Exploring mirrors with babies and toddlers
Mirrors help children develop self-awareness. For this reason, hanging a mirror at their level in your nursery represents a very interesting addition.
Of course, it is best to use an unbreakable mirror. However, since they can be quite expensive, you can simply stick clear adhesive paper behind a regular mirror. If it breaks into tiny pieces, at least they will be held together. You can also choose to stick adhesive paper directly on the mirror's surface, but children's reflection will of course be blurred somewhat.
Read on for simple activities that can be enjoyed in front of your mirror.
Paint the tip of your nose and let toddlers color the tip of their own nose. If you prefer, you can also press a large sticker on their body and encourage them to look at themselves in the mirror.
Provide washable markers, makeup pencils, or bathtub markers. Test them to make sure the marks are easy to wash off your mirror and let little ones "draw" on your mirror.
Fill a container with a variety of hats and scarves. Let children explore its contents in front of your mirror.
Sit children in front of your mirror, with their feet facing it. Tickle the bottoms of their feet. They will see you tickling their feet in the mirror. Tickle other parts of their body too, naming them one by one.
If you have a motorized toy, such as a car or boat, set it in front of the mirror. Children will enjoy playing with it while admiring their reflection.
Stick and unstick
Use a spray bottle to spray water on the mirror and provide foam shapes (normally used in the bathtub). Children will enjoy sticking them on the mirror and removing them repeatedly.
Use a spray bottle to spray water on the mirror. Cut large pieces of clear but colourful cellophane paper. Let children stick them on the mirror and remove them repeatedly.
Use adhesive paper to stick a few pictures or illustrations representing different silly faces or faces expressing a variety of emotions directly on your mirror. Invite older toddlers to reproduce the facial expressions.
Purchase several tiny unbreakable mirrors (like the ones used in school lockers). Babies will enjoy manipulating them and using them to admire their reflection. If you have toys that contain mirrors, add them to your bin.
Mirror on the floor
Set young children who enjoy lying on their tummy and can lift their head directly on your mirror, on the floor. Those who can crawl will enjoy crawling over the mirror.
If there are several babies in your group who are beginning to stand up, install a horizontal bar in front of your mirror. A large towel bar will do the trick. You can also use this bar to hang rattles or small toys for children to explore.
A little autonomy
To teach toddlers how to wash their face, provide them with the opportunity to do so in front of your mirror. This represents an interesting activity for little ones, especially after painting the tip of their nose for example!
Early childhood educator