Our SUPERbaby play series focuses on simple, playful ideas you can use with the youngest of children to have fun and encourage them to develop important early learning skills. The emphasis is on ideas you can easily fit into a busy week, using materials you’ll have around your home. This week we have some ideas you can use for mirror play.
Babies love looking at faces, so sit yourselves down in front of a mirror and have some fun.
- Start by sitting your baby on your lap or propped up between your legs, as you look at yourselves in front of a mirror. At first just let your baby look at their reflection and notice how they react. Do they try to touch the baby in the mirror or smile at her?
- Try changing your expression and seeing if your baby notices. Sit with a calm expression and then change to a happy, animated face. Can you make your baby laugh? Do they copy your expression and smile back?
- You could play peek-a-boo with the mirror too. Drape a scarf or piece of fabric over the mirror and wonder where the baby has gone – then whip it away with a flourish to find the baby is still there. This is a great opportunity to include an older brother or sister in the play, as they can be in charge of pulling away the scarf and can join in some fun play with their little sibling.
- It’s always good to include some chat with any game you play so you could touch and name the different parts of your face. ‘Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’ would be a perfect song to sing.
- If you have a safety mirror (a polycarbonate unbreakable one) you might think about fixing it up somewhere your baby can lie next to, or crawl over to. You could prop it up near to them when they’re having some tummy time and let them enjoy looking at the other baby.
Babies naturally like to look at other people and this mirror time lets them become familiar with faces and different expressions. It helps them practise focusing on things and tracking images with their eyes. It’s an early step towards their emotional development too because they’ll begin to notice how their own expression changes which once they are older can lead you into talking about how they’re feeling.
Does your baby enjoy looking at themselves in the mirror? What games do you play?
More activities for babies and toddlers
Zero to Two: The Book of Play is full of fun activities for babies and toddlers. Download you copy here!