Growing Up

Baby Betterment: Mirror Time Matters

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This entry is part 15 of 29 in the series Baby Days

mirror time matters - simple ideas for baby play in the mirrorI have never met a baby who didn’t love to gaze at herself in the mirror.  And I have never met a baby who didn’t smile at least once at herself.  Starting around 6 months, baby begins to recognize herself in the mirror and can begin to learn more about what she can do.  Baby is also beginning to put language and vocabulary together.  And a mirror is crucial to this process.

Just like tummy time for your little one, mirror time can be done everyday for at least 15 minutes (not necessarily continuously).  We brought a full length mirror downstairs for our oldest (22 months)  when she was around one year old for a preschool unit on the body.  But she had a mirror in her bedroom that we used (and still use) everyday long before she was a year old to help her build awareness of her body.  Our second little girl just turned 6 months old and has really started to enjoy her time in front of the mirror.

Watching your little one’s eyes light up at the sight of herself or of another person is such fun!  But after you have your baby and yourself plopped in front of the mirror and have smiled and said, “Hi,” what’s next?  I have come up with a small list of the activities we do in front of the mirror with our little ones to get everyone smiling and laughing (and a little bit of learning, too)!

Clap your hands

This sounds so simple, but babies love to see this.  And with babies, when you demonstrate a motion long enough, they will start to do it themselves.  We simply clap our hands three times while saying, “Clap, clap, clap” and then take her hands to help her make a clapping motion and say, “Clap, clap, clap.”  Eventually, baby will be able to do it without help, but will still love to stand or sit in front of the mirror and see her hands clap together.

Sing songs with motions

Our two favorite songs to sing in front of the mirror are “Row, Row, Row your Boat” (we do rowing motions for the rowing part and swaying motions for the “merrily” part)  and “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.”  (with traditional motions).  Other songs you might consider singing in front of the mirror are “If You’re Happy and You Know it” and “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.”

mirror with wren

Make funny faces

Again this sounds like a simple one, but it can be so crucial to the emotional development of your child.  Once you are sitting in front of the mirror, smile and say, “Look baby, Mama is smiling. Mama is happy.”  Then change the expression on your face to a sad expression and say, “Look baby, Mama is crying.  Mama is sad.”  You can do this with the gamut of emotions.

Play peek-a-boo

There are a bunch of ways to play peek-a-boo with the mirror.  We primarily do a couple of them.  One is where you hold baby away from the mirror (or facing away) and then in front of the mirror (or turn around) and say, “Peek-a-boo.”  Also you could combine peek-a-boo with singing with this song: “Peek a boo, peek a boo. I see you, I see you.  I see your button nose and your little toes. Peek-a-boo.” (to the tune of “Are you Sleeping?”)  The motions for that are where you cover and uncover your eyes or baby’s eyes and then point to the body parts indicated.

Stick out your tongue

Never underestimate the power of the humor in a good tongue-sticking out session.  This is simple, but baby will love it and will start to mimic you very quickly!

Talk about body parts

This is where vocabulary is built.  Take time to point out all the parts of the body to your baby.  Show her on herself and on yourself.  We did this by simply pointing to the body part (nose) and saying, “Baby’s nose, Mama’s nose, Dada’s nose.”

Brush your teeth

This may seem a little strange.  But doing some of the activities you do everyday in front of the mirror can not only entertain baby, but also help them to recognize basic hygiene.  You could also brush your hair, put on lotion, wash your hands.  Talking to your baby about what you are doing while making eye contact with them through the glass will help with vocabulary too.

Play dress up

As baby gets older and is able to put on a hat or a scarf, sit them in front of the mirror and have a good old-fashioned dress up time.  Baby might be hesitant at first (or completely against it, as ours was), but try it again the next day and the next day until she too is enjoying herself.

grace dress up

 

We just love these activities!

The last tip for mirror time is get everyone involved.  The more baby has to look at and check out while in front of the mirror the better.  Include the entire family and bond with baby while helping her to grow!

What do you do during mirror time with your little one?  Any other suggestions?

Simple ideas for baby play in the mirror

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9 Comments

  • Reply Alice (@mumsmakelists) April 25, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Lovely post – you’re so right, it’s such a simple but important way to entertain.

    Thanks so much for sharing at The Friday Baby Shower, Alice x

  • Reply ashley April 26, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    My son just turned 6 months, and he loves the mirror. Thanks for sharing some activities we can do!

  • Reply Bek @ Just For Daisy April 29, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    This is fabulous! Thanks for sharing – I know my 10 month old will enjoy some of these added to our daily play! 🙂

  • Reply Simple Ideas for Baby Play - Frugal Fun For Boys June 27, 2014 at 5:27 AM

    […] As baby begins to become aware of body parts like fingers and toes, the moments of discovery are so precious. I love to help foster this with our little ones by spending some of our play time in front of the mirror. We have lots of fun in front of our mirror and I have not yet met a baby who doesn’t love to meet another baby that looks just like them! Here are some tips for making the most of your mirror play with baby. […]

  • Reply Emm September 14, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    This is a great list of suggestions! I’ve linked to your page on my blog and page of simple baby play ideas and activities because I think you outline some great suggestions for mirror play just wonderfully! Thanks so much. Emm of http://baby-brain.co.uk

    http://baby-brain.co.uk/lets-make-stuff-2/simple-baby-play-ideas-and-activities/

    • Reply ussleah September 16, 2014 at 7:39 PM

      Thanks so much, Emm! Great post!

  • Reply 50 Ways to Have More Fun with Your Baby November 6, 2014 at 12:08 PM

    […] Mirror Time Matters by Simple. Home. […]

  • Reply Autumn March 9, 2016 at 10:13 AM

    Thank you so much for taking the time to share this! This is wonderful! Emma , my daughter is 8 mon. she loves when we put her infront of the mirror! She gets all excited and she try’s to go to the mommy (or whomever is hold her at the time), in the mirror it’s so funny! Thank you again!! I will look forward to reading more from you!

    Autumn & Emma

    • Reply ussleah March 9, 2016 at 11:46 AM

      You are welcome! Glad to hear you are having fun with your Emma. My youngest daughter is named Autumn Wren, but we call her Wren. My little ones all LOVED the mirror!

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