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February 18, 2022

DIY High Contrast Montessori Inspired Mobile

It’s no secret that new babies love high contrast images. When they are born, a baby’s eye sight is pretty poorly developed. They can see only muted colors and only a few inches from their face. High contrast items are the easiest to see and therefore the most attractive. Montessori takes advantage of this fact and the first mobile in the visual mobile series - the Munari mobile - is high contrast and visually appealing for a newborn.

It also happens to be a bit tricky to balance and make yourself. While there are options to buy and make the mobile, eight years ago when I was getting ready to welcome Nora I decided I would make my own version of a high contrast mobile inspired by the Munari.

Fast forward to now and it’s been one of the most favorite mobiles we have. My babies have loved it. Many people have also made their own version and reported that their babies love it too.

Make Your Own Montessori Baby Inspired Mobile

To make this mobile you’ll need:
  • A 3” embroidery hoop
  • Embroidery thread, or similar string
  • Five 1.5” styrofoam balls
  • Black acrylic paint
The first thing I did was paint the balls with the paint with the paint. I choose simple geometric patterns for each of the balls. Some were stripes, one was half black, one was covered in dots, and the rest were combinations. I don't think it super matters how the balls are painted, only that they are high contrast between the white and black. 

Once the balls were dry, I used a large embroidery needle to thread the string through the ball with the knot on the bottom on the ball. That left the string coming through the top of the ball. Once the ball was on the string, I was able to wrap and tie the string around the inner circle of the embroidery hoop. 

I left the longest string about 10 inches down from the string. Then moving around the hoop in a circle, I continued to tie the other balls, evenly spaced, about one inch higher than the ball next to it. Once all the balls were on the inner hoop, I secured the outer hoop on top of it. Finally, using four strings tied around both the inner and outer hoops, I created a point to hang the mobile from. 

How to Introduce the Montessori Inspired Mobile

This mobile can then be hung about 12 inches off of the baby's chest. You can introduce this mobile from birth, but for my kids it has realistically been once they are a week or so old. I use this mobile during the times when they are happy and awake for a few minutes at a time. They use this mobile and the traditional Munari for the first several weeks of life. 

Just keep in mind that time under the mobile is an extra in those first days of life. There are much more important activities for newborns but for a few minutes every now and then this can be a great way to engage a baby and to start allowing them time on the floor to move and play. 

This easy DIY high contrast Montessori inspired mobile is perfect for newborns. This is a great first mobile for all newborns and Montessori babies

This post is Week 2 of my weekly Montessori Baby series focusing on Penelope! 


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