Sensory-rich activities: connecting people with the outdoors

Nature mobiles

Nature mobiles are a great way to bring the outdoors in. The activity can be repeated throughout the seasons and will always give you a different and interesting end result. The mobiles can easily be transformed into bird feeders which will look fantastic in the garden.

making a nature mobile

You will need

• 1 x large stick
• 3 x smaller sticks
• 3 x lengths of yarn (1 shorter than the others)
• 1 x length of ribbon for hanging

Method

1. Take the larger, thicker stick and tie the piece of ribbon around it to make a loop which will serve as your hook to hang the mobile up. The hook should now be facing upwards.

2. On the underside tie the three pieces of yarn equally spaced out along the stick with the shorter length in the middle.

3. You will now need to tie some loops in your lengths of yarn, this enables you to thread through your leaves, flowers, berries and anything else you find. By using the technique below to tie your loop you can re-use your yarn and add new items whenever you want.

4. Now tie the remaining three twigs around the ends of the hanging yarn in a horizontal position so that they can act as a perch for other nature materials (or birds).

5. If you would like to make your mobile a bird feeder try winding some garden twine around one of the bottom twigs/perches and threading on some dried or fresh fruit.

6. Don’t worry if your mobile doesn’t hang straight, you may need to move things around to balance it out. Have fun, try different materials and see what works best! Nature mobiles are really flexible and reusable. Just remove your nature items from the yarn and pull on both sides of the loop, this should undo the loop so that your basic structure is ready to be reused again. Why not try doing a new mobile as the seasons change, see if you can find different items to hang

instructions for tyying a knot in nature mobiles

Download the nature mobile instructions

Nature mobile instructions pdf (1070kb)

Links

Creative activities for carers - see more about how we're using activities with carers

Creative Spaces resources - find out how we're using dementia-friendly activities

Let Nature Feed Your Senses - see how we're using activities as part of sensory-rich visits to farms

Mindfulness and dementia

mindfulness for dementia activity

Find out how practicing simple mindfulness meditation can reduce some of the stresses associated with dementia.