A short video showing the Munari Mobile in action (42 seconds)

This post provides a historical overview of the “Munari Mobile” as well as a template and instructions for making your own.

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Our homemade Munari Mobile – scroll below for template & tutorial

The “Munari Mobile” was one of mobiles designed between the 1930s and 1970s by Italian artist Bruno Munari. His mobiles featured simple, bold, and geometric shapes, bearing many similarities to many of Montessori’s infant and toddler sensorial materials.

The Munari Mobile is often used in Montessori infant spaces and valued for its high-contrast, visually stimulating qualities. It is the perfect mobile for newborns who are just learning to discriminate shapes and track moving objects with their eyes.

Enjoying the Munari Mobile at 4 weeks old

Bruno Munari wrote about this particular mobile in the preface of his book, Design as Art (which you can preview for free on Google Books). This mobile was used a way to illustrate some of the basic principles, including the mathematical ones, that he employed in some of his mobile’s designs:

Bruno Munari’s own drawing of the Munari Mobile
Bruno Munari’s diagram of how the Munari Mobile is hung

Here are just some of the other mobiles he created during his lifetime:

Like Maria Montessori, Bruno Munari was considered a visionary and noted contributor to visual and non-visual arts. He was also interested in the development of creativity and imagination through childhood play, adding one more point of connection with Maria Montessori.

The Montessori- Munari Connection

Many of Munari’s design principles mirrored those of Montessori. An exhibit called “Touching Beauty” is one of the first to highlight these principles and how they were applied by both Montessori and Munari in their design and work. The exhibit is open from November 2019 to March 2020. If you’re anywhere near Ancora, Italy between now and March, check out out!

Here’s a snapshot of the exhibit – looks so much fun!

The “Touching Beauty” exhibit in Ancora, Italy highlights the design principles of Bruno Munari and the philosophy and materials of Maria Montessori (November 2019-March 2020)

Make Your Own

The Munari Mobile is traditionally made by hand in teacher training classes. If you’re not that crafty or are limited by time, you can also purchase your own Munari Mobile on sites like etsy or amazon.

You can easily make your own out of paper, felt, or foamboard, as well as dowels, thread, and a transparent sphere (glass is preferred, but many people use plastic for safety reasons).

After making this mobile a few different ways, I have come to prefer making it out of a printed template and cutting it out of foam board (as opposed to hand-cutting or painting paper or felt).

Using a printed template makes the shapes precise; the foam board makes it sturdy. I used the thinnest dowel rods I could find as they are easy to trim with scissors.

The final result – printed cut outs, foam board, painted dowel rods, and a glass ornament

Download the template for this mobile at the link below:

Download the Munari Mobile Template here

Good luck!

P.S. I recently came across this mobile photo hanger on Amazon and am interested in using this for a future mobile, like this one from Jen Geigly Knits.

Have you ever made your own mobile? What did you make? How did it turn out?

The Montessori Munari Mobile

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