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5 reasons why mirror play is important for babies

Mar 27, 2024

Seeing their own reflection in a mirror is magical and wonderous for babies. Do they recognise themselves? The awe and wonder of what else is reflected in the mirror, perhaps a parent, a favourite toy and their surroundings. Taking mirrors outdoors adds another dimension such as the trees, flora and fauna, the sky and clouds are also all reflected magically in the mirror. Babies will gaze for a long time into a mirror tray for example - trying to touch what they can see.

5 reasons why mirror play is important for babies:

1. Helping to develop visual senses

 

2. Encouraging gross motor movement - inspiring babies to reach and touch

Add some nature to a mirror tray, or droplets of water. This encourages sensory exploration, inviting them to reach out and touch the mirror and the items. Why not put on some music and have a little dance with your baby in front of the mirror. This is a fun way to encourage movement and coordination.

3. Developing a sense of self

Babies will start to recognise themselves in the mirrors, smiling at a parent or carer in the mirror, watching themselves. Let your baby touch and explore their reflection in the mirror. This helps them understand the concept of reflection and develop their sense of self-awareness. Encourage your baby to look at themselves in the mirror by pointing to their reflection and saying their name or using simple phrases like "Look, that's you!"

4. Strengthening Facial muscles

Babies love to watch their reflection and expressions in a mirror; smiling and laughing, perhaps even seeing themselves cry, stopping to wonder perhaps why that baby is crying!

5. Aiding social and language development

Sing songs or talk to your baby while looking at each other in the mirror. This helps babies associate sounds with facial expressions and enhances their language development. Make silly faces or exaggerated expressions in the mirror. Babies often find this amusing and may try to imitate your expressions.

Secure and Safe Setup: Ensure that the mirror is securely attached to a wall or placed on the floor in a stable position. Make sure it's a safe, child-friendly mirror with rounded edges and no sharp parts.

Positive Reinforcement: Praise and encourage your baby's interactions with the mirror. Positive reinforcement helps reinforce their curiosity and confidence.

Remember to always supervise your baby during mirror play to ensure their safety. Mirror play is not only enjoyable for babies but also provides valuable opportunities for learning and development.

With thanks to Emily from Little Nature Tots Outdoor Playgroup based in Nottinghamshire for these wonderful ideas and images.
(FB: Nature Tots ) (Instagram: Little Nature Tots Playgroup  )

Share your mirror play activities with me over on our social media channels - find me on Instagram and Facebook @hyggeintheearlyyears

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