Interactive Mobiles

The interactive mobile that I now have set up on the side of our dining table has 6 ribbons hanging down with bells attached to the ends. This is not however what it looked like when I first set it up and it took a couple of tries to reach this point.

Baby playing with bells tied to ribbons

Sometimes things that we think our children will like they don't. It could be for many reasons but I believe that it is usually just the wrong timing. Either the wrong timing in terms of the day, for example they are hungry or tired or just more fascinated with something else, or wrong timing in terms of their development, perhaps they would have liked it a month earlier or in another months time.

I don't think that just because something doesn't work the first time that you should give up on it. Try it again at a different time and perhaps they will like it, or do what I did, leave the activity out and accessible to them in hope that they will find their own way to it, make small changes along the way based on what you know your child likes until finally you capture their interest.

Baby sitting under table surrounded by ribbons

For us this activity started as ribbons hanging down the entire length of our table. I was inspired by Cardboard Sensory Boxes for Toddlers and Babies at 'Meri Cherry' and was sure my boy would enjoy playing with and crawling through a wall of ribbons. I didn't have a large cardboard box at the time so decided to make use of our dining table which has glass on top meaning I was quite happy to use sticky tape on it. I thought it looked awesome but my little man barely batted an eyelid, he picked up one ribbon but then crawled away, much more interested in chasing the pine cones across the floor that I used in our nature play Bringing Nature Inside. The pine cones had since opened and brought a whole new fascination with them. I decided to leave the ribbons there, hoping that he would find his way to them at some point, but he didn't, and after a day or so I decided to make the first change.

Baby crawling under a table

I had noticed that he had been chewing on things like crazy again as he was working on getting new teeth through. Ribbons just weren't the tactile experience he was looking for so I gathered all of his teethers and tied them to the ribbons. This peaked a little interest, he sat watching them swing, had a bit of a chew on them and then started chasing pine cones again, he never returned and so I needed to think again.

Baby sitting and watching a teether swing from a ribbon

I was looking for something that I could leave attached to our table so that he could go and play with it while we were in the kitchen, hoping to find something that he would continue to go back to so that he was occupied while I cooked dinner. Knowing that he loved noise I tried again and this time tied some bells to six of the ribbons and removed the rest. The bells are from our Christmas decorations and make a lovely sound not only when they ring but also when they are knocked into each other. This worked, this is what grabbed his attention and he has returned to it many times since.

Baby touching bells hanging from a table

He loves to make them bang together and has tried hitting them with other objects with differing success. Often I catch him just sitting back and watching them swing after he is done touching them. For my son this interactive mobile is just right, for your child it might not be, perhaps they will be more interested in just the ribbons, or perhaps with the teethers, or perhaps you will think of something else that is just perfect for them and gives you that little bit of quiet time while they are engaged!

If your baby is too young for interactive mobiles then be sure to read our post on visual mobiles.

Baby reaching for a bell attached to a mobile

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4 comments:

  1. I love this idea Alison! Definitely on my to do list. Lovely photographs of your gorgeous boy :)

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  2. Thanks Lauren! He's still loving those bells, glad I found something he liked!

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  3. I think Leo would love these now he is moving around more - I just need to find some larger bells as I can only find small ones. We have a glass top table too, so we might try the table idea also. Thanks Ali!

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