Using a mirrored surface for sensory play is a fun and exciting way for toddlers and preschoolers to explore and examine small items in a way that they haven’t before.
You can see all of our mirror play activities here.
Earlier this week, I did something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. We enjoyed some sensory play on a mirror, and it was very, VERY cool.
On this day, the hooligans were merely investigating a variety of natural items with tongs and tweezers, but placing the materials on top of a mirror added an entirely new perspective to a rather ordinary type of activity.
The mirror that we used is one that normally hangs in the dress up area of our craft-room. It”s slightly smaller than the average full-length mirror, and it has a wooden frame around it. I simply set the mirror on the second-hand coffee-table that we use as a craft and activity table. It probably goes without saying, but just to be safe, I feel the need to say: be sure to place your mirror on a table or flat surface that completely supports it. You don’t want your child leaning or stepping on it and shattering the glass.
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I provided the hooligans with a tray full of natural items:
- coffee beans (they were stale, and headed for the compost bin)
- dyed pasta (recipe here)
- polished stones
- natural beach rocks
- corn kernels (we’ve been playing with these for a year now)
I had all of the items arranged in a wooden “Lazy Susan” and I provided an assortment of tools for the hooligans to examine them with: tweezers, tongs, scoops, wooden bowls and a magnifying glass.
The hooligans began by sprinkling and scattering handfuls of the goodies across the mirror just as I expected them to do.
But what happened next was not so ordinary. They noticed something; they noticed that the sky was underneath them!
And then they noticed the clouds, and that the reflection changed as the clouds moved across the sky.
And later when I moved the table underneath the tree, the littlest one said “ohhh, leaves!” when she looked down into the mirror.
I can’t describe how strange it was to look down only to find yourself looking up into the branches and leaves of our massive maple tree. I’ve definitely never looked at the tree in quite the same way before. It literally gave us a new perspective.
And of course, they noticed themselves. They got a real charge out of seeing themselves and each other looking back at them from their play surface.
The frame around the mirror contained all of the objects on the mirror, and they seemed to know this, and they pushed and plowed all of the goodies around the table, knowing that they wouldn’t spill off the edges.
And the sound of the pasta, stones, buttons and kernels clattering around on the glass was wonderful.
I hope you’ll try this one. It’s one of those things that you have to experience first-hand to really appreciate. Don’t worry if you don’t have a full-length mirror. Any picture frame type mirror will do. Even a hand mirror would provide your child with an interesting surface to play on!
More Ways to Use a Mirror for Preschool Activities:
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.