Our son is three and a half, so the finished quality of our heart mobile reflects both his skill level and that of his mother, because I am no craft genius. I think this would be fairly easily adaptable for different age levels.
Full disclosure, I got the idea from High Five magazine, the preschool version of Highlights for Children, which I remember from when I was a kid!1
Grandma subscribed to it for Mikko when he was 2, and she almost canceled it a year later when we told him he was just then beginning to really get it. No, no, we protested, he likes it now! And he really does. (And I like it, too, because it gives me good, simple ideas of activities like this to do with him!) It has hidden pictures, which he's surprisingly good at; silly pictures, where I'm always amused to see what he thinks is strange about the illustration (like, a horse going to the movies is fine, but a man wearing brown shoes? "They're too little!"); and plenty of opportunity to cut things. Mikko loves cutting things.
So this craft was perfect for us.
All you need is some construction or other suitable paper, scissors, glue, tape, and markers. Pretty much what you'd have around the home anyway, right?
Here's what our individual hearts look like:
This one was lots of fun. Mikko picked out the colors he wanted. I cut out the base heart in black. (If your craft skills are being refreshed after a long hiatus, let me remind you that it's easiest to cut a more-or-less symmetrical heart by folding the paper in half and cutting half a heart, then unfolding.) Then we both cut and tore scraps of other colors of paper to make a mosaic. Mikko wielded the glue.
This was the easiest heart (for me), because Mikko chose what markers to use on this white heart I'd cut out, and he decided on the pattern himself.
This guy was pretty fun to make. I had to cut out the main heart as well as the smaller ones for the eyes and nose. Because they're so simplistic, you're probably thinking Mikko cut the other pieces — um, nope. They were scraps that I just purloined and trimmed as needed. Gives it that preschooly vibe. And the big dark mark down the heart man's face? That was Mikko's finishing touch.
Your hearts can look like absolutely anything, of course! Have fun with stripes, polka dots, cut-outs, tissue paper, painting, chalk, whatever!
The one thing that cracked me up was how exactly Mikko wanted to follow the directions in the magazine, matching even the colors they'd chosen. I tried to convince him we could be a little more spontaneous (and use what we had on hand and could manage!), but I'm not sure he believed me.
When you've made all the hearts you want, simply tape them to a ribbon, yarn, or string, and hang your mobile up for display!
so I joined and popped in some links!
I also contacted them to see if they'd be interested
in sponsoring a subscription giveaway, as per
Maman A Droit's suggestion in the comments.
Keep your fingers crossed!
See my full disclosure policy here.