A fascinating new trend in outdoor sculpture and garden additions is the outdoor mobile. There are numerous kinds of outdoor mobiles, but some of the most popular ones are wind chimes, nautical mobiles (with colourful fish, seashells or lighthouses), spinners, and sun catchers. Hang off the side of the house, a favourite tree, a deck or a porch. Place them in a garden. They aren't hard to make, and the entire family can enjoy them.
Kids of all ages love a wind chime. One of the simplest wind chimes to make is with old silverware. Kids love the clinking sound and can even help put the wind chime together. First, collect sticks of various lengths and sizes. Tie two sticks together (one longer than the other) with yarn or string. Add a long string -- about 15 inches -- tied to the middle to hang the mobile. Now just tie strings around spoons, knives and forks, and attach them to the sticks at different lengths.
Ocean-themed mobiles are usually a hit with kids. Mobiles made with real seashells, copper fish, or colourful mini lighthouses are a favourite of kids and can be an enjoyable remembrance of a family vacation. If you have shells already cleaned, just tie them together with string of different lengths and balance them on a pretty piece of driftwood or a branch, then hang.
Kids and adults alike can enjoy spinners. Make a fun spinner out of a 2-liter plastic bottle and watch it go. Attach an eye hook to the bottle cap, then add a ball-bearing swivel to the eye hook. Tie a string to the swivel to hang. Decorate the bottle, and hang some charms from the bottom. Cut vertical strips in the middle of the bottle with a craft knife to get some extra air. Press down on the top of the bottle to make the strips stick out, then crease each strip in the middle to make it flare out once you release the bottle. Screw on the lid and you're ready to go.
Sun Catcher Mobiles
Sun catchers create vibrant colour plays when the sun hits them. You can buy sun-catcher kits at any hobby shop. Let the kids paint several sun catchers, then string them onto a branch at different lengths. Hang them outside where the sun can easily hit them. The painted areas will reflect pretty, coloured light shapes onto the deck or patio.