Mobile Bird Hangings - MetroFamily Magazine
MetroFamily Magazine

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Mobile Bird Hangings

by Heather White and Katherine Hickney

Decorate your walls with beautiful, delicate Scissor-tail mobiles!

Vocabulary and concepts:

  • Process
  • Open-ended
  • Material exploration

Supplies:

  • Short branch
  • String
  • 3 white paper plates
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Markers, crayons, paint, glitter

Editor’s note: This project is the second in a three-month series by this dynamic duo, featuring process-based, open-ended art projects that can be modified for all age groups. Projects include simple, straightforward instructions, use easily available and affordable materials and encourage kids to move, create, explore and play. Heather White is an art teacher, museum educator and inclusion specialist. Katherine Hickey is a children’s librarian.

Adults: As we celebrate Oklahoma’s statehood day on Nov. 16, talk to your child about Scissor-tailed Flycatchers and their importance as the Oklahoma state bird. Look up pictures online and talk about the bird’s shape, tail and colors. Research where they live, what they eat and where they are most likely to perch.

Discuss together: Why do you think this bird is called a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher? What kinds of birds do you see around our neighborhood?

1. Print out a picture of a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. Fold one of the paper plates in half and copy the outline of the Scissor-tail as seen in the picture. Use scissors to cut out the shape. Repeat with the two other plates. If your child is old enough to trace and cut, they can complete this step on their own. The three birds don’t have to be the same size; feel free to mix them up and create a large, medium and small bird. Here is an easy-to-use, downloadable template.

2. Use markers, crayons, paint and/or glitter to decorate the three birds. Younger children can fill the white space with scribbles and lines, while older children can replicate the shape of feathers and patterns found in nature.

3. Punch a hole at the top of the birds’ wings. Pull a piece of string through the hole, tie it in a knot and fasten the string to the branch. Repeat with the other birds. You can change the length of the string for each bird so they are staggered in flight.

4. Tie a piece of string across the top of the branch so it can be hung up.

5. Where will you place your bird hanging to remind you of Oklahoma’s birthday? Which bird is your favorite and why?

Adapt the project in whatever way works best for your family, then share your family’s art on social media with our hashtag #okcfamilyart. We’ll share as many as we can via our social channels. We can’t wait to see the art you create together! For even more artistic inspirations, check out the first article in our Creator Space series, with Heather White and Katherine Hickey.