Balance Toys

Balance Toys: Creating Whimsical Sculptures

In this hands-on workshop, we’ll explore balance and the center of gravity to create whimsical sculptures using simple, everyday materials, doing our best to use the same tricks that Alexander Calder did with his stunning mobiles in the 1930s–70s. Our tinkering will also help us understand how the incredibly tall tower cranes at construction sites can lift heavy loads without toppling. This workshop will provide plenty of opportunities to be creative, experimental, and whimsical as we explore the physics of balance. Take a look at this introductory video.


  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Boxboard (thin cardboard)
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • String
  • Paper clips or coins
  • Pencil with an eraser
  • Clay or aluminum foil

Optional materials: 

  • Markers
  • X-acto knife
  • Glue


What's on!