I previously posted about the first two mobiles that are introduced to the newborn: the Munari and the Octahedron mobiles. The third mobile that the young infant is exposed to (somewhere around 6 weeks of age) is the Gobbi.
This beautiful mobile consists of five balls in five graded shades of one color. Its purpose is to further refine the child’s developing sense of sight by providing a slight change in tone from one ball to the next. The baby tracks the change of shades back and forth, and his eyes work on adjusting focus from the closest ball to the one that’s farthest away from his face.
The Gobbi is easy to make (but a little time consuming). You will need five styrofoam balls, which can be found at any craft store; a dowel; embroidery thread in five graded shades of the same color; and a very long embroidery needle.
With the dowel, make a hole through the center of each styrofoam ball. Wrap each ball in embroidery thread of one shade, making sure that it is entirely covered and no white shows through. When you’re done, string the balls onto the dowel with matching embroidery thread, making sure each ball hangs slightly longer than the previous, but equidistant from each other. The darkest one should have the longest thread (be closest to baby’s face) and the lightest the shortest. You can wrap the dowel in embroidery thread if you have any left over.
Hang the mobile about 12 inches from the baby’s face either near a window or near a fan so that it turns SLOWLY on its own.
How you present a material is just as important as how you make it. There is no need to direct the child’s attention to the mobile; he might not seem interested the first few times you place him under the mobile but with a little patience he will discover it and enjoy it for long periods of time. Make sure that you don’t interrupt or praise your baby while he is concentrating on the mobile (or any activity, for that matter). He doesn’t work for our approval, but for his own development. The joy of discovery is the only reward he wants and needs.
Here is the Gobbi in action: