Mirror Play

Baby Mirror Play: Looking into a mirror can help babies develop better social skills.

Your newborn may be interested in looking at herself in the reflection of a brightly colored mobile hanging from the side of her crib. However, most babies aren’t particularly attracted to their own faces. So instead of trying to get them to focus on something else, simply place a reflective surface (like a piece of glass) next to the crib and allow your newborn to stare into the reflection of her own face.

Safety is the only thing to consider when choosing a mirror toy for your child. Make sure the toy is safe for your child by using toys made from safe materials, such as plexiglass or acrylic instead of real crystal.

Babies love playing with mirrors because they see themselves reflected back at them.

Mirroring is an excellent example of an easy distraction that doesn’t require any additional software or hardware.

A basic, inexpensive toy like a mirror is actually recommended over expensive electronic gadgets that beep and vibrate. And since babies’ favorite things to look at are their faces, a mirror lets them see themselves and others in the reflection without any danger.

What are the benefits for babies of playing with mirrors?

You may be wondering why there’s so much fuss about looking into mirrors for newborns. It turns out that looking at yourself in a reflective surface is an important milestone for newborns. They start off by focusing their gaze on their parents’ faces, then move onto their own faces in the reflection, and finally look back at themselves in the real world.

If you hold your baby up to a mirror, he can see himself and his family members in it. He can then track their movements and develop his own tiny muscle strength by reaching for them. You can also encourage him to use words when you show him different parts of your body.

Babys see themselves looking back at them.

During the first year of life, babies’ eyesight continues to improve. At each age and stage, they’ll enjoy playing with mirrors even more than before.

  • At two (2) month(s), she can stare into an unbreakable baby mirror for as long as you want.
  • By about 4 month old, she’s starting to track objects with her eyes and will probably be interested in mirror play. If you put a mirror in front of her during diaper changes, she might enjoy watching herself.
  • At six months old, your baby can recognize familiar people, smile when she sees her mother, and enjoy looking at herself in the bathroom mirrors.
  • At one year old, your baby has developed enough language skills to understand simple instructions, so continue playing games with him using mirrors.

How to safely help babies learn to use mirrors

These are some ideas for making baby-safe mirror toys a regular part of your child’s play time routine.

  • Put a full-length mirrored surface in front of her during tummy time sessions. She might be more likely to remain down when there’s something interesting to look at rather than just her stomach.
  • If you have a wall-mounted bathroom vanity, encourage your baby to stand next to it so she can see herself in the reflection. She may need some help standing up straight, though, since her vision isn’t yet fully developed. You can stand behind her for support, letting her rest against your belly.
  • Siblings can get a turn by holding a hand mirror in front their siblings while you provide the laps.
  • As soon as your baby starts crawling, introduce her to her beautiful face by touching her nose, stroking her head, pinching her ears, and naming each feature as you go; sure, as a newborn your little girl doesn’t understand what these things mean, but she’ll still be thrilled just the same!
  • Playing peek-a-boos is one of the most enjoyable ways for babies to play. You can play it on the ground with your child sitting next to you.
  • Play some music for your baby. She may become accustomed to hearing the tunes and associating them with fun.

Offering a mirror for babies to use when they’re playing encourages their physical, cognitive, and social developments. It also helps them develop socially by interacting with you and possibly their siblings.

Mirror Play for Toddlers – How Often Should we play?

Mirror play is a fun way to teach children language skills and social development. Mirror play toys are designed to encourage kids to interact with their surroundings through visual stimulation. They also promote eye contact and mimic facial expressions.

Mirror play toys are great tools for teaching toddlers how to communicate with other people. However, some parents worry that using these toys too much might cause issues later in life.

Mirror activities your child can learn from 

Studies indicate that by age 2, most children begin to understand that they’re looking at their own bodies in mirrors and photographs. This is an important milestone in the development of self-awareness.

By the time kids reach two years old, they’re beginning to develop an understanding of facial expressions and emotional states. They start recognizing and identifying more facial features, and they learn new words for them. Mirrors are a great way to introduce a broader range words related to emotion.

Here are four ways to build new vocabulary skills and develop social emotional skills through mirror play:

1. Identify body parts

By age two, most kids can recognize a broad range of common bodily features, whether or not they can actually speak their names. Between ages 24 and 28 months, kids start to understand and use smaller or less commonly named features.

When they ask where something is located on their bodies, help them identify it by pointing out its location on their own bodies first. Then, when they’re ready, let them check themselves in the reflection.

Show your child where different things are located on his/her own skin and ask him/her to identify them.

2. Try two-step directions

By age 2, kids are increasingly able to handle multi-step directions, and a reflective surface is an excellent way for them to learn. So, start practicing now by following along with them and giving them simple, single-step directions, like “touch your ears, then touch your head.”

Many toddlers can comprehend simple compound statements by the age of 2 years old. To help them learn these skills, start using phrases like first, then, after, next, and finally. When giving directions, use sequential words such as first, then, next and finally.

3. Match that feeling

Emotions and Feelings are important parts of developing empathy. Your child is just beginning to understand how they feel compared to others. Mirroring helps them learn about their own emotions, and practicing expressing those emotions through facial expressions, body language, and voice tone.

You may begin by telling your children, “Let me show you how to make someone smile. First, pretend to be surprised. Next, put on a silly expression on your face. Finally, ask them to do the same thing.” Afterward, explain what you just did physically: “I showed you how to make someone laugh because I was pretending to be surprised. So, let’s try it again.”

The “everyone-in-the-mirror” approach works well for many different types of emotional states and feelings, including anger, sadness, happiness, etc.

  • … look happy! We’re smiling and our faces are wrinkly!
  • We’re looking angry! Our hands are closed into fists, the corners our mouth are twisted downward, and we’re grumbling!
  • “…go to bed! We’re asleep and snore” (make exaggerated sleeping sounds).
  • “…wake up and get out of bed!
  • “Turn the other direction”

4. Make funny faces

Not only is this fun, but it’s also challenging for kids to learn new things. You can even challenge them by raising their eyebrow and asking them to stick out their tongue.

Make faces at each other, then when you’re done, look at each other for a few seconds. You might be surprised by how funny it looks!

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