--> The Octahedron mobile is the second mobile in the Visual Mobile Series and it is probably the easiest to make yourself (the first is the Munari Mobile). Most of my crafting goodness takes place after lights out so I'm sorry that the pictures are a little dark :)
But first a reminder of why these mobiles are offered to babies in order and what the benefits are:
"For the first few months, a mobile over the child-bed helps to develop the baby's abilities to explore the world visually. The baby gradually develops focus on a moving object, tracking of an object, and perception of colour and depth. The mobile is changed every two weeks or so to accommodate the infant's habituation to that particular mobile and to match her progressive visual development. Hence, the first mobile portrays flat, black and white geometric shapes and reflected light from a glass sphere. Subsequent ones are introduced in ordered sequence: three octahedrons of coloured metallic paper, ideally each in a primary colour; five Styrofoam balls covered with embroidery thread in gradations of the same colour and hung in ascending order from darkest to lightest; stylized paper figurines of light metallic coloured paper that move with the slightest current of air; and finally, stylized wooden figures painted in pastel colours" (Montessori From the Start)
An octahedron (plural: octahedra) is a polyhedron with eight faces. A regular octahedron is a Platonic solid composed of eight equilateral triangles, four of which meet at each vertex.
To make the Octahedron mobile all you need is 3 sheets of metallic or holographic card (red, gold and blue), some invisible thread and a wooden dowel with a 6mm diameter (this dimension is not essential).
Draw an unfolded octahedron onto the back of each piece of card with a pencil. Thissite has a template that you can print onto paper, cut out and draw around onto the card.
The next step is to cut out the octahedron shape and score along the fold lines. It is important to score these sides well to get a crisp finish to the shape so I used a scoring adaptor on my paper cutter. An alternative is to use a ruler and the back of a craft knife.
Place double sided tape onto the tabs and cut to size. This tape goes on the metallic side of the card (I did it wrong first time).
Then just take the backing off the double sided tape and fold up the shapes as shown above. Take care to line up all the edges well to avoid gaps.
Just before you close the last side of the octahedron insert the end of a length of nylon thread with a knot tied in the end. This knot then sits inside to stop the thread pulling out.
Assemble the mobile and add a length of thread to hang it. Do this in whatever way works best for you. If you don't have a wooden dowel how about hanging the octahedron from a wire coat hanger?
If you want to know which mobiles to offer at what age take a look at this post and if you want ideas for how to hang them look here.
And last but not least here is Henry (6 weeks) enjoying his mobile. I hung his quite low down close to him (but not in reach) and he studied it very intensely and giggled with delight if it moved slightly with a breeze.
Next up is the Gobbi Mobile!. g.net/