During class one day we provided the children with markers on top of a mirrored table and asked them to draw their facial features. Since the mirror was right above them, the children were able to take a closer look at their facial features and draw at the same time. While drawing, the children discussed numbers, orientation, and size in comparison to their face, eyes, nose, mouths, lips, and eyebrows. The children laughed and giggled as they discussed whose hair was brown or yellow and who had the same color eyes. The children were able to draw their nose, mouth, eyes, ears, and each child signed their names beneath their drawings.
Playing with mirrors allows children to explore a number of ideas and theories. It allows children to investigate various properties of mirrors and how they interact with light. It allows children to focus, track images, and visually observe the things their faces can do. While the concept of self is already developed (unlike babies where they don’t recognize themselves in mirrors) providing a mirror for children to draw on provides another sensory dimension to their play and a way to interact with their work of art! Whether children are making silly faces or examining the way their eyes curve, there are several ways to learn and explore with mirrors!
This activity also encouraged the children to work on their fine motor skills. Fine motor skills involve deliberate and controlled movements requiring both muscle development and maturation of the central nervous system. These skills improve children’s ability to write, hold a pencil, tie shoes, operate a computer mouse, and essentially take care of themselves using small muscle movements!