Make a Mobile!

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In this activity, learners make mobiles to explore the concepts of balance, counterbalance, weight, and counterweight. Learners are encouraged to work in groups or with their families to create balanced mobiles using a variety of materials of varying weights. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)

  • String, wire, fishing line
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Balance rod (can be wooden, PVC pipe, tree branch, coat hanger, etc.)
  • Scale to weigh objects
  • Recycled materials (plastic pop or salad dressing bottles, cardboard tubes, egg cartons, old magazines, etc.)
  • Art materials for decorating: markers, paper, foam shapes, colored tape, etc.
  • Natural materials (sticks, pinecones, dried flowers, shells, etc.)
  • Art materials (colored paper, yarn, small decorative items like beads, take out containers, trading cards, maps)


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, Chicago Children's Museum, 2010