Monday, August 27, 2007

How to Make Your Own High Contrast Baby Mobile

From what I've been reading, mobiles are one of the greatest things you can get for your baby. Not only are they fascinated by them, and will look at them for hours, but they also stimulate your baby's development. One thing I read, said that by using a mobile over the crib, an infants brain connections can increase by 25%.

The best mobiles for baby's seem to be the so called "high contrast" black and white ones. Research shows that up until the fifth month, babies can only see in shades of gray. Because of this, high contrasting colors are what hold their interest, especially black and white (with possibly with a little red thrown in).

So of course, I would like to get one of these for our little Melody when she is born.

I can't go out and buy one from the store. The only kind of baby mobiles I can find here in Taiping are these cheap Chinese made plastic musical monstrosities, that would either give your baby lead poisoning, or break after you wind it up a couple of times. Definitely not what I am looking for. Instead, I bought a colorful wind chime.

Still, I want to get one of these cool high contrast baby mobiles for Melody. It is highly unlikely that there is a store even in Penang that sells something like them. Buying it online and having it shipped here? Please, be serious. The freight charges alone would kill you, that is, if they would even consider shipping it here in the first place. So it seems that the only way I am going to be able to get one of these cool mobiles for Melody is to make one myself.

So I set out on a webquest:

1. To find a site that will have high contrast images I can download and print out

2. And also tell me how to make the thing.

I found a couple of sites that fit the bill.

This site has some really great images in pdf format that you can download, and print out later. As for me, using the cranky computers we have in school, I found it easier to click on the images, save them to the desktop, then print them out. It also has simple instructions on how to put your mobile together. The images above are from this site.

For those who need more detailed instructions on how to build your high contrast baby mobile, there is this site, complete with step by step pictures. It is written by a guy who was challenged by his wife to build his own baby mobile in one afternoon. So I suppose if you have the time, it is possible to do.

This site has high contrast pictures of animals, like the ones you see at the right. It also has some instructions, but if you aren't that handy, you may want to look at the above mentioned website to get some idea of what you are doing.

I already printed out the black and white pictures I need. Some of the other stuff I have lying around the house. I'll have to look around for the cardboard and other things I'll need, but they shouldn't be too hard to find, even in Taiping.

I figure that I can build this after Melody is born, and I am on paternity leave. She'll probably be sleeping most of the time anyway, so this will give me something useful and creative to do. Trien will probably want to do her part, too. It should be fun to build something together for our daughter.

Only one problem though- I am trying to figure what I am going to use to hang it from. My idea is to buy one of those cheap Chinese musical mobiles, throw out the mobile, and just use the hanger. Hmmm . . . maybe I can get some use out of that cheap Chinese mobile after all. I can use it to terrorize the stupid cats that hang around here. That is, if Trien would let me!