Monday, March 1, 2021
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Sensory Play on a Mirror

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.

rocks, shells, corn kernels, coffee beans and dried pasta on a mirrored surface

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:

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.

The Activity:

Present sensory materials in a wooden "lazy susan".

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Suggested Materials:

I provided the hooligans with a tray full of natural items:

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.

scattering sensory materials over a mirror

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!

blue sky and clouds reflecting in the sensory table

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.

green leaves and branches reflected in the sensory table

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.  children discovering themselves in the mirrored sensory table

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.small hands experience sensory play on a mirror

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!  tweezers and an assortment of materials to be explored on a mirror

More Ways to Use a Mirror for Preschool Activities:

Painting on a Mirrored Surface

Exploring Shaving Cream on a Mirror

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