High Contrast Mobile

Duration: medium

Age: baby, parent

Skill for Bub: mind builder, hand/eye coordination, Just for fun


Mobiles are a budget friendly way to decorate your new baby’s room, and also provide valuable visual stimulation for your newborn. Baby’s eyes can only detect the large contrasts between light and dark, so high contrast patterns in black, white and red are ideal for capturing your child’s attention.

High contrast mobile hangs over crib

Make your own mobile out of pieces of black, white and red cardboard.

  • Cut the cardboard into square or circular shapes
  • Draw different geometric patterns (stripes, zigzags, spirals) on both surfaces of the cardboard (top and bottom). This can also be done on the computer, printed onto white paper and cut out and stuck on.
  • Punch a hole in the middle of the cardboard and thread through some coloured string (tying the end securely).
  • Hang it above your baby’s cot or change table.

Note: Remember your newborn can only see about 20 to 25 cm (the distance from your breast to your face), so hang the mobile close enough so he can see it!

This activity was contributed by Dr Cathrine Neilsen-Hewett, PhD, Consultant and Lecturer, Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University