We Play - With a Mirror

When I found Ed heading up to my bedroom with an armful of cars the other day, I got a little curious.

"Where are you going with those, mate?" I asked

"Oh, I'm going up to your bedroom to play with them" he answered.

"Uh-oh" I thought, "that can only lead to mess and trouble!" Instead of jumping in with a, "No, you're not!" I decided to get to the bottom of why playing in my bedroom was so appealing. I'm glad I ignored my first instinct ...

"Why do you want to play with the cars in my bedroom and not in the lounge or your room?"

"Oh Mum, when I brmmm my cars in front of your mirror, it looks like they're going up the hill and then down the hill" he replied.

What an interesting thing he had observed. I wanted to help him explore this, so I moved my full length mirror down into our loungeroom so he could have some fun experimenting.

He "brmmed" his big car up the hill and down the hill. Then tried lots of different cars in front of the mirror. Then tried those roads I made, that I've talked about before. Then played peek-a-boo with himself, pulled some funny faces and then looked all around the mirror from many different angles.

He played for quite a while, checking in with me and reporting what he had discovered. All the while he was working on his:
- motor skills while he pushed the cars along
- cognitive skills as he tried to determine how the mirror works
- memory skills as he remembered what had happened when he played in front of the mirror before
- language skills as he talked to me about what was going on; and
- self-awareness as he checked himself out in the mirror

Come over and play at the 'Childhood 101' 'We Play' link up

We Play


  1. You're so supportive! (Last year, when I pulled our full-length mirror off the wall for the girls to play in front of, it ended up getting knocked over and broken. :( )

  2. It's amazing what they work out for themselves, isn't it? And mirrors are great learning tools.

    I'd never thought about mirrors making things look like they go up or down though .. will have to check that out! :)

  3. That is a fascinating point of view about the mirror, going up and down hill. Never thought of it that way. My girls love looking at themselves in the mirror when they are really upset, it is a great distracting technique.

  4. Homes are generally full of mirrors but we often forget to include them as a playing tool. Thank you for not jumping in. Look at the great fun and learning we would have all missed.

  5. My little boy loves to watch himself dance and sing in the mirror at the moment.... When he was very little he used to peer into a handheld mirror asking "where mummy gone" and often looking behind the mirror just in case I was hiding behind it!

    We forget often about all the simple play props around the house...who needs big expensive toys?!

  6. Thanks for your comments everyone. You're all right, we don't always need big expensive props or toys to encourage play. Kids just love everyday things. He is still brmming his cars up and down the hill (because the mirror is on an angle, it creates the 'hill' effect) and constantly checking himself out. Seems mirrors are a real fascination for him at the moment

  7. What interesting observations. I love using mirrors in children's play spaces.