Hi all. Day 22 of our 30 Days to Transform Your Play series and we are talking about mirrors.
Over the last few years I have seen more and more people incorporating mirrors into their children’s play. Questions have gone from why are you using mirrors? and aren’t you afraid your child will break them? to where do you buy your mirrors and how can I use them more effectively?
For today’s post I thought I would talk a little about incorporating mirrors in your child’s play along some of the ways we use mirrors most effectively.
I have written about mirrors a few times before; this post on Using Mirrors, this one on enhancing play with mirrors and this one on Mirrors & Buttons for Sarah (which is one of my most popular posts) when she was only 15 months old.
Here’s a little something I wrote in that post:
“One of the first things I noticed when we started going to our Reggio-inspired playgroup was the use of mirrors. Not just in the dress-up corner but in all corners of the room; on the tables with the activities, on the ceiling, behind plants and down low on the walls. They looked beautiful, but with all things Reggio, they had to have a purpose. Everything in the Reggio-inspired environment is carefully considered.
Then I started to notice the children interact with the mirrors. They move beyond admiring their own reflection in different funny wigs and start to see how different objects appear when reflected in the mirror. They start to use objects differently; they use the mirror as part of their play and their inquiry.
In the block corner, suddenly another side is visible, the children will look at what they are building not only from the front but also as it is reflected in the mirror; you can see them thinking as they consider this other dimension to their play.
When a mirror is offered as part of an art experience, say underneath a lump of clay, the children work differently than when the clay is placed on a tile. The mirror becomes a part of what they are creating. I have noticed Jack making joining towers as he called them, using small pieces of clay and then the reflection to make the two towers join…” keep reading
Since writing this post, using mirrors in Jack and Sarah’s explorations (including art) has become second nature; I am always reaching for a mirror to complete the set-up.
You can use a mirror:
- underneath a subject in an observational art set-up
- behind toys on your play shelves to reflect the light back and emphasis the material
- up against a wall for an art exploration
- low on a wall with a simple play mat for an infant
- underneath a ball of playdough
- in a block corner
- underneath materials for exploration (like this exploration of rocks & minerals)
- underneath a collection of transparent loose parts
- as surface for painting
- as a surface for creating patterns and math/literacy work
- low on a wall behind a small world set-up
- underneath materials on the play shelves
and here’s a little inspiration for you…