one of the other art activities we did this summer that both boys enjoyed a good deal was making calder-style hanging mobiles. I got the inspiration here. we started by reading two books about alexander calder….’sandy’s circus’ (which I highly recommend) and the alexander calder book from the “getting to know the world’s greatest artists” series. I like introducing the artist this way for our little art projects because otherwise I feel like the whole project comes out of nowhere and the books kind of drum up some enthusiasm. plus, I learn something, too!
then, I gathered out supplies. we used foam sheets for the hanging objects and 24 gauge wire to create the mobile structure and embroidery thread to attach the objects to the wire. the glue and modeling clay were out in case the boys were inspired to make calder-style circus characters or just start gluing together the foam sheets…I wanted to be ready in case they decided to take their art-making in a different direction, turns out they didn’t but you never know and nothing kills the artistic spark like a mom hunting around for missing supplies.
in fact, little J lost interest completely but enjoyed running around and watching C, but C was enthralled so this might be a good activity for a 5 year old in contrast to a 3 year old.
to make the mobile, I twisted the wire to create 7 loops from which C could attach six shapes and one strip of thread to use for hanging. he chose triangles, cut them out himself and poked a hole in them. I attached the thread to each shape and he dictated where each one was to hang. there wasn’t much balancing involved in making this sculpture because the shapes are so light and we could bend the wire to hang whichever way he wanted it to. but, I could imagine it would be relatively easy to add that dimension to the project to make it more educational.
he really liked his sculpture. it felt like very ‘real art’ to him and we hung them in our kitchen for a good month, letting them dance around moved by the motion of the life that happens there. for mama, that was the real art.