mirror that!

math area with wall of MIRRORS, pillows and low work table.

 The idea of MIRRORS in the early childhood classroom is wondrous on a number of levels:

New thinking.
Looking closer.
Game playing.

geo boards, sorting bears, and dominoes in the "MIRROR cubby"

can be used in small cubby spaces to open up the area.
In one of my classrooms, I had an inset area about 4 feet high under some attached upper cabiinets - I mirrored the whole space, added pillows and a low "toddler" table for kneeling use by preschool age children.
We used the space as part of our math and science center, game invention space and large puzzle building space.

We actually called the space "the mirror cubby".

this boy put together 6 large scenic puzzles BY HIMSELF in the "MIRROR cubby'!

self portrait with a TRI-fold MIRROR.
using a leaning MIRROR as a reference for his completed self portrait.
large inside MIRRORED play space for gross motor and movement
MIRRORS above a light table  - Wow!

MIRRORS as table mats for flowers and science explorations.
MIRRORS as part of drama spaces.
Here's the thing, though.
Actual MIRRORS are not the only thing to consider when using the term "MIRROR".
We can think of mimicking, matching, and reflecting back with peers and objects:
this boy's attempt at MIRRORING his watercolor art with his paper towel.
these two friends MIRROR each others' hats and cameras (and smiles that you cannot see!).
this pencil drawing is a MIRROR of the child's Geo Board design
a group of children MIRROR their hands in this sensory tablet.
both girls are trying to MIRROR the other - walking with hula-hoops!
this student is trying to MIRROR the phrase "ONCE UPON A TIME"

AND, perhaps my favorite kind of MIRROR:
this student always came to school in clothes that were seemingly NOT play clothes, yet her PLAY never was interrupted.
The most important MIRRORING that occurred was clearly her family's support of her PLAY PLAY PLAY. 

They will dramatically change your environment, the materials, the relationships.
Think about mirroring part of a wall, or adding leaning small mirrors in a display area, or including hand held mirrors as props. 
Think outside the box to add light and reflection to your daily life with young children.


  1. I love this collection of mirror ideas you have put together - it has really got me thinking that we need more mirrors at preschool. Our regulations say that we need to put a type of contact over the mirrors to prevent shattering which is a bit of a pain.

  2. @jenny - thanks for the comments! Yes, U.S./California licensing require us to use "safety" glass, as well. Usually in the baby and toddler classes, we have to purchase specific tempered glass with rounded edges. It also seems to have a slight "blur" to the glass like the contact sheet to which you referred. Oh, well, there are always challenges :)

  3. These mirror ideas are fabulous. They're even fun for older kids! My third graders loved doing self-portraits. I wish I'd thought about using them in all these other ways!

  4. @erin - great idea to use for older kids, as well, definitely. thanks for your comments!

  5. Jeanne you have used mirrors is some amazing ways. Good on You ... Each and every idea is irresistible for sure!!!
    Donna :) :)

  6. @sherry and donna - as usual, YOUR inspiring blog keeps me thinking in new, "irresistable" ways! Thanks for your support of zella said purple!


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