahedron mobile was the first mobile I made. To make it, I printed a net of an octahedron (link below) and glued it on to a piece of cardboard as a template. Then I traced around the net onto some some blue, red and gold holographic cardboard that I bought from officeworks. I cut each net out and used glue and double sided tape to glue them together. I used fishing line to hang them up onto a piece of dowel that I bought from the hardware store.
The thought behind it: When the infant begins to perceive colours it “helps lay the foundation for future geometric characteristics such as proportion, relationships and patterns. The reflective qualities promote active focus and concentration.” NAMC Infants Guide.
Traditionally, this mobile is made using thread and styrofoam balls. I hate the sound of styrofoam and thought it would be costly to buy all the thread so I immediately looked into other ways it could be made. Alfred was still very engaged and excited (leg kicking fun!) by this pom pom version. To make it you will need 5 shades of wool and a piece of dowel to hang it from. I cut out two donut shaped pieces of cardboard from a cereal box. I would highly recommend buying a pom pom maker (which are fairly cheap) because it would be so much quicker and you would would get more symmetrical shapes. Leave a very long tail after making each pom pom – this tail is then tied to the piece of dowel. Hang the darkest pom pom lowest and the lightest highest.
The thought behind it: “The spheres made of graded shades of colour are suitable as the infant starts to perceive more subtle variations of colour.” NAMC Infants Guide.
The Dancers mobile was my favourite to make. It was also the most fiddly. Alfred enjoyed this one but I think I introduced it slightly too late. To make this you will need:
+ Printed dancers templates
+ Cardboard (eg cereal box)
+ Holographic card
+ Dowel (1 x 30cm, 2 x 15cm)
+ Thread and/or fishing line
+ Hot glue gun (optional – you could use regular glue, it will just take long to dry)
+ Something sharp to piece the holes (eg needle)
1. Print the template, number each piece so you know what dancer it belongs to. Then, glue each sheet onto a piece of cardboard. Cut out the shapes, you now have your templates.
2. Glue two pieces of red, blue and silver holographic card back to back (or choose different colours). Then, trace around the templates, making sure to choose different colours for each head, arms and legs. Number each piece again!
3. Cut out the templates, pierce holes and then hang thick thread (I doubled some regular thread) between the holes. Use a hot glue gun to keep the thread in place (or try regular craft glue).
4. Using fishing line, hang two dancers from each 15cm piece of dowel (I put a little indent in each end of the dowel so the thread would get stuck in place), then hang those two pieces of dowel from the 30cm piece.
5. Lastly, hang the 30cm piece of dowel onto some fishing line. Voila!
The thought behind it: “The infants colour vision is almost fully developed at this age. The purpose of this mobile is to help the infant practice depth perception and to focus on dynamic, or moving, objects.” NAMC Infants Guide.
High Contrast Ribbons
This ribbon mobile was the quickest to make. It is not a traditional Montessori mobile but that doesn’t make it “unMontessori”. All you need is an embroidery hoop and some black and white ribbon (I added red too for fun). I got this idea from Olivia @fishies.in.a.row