Moonlit Mobile Activity

Designed to encourage creative exploration and experimentation, this activity will walk you through finding inspiration in the sky and creating a moonlit mobile. For this project, we are going to look up and imagine the moon looking back at us. Then, we will make a two-sided creation that will hang in our home and rotate as it shows off our visions of the moon and what could be seen from the moon’s perspective.

Follow along using the video demonstration above or instructions below. You can also download the lesson plan.



  • Two different sizes of round shapes to trace (plates or pot lids, for example) 

  • Watercolor paper or heavy cardstock in white and assorted colors (cardboard from a colorful cereal box or other packaging would also work) 

  • Watercolor or colored ink 

  • Soft watercolor brushes  

  • Container for water 

  • Paper towels 

  • Glue stick 

  • Scissors  

  • Hole punch 

  • String or ribbon 

  • Pencil and eraser (optional) 


Activity Instructions

  1. Prepare your materials:

    • Trace the small round shape on the white paper to create a small circle. 

    • Trace the large round shape on your colored paper to create a larger circle. 

    • Cut out both shapes and set the scraps aside. Tip: This is a trace-and-cut step that is a fun process to do with an art partner. One person can hold the template down while the other traces. One person can also do the cutting while the other traces, or you can take turns cutting.

  2. Brainstorm together about the moon: 

    • Do you have a favorite phase of the moon? 

    • What does moonlight look like? 

    • What does the moon shine down on? 

    • How does moonlight affect what it shines on?  

    • What shares the night sky with the moon? 

  3. Choose one of your brainstorming ideas to paint on your moon (the small white circle). 

  4. Sketch in your idea with pencil first, if desired. Then, add color with paint. Or you can start by painting directly on the white circle. Tip: Perhaps one person sketches and the other person paints, or you could switch back and forth. Also, you can brush clean water onto your paper first before adding color to create a fuzzier edge, as well as colors that bleed and mix freely together.

  5. When you reach a stopping point, let your painting dry for a moment and then use a glue stick to attach it to the large circle.  

  6. Optional: Take a look at the other side of your artwork. This artwork will spin when displayed so decorating the back of the large circle is a great next step. Using the paper scraps you set aside earlier, tear or cut shapes that you imagine for the sky. Glue these shapes onto your work with your art partner, or use paint to express your idea.  

  7. After you finish your second side, set it aside to dry if needed. 

  8. Punch a hole at the top of the circle. If you do not have a hole punch, you can use tape for the next step. 

  9. Tie a long ribbon or string through the hole. If using tape, be sure to tape the ribbon or string to the top of your circle. Hang your creation anywhere that it can move freely and slowly rotate. 

  10. Now take a moment to observe your artwork with your art partner. What do you notice as you watch your work spin slowly? What do you notice? When you step back away from your creation, what do you see?