Mobile Hanger

Lesson #12176

Hang around with insects, reptiles and crustaceans with this Mobile Hanger.

Building this mobile is a fun way to introduce engineering and science into the curriculum. Discuss the various habitats of the critters and where they are most often found. 

Students will use problem-solving skills to balance various creatures on the mobile arms. Adding additional pieces of paper to a shape or making the thread longer or shorter combines both engineering and problem-solving.

26151-LG-Ellison SureCut Die - Bug Combo - Large A11056-Sizzix Bigz Die Set - Pet Shop Flashcards (4 Die Set) A11236-Sizzix Bigz L Die - Mobile Hanger
Adhesive, Cardstock or construction paper, Chipboard or tagboard, Crayons, markers or pens, Ribbon, Scissors, Stickers, Thread
Adhesive, Cardstock or construction paper, Chipboard or tagboard, Crayons, markers or pens, Ribbon, Scissors, Stickers, Thread

The teacher will die-cut the materials for student use prior to the lesson.

  1. Die-cut the Mobile Hanger using chipboard or tagboard. 
  2. Cut a length of ribbon and fold in half. Tie the two ends together in a double knot, making a loop. The knot should be larger than the center hole in the hanger to prevent the ribbon from coming through the hole.
  3. Push the looped end of the ribbon through the center hole, and pull it snugly against the hanger bottom.
  4. Die-cut two each of the various critters using cardstock or construction paper for mirror images.
  5. Decorate the back side of one design and the front side of the other design with crayons, markers or pens.
  6. Cut long lengths of thread for each design. The extra-long thread is necessary to balance the shapes on the mobile by making the thread longer or shorter as needed. 
  7. Place adhesive on one design, and lay one end of a length of thread in the middle of the shape.
  8. Attach the second shape to the first shape, sandwiching the thread between the two shapes.
  9. Slide the thread through the holes in the mobile. To hold the thread in place while adjusting the balance, lightly place a small sticker over the hole (Figure A).
  10. Students need to engineer the threads so that all sides of the mobile are balanced (Main Photo).

  • Figure A

Fine Arts-Visual Arts
NA-VA.K-4.2 Using Knowledge of Structures and Functions
Achievement Standard:

  • Students use visual structures and functions of art to communicate ideas

NA-VA.K-4.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
Achievement Standard:

  • Students identify connections between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum


NS.K-4.3 Life Science
As a result of activities in grades K–4, all students should develop an understanding of

  • Organisms and environments


Science and Technology and Engineering Education
3.4 Technology and Engineering Education
3.4.C Technology and Engineering Design
Pennsylvania’s public schools shall teach, challenge and support every student to realize his or her maximum potential and to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to:
1 Design Attributes

  • Understand that there is no perfect design.


  • Recognize that requirements for a design include such factors as the desired elements and features of a product or system or the limits that are placed on the design.

2 Engineering Design

  • Describe the engineering design process: Define a problem. Generate ideas. Select a solution and test it. Make the item. Evaluate the item. Communicate the solution with others. Present the results.


NT-K-12.5 Technology Communications Tools

  • Students use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences.

NT-K-12.8 Technology Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Tools

  • Students use technology resources for solving problems and making informed decisions.
  • Students employ technology in the development of strategies for solving problems in the real world.


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