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Muddy Faces

Autumn hanging mobile

A simple autumnal activity to remind you of the season and all its glorious colours. Slightly different technique to our leaf mobile.

Art & Creating


A great activity that can be done at any time of the year. Perfect to help develop fine motor control with threading and fun too!

* Muddy Faces actively promotes child-led outdoor play & learning. We recognise and believe in the curiosity that children have and their drive to explore and discover. We hope that you will bear this in mind when considering more prescribed activities like this one - often much more creative ideas will occur if resources are simply provided and children are given the time and space to explore independently.

What you'll need

  • cotton thread/string
  • natural materials
  • collecting basket
  • sticks
  • willow whip
  • softwood hand drill/palm drill

This activity has been provided by

Useful items from our shop

Item available from our shop

Environmental Considerations

Consider the environmental impact of preparing, carrying out & completing this activity. Could this impact be reduced? Specific considerations for this activity could include:

  • source of natural materials

Health & Safety Considerations

Follow your usual operating procedures and carry out appropriate risk benefit assessments.
Some considerations particular to this activity include:

  • collecting natural materials
  • tool use
Art & Creating

Step #1

Collect your natural materials.
Children love to use a basket or wooden box for this.

Art & Creating

Step #2

Use a palm drill to make holes in any larger materials collected.

See our Guide to palm drills for more detailed information on using a palm drill.

Art & Creating

Step #3

Cut a piece of cotton to the length of the decoration you require.

Thread the cotton onto one of the needles.

Art & Creating

Step #4

Begin by threading a large item, conkers or acorns are ideal, onto the end of your cotton.

Fix the object by bringing the thread around the outside of the object and back onto the strand of cotton – this way the object can’t slip off a knot simply tied on the end.

Art & Creating

Step #5

Once you’ve threaded your autumnal treasures onto the cotton finish off with a simple loop at the top to hang it from.

Take It Further:

  • make 4 or 5 more decoration strands and attach them to a willow hoop or “X” shape of wood to make an autumnal mobile
  • try different seasons to see how your treasures change.

Autumn Hanging Mobile activity - free pdf download

This version of the activity appeared in issue 3 of the Outdoor Practitioner - our free online magazine - Autumn 2021.

Autumn hanging mobile

pdf, 381.52 KB

Disclaimer: Muddy Faces cannot take any responsibility for accidents or damage that occurs as a result of following this activity.You are responsible for making sure the activity is conducted safely.

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