Toddlers, preschoolers, and kids, in general, are fascinated by mirrors and their own reflections in them.
Young children are easily entertained by their reflections not because of their own vanity but because they are mesmerized by the world inside it.
With the activities mentioned below, you can introduce your child to a variety of scientific concepts like reflection and refraction in an easy-to-understand form.
fun and engaging Mirror Activities for children
The activities mentioned below are for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary school children.
My aim with this article was to provide parents and guardians with some educational yet entertaining and stimulating activities that you can do with your kids using a mirror. Hopefully, you were inspired by these activities and can utilize them.
Mirror and Reflection Experiment for Preschoolers
When our kids are really young, they are curious about the way the world works. While they won’t be able to grasp complex ideas, there is nothing wrong with introducing our kids to concepts like reflection with this simple experiment.
What you need- A small mirror 🪞, shiny objects, and a flashlight.
- I started off by trying to explain to my preschoolers that they would be unable to see themselves in a dark room because shiny objects like mirrors can show us our reflections only when there is enough light to bounce back.
- Now, ask them to turn on the flashlight 🔦in the dark room and point it under their face.
- I then showed them that pointing a flashlight at a shiny object will disperse light into a room. We did this by pointing the flashlight 🔦 at a prism.
Pro tip- You can also point the fabric at a piece of paper or fabric to indicate that a non-shiny object will absorb the light and not reflect anything back.
Mirror Reflecting Angle Experiment
This is another experiment that can help kids understand more about mirrors 🪞and their reflections. To perform this experiment, you’ll need two or more people.
What you need- A piece of cardboard, comb, tape, flashlight 🔦, and a mirror.
- Cut a 1-inch hole in a piece of cardboard.
- On one side of the cardboard hole, tape a comb.
- In a darkened room, hold a flashlight 🔦under the cardboard hole and a mirror 🪞on the other.
- Ask your child to move the mirrors at different angles and investigate how the mirror reflects light.
Match That Feeling
A crucial part of our children’s development is their ability to identify different emotions. As we grow older, we learn that our emotions are very different from others, and we get a sense of that through social interactions and reading people’s faces.
You can help your child identify different emotions by doing this simple activity with your child.
Stand facing the mirror 🪞 with your child and ask them to look happy (show them how to smile), to look sad 🥺(show them how to frown), and to look excited (raise your eyebrows and open your mouth), along with other emotions.
Visit a Mirror Maze
Take your kids to a mirror maze. When we visited our local fair this summer, I took my kids inside a mirror maze, and it was a blast.
The kids were confused and utterly flabbergasted by the endless corridor and floor pattern. While they did run into a mirror numerous times, they took it all in stride and laughed it off.
DIY Mirror Box
Trust me when I say this: this mirror box will keep your children occupied for hours. A mirror box is a great way to help your toddler or preschooler explore different objects with an added dimension. It is also super easy to make.
What you need- 5-inch square acrylic mirrors and hot glue.
- You’ll need three 5-inch square acrylic mirrors 🪞.
- On the mirror that will be the base of the mirror, apply glue to the boundary of two of its adjacent sides.
- Place one of the remaining mirrors on the boundary.
- Apply glue to the other remaining mirrors and place them on top of the base and next to the other mirrors. Make sure that the sides are touching.
- Use a wooden square box to provide support to the mirror box until the glue has properly set. And your mirror box is ready to be played with.
Shaving Cream Mirror Art
Help your child express their creativity in a fun and slightly messy way by spreading shaving cream all over a mirror.
Shaving cream smeared over the mirror is a no-worry way for kids to practice their writing, counting, and spelling skills whilst simultaneously expressing their creativity.
Mirror Writing Science Exercise
Have your kids ever wondered why the word ‘AMBULANCE’ is written backward on the ambulance?
This is because when the driver in front of the ambulance 🚑 reads the word in their rearview mirror 🪞, they read the word the right way and make way for the ambulance 🚑. Show them this principle with this simple activity.
What you need- A mirror, pen, and a paper.
- Help your child write the letters in their name in reverse on a piece of paper.
- Hold the mirror in front of the paper and check if it is properly written.
- Ask your child to repeat the exercise, this time using the reflection in the mirror 🪞 to write their name backward. Repeat the exercise with other words.
Pro tip- Use this experiment as a way to explain to your child that the image they see in the mirror is reversed.
Symmetry Activity for Preschoolers
This activity will engage your preschooler for hours as it fascinates their visual senses and fosters creativity.
What you need- A mirror 🪞box and wooden shapes.
- On the base of the mirror box, ask your child to arrange the wooden shapes in different patterns.
The kids will be instantly intrigued by the multiple images and the world created inside the mirrors 🪞. You can use this exercise as a way to improve your child’s counting skills by asking them to count how many times they see the pattern being repeated inside the box.
Broken Mirror Mosaic
Recently, a mirror broke inside our house (we don’t know how it happened), and my daughter was quick to suggest that we use the broken mirror 🪞 pieces and decorate a flower pot with it. So, let’s do that.
What you need- Broken mirror or craft mirror pieces, a flower pot, and some glue.
- Apply glue to the back of broken mirror pieces and help your child paste them around a flower pot. The broken mirror 🪞mosaic is complete.
Decorate a Handheld Wooden Mirror
This craft is perfect to ward off your child’s summertime boredom.
What you need- A wooden handheld mirror, paint, markers, and paintbrush 🖌️.
- Give your child the wooden handheld mirror 🪞 and let them decorate it with paint, markers, and crayons, along with stickers and glitter.
Make a Kaleidoscope
A Kaleidoscope is a toy that uses light and mirrors to produce unique symmetrical patterns when you look inside them. Kaleidoscopes are a wonderful toy to introduce to your young child as they engage their visual senses and innate sense of curiosity.
What you need- Empty toilet paper roll, colorful paper with a fun pattern, mirrored card, paper straw, tape, scissors ✂️, and felt-tip pens.
- Cover the outside of an empty toilet paper roll with colorful paper. Secure it with tape.
- Measure the length of the toilet paper roll and cut three equal rectangles of the same length. The width of the rectangles should be long enough to support itself inside the toilet paper roll. Cut with scissors and insert inside the tube, with the mirrored sides facing each other.
- The mirrored 🪞cards should form a triangle.
- Measure the diameter of the paper toilet roll and draw a circle of the same diameter on a clear paper. Cut with scissors.
- Make a hole in the center of the circle with a pencil.
- Help your child decorate the circle.
- Insert a paper straw through the hole in the circle and bend the end.
- Cut the remaining paper straw so it is the same length as the paper toilet roll.
- Secure the paper straw to the paper roll from the outside. The Kaleidoscope is ready to be played with.
Mirror Snowflake Activity
This mirror 🪞snowflake activity is a wonderful cold-day science experiment that helps young children explore the concept of symmetry and reflection.
What you need- A mirror box and cotton ear swabs.
- On the base of the mirror box, ask your child to make a snowflake from the cotton swabs and the reflection in the mirror.
My child was fascinated to see how their creation began to unfold in the mirror 🪞 and created a beautiful snowflake.
Identify Different Body Parts
By the time our kids are two years old, they will be able to identify a wide range of body parts.
To perform this exercise, make your child stand in front of the mirror 🪞and one by one, ask them to point out different body parts. Ask them to touch their nose 👃 with their right hand and point to their chin with their left.
Sensory Play on Mirror
Toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy sensory play in a mirror 🪞 as it can help them examine random objects. Sensory play with a mirror is great for children to explore new objects, sounds, and textures.
This activity is a fun way for preschoolers to strengthen their motor skills and learn about body parts whilst simultaneously exploring their creativity.
What you need- A window marker and a large mirror 🪞.
- Ask your child to stand in front of the mirror and draw themselves.
The end results were so adorable. Preschoolers have such a weird perspective of the world as it is, and it is great to see it actualized.
Rainbow Mirror Prism
Share the joys of science with your kids by making a rainbow inside your house using everyday household materials.
What you need- A shallow pan, a small mirror 🪞 that will fit into the pan, water, a flashlight 🔦, and a piece of white paper.
- Fill a shallow pan halfway through with water and set the mirror against its wall at a 45-degree angle.
- Turn on a flashlight 🔦 and shine it at the part of the mirror which is submerged underwater.
- Ask your child to hold the paper sheet above the pan and keep moving it until they can see a rainbow.
Pro tip- Try to explain to your children that with this experiment, you replicated the circumstances under which an actual rainbow can be formed, and that is- water and a source of white light.
Follow the Directions
At 2 to 3 years old, children can begin to understand small instructions, and a mirror is a great way to practice this. Stand in front of a mirror 🪞 with your child and ask them to follow your instructions while simultaneously acting them out yourself.
For instance, ask them to touch their toes and then their nose or do a squat and then look up at the ceiling. Use sequential words like first, next, last, and finally while giving directions.
Recite Books in front of a Mirror
Did you know that reciting books and poems in front of the mirror 🪞is incredibly beneficial for your children? It is true!
Speaking in front of a mirror can help improve your child’s speaking abilities along with presentation skills. It gives them an idea of how they look while talking to an audience and figure out the ways in which they can improve their speech.
You can ask your child to memorize a poem or a portion of a speech by saying it out loud in front of a mirror.
Milk Carton Periscope
Did you know that submarines use a periscope when they are underwater to see on the surface? Let us learn how to make a periscope with empty milk cartons.
What you need- 2 milk cartons, tape, ruler, marker, scissors, and two by 3-inch mirrors 🪞.
- Cut the tops of both the cartons.
- Near the base of both cartons, draw a square and cut it with a box cutter.
- To make the slots that will hold the mirrors in their place, turn both the milk 🥛cartons in such a way that the square openings at the base are on your left side.
- Measure the diagonal of the square that was cut from the carton and draw it on this side and the opposite side.
- Do the same on the other carton. And make an incision using a box cutter.
- Slide a mirror 🪞 through these incisions in both cartons. The reflective side of the mirror should face the square opening. Secure the same with tape.
- Test the placement of the mirrors by holding one of the cartons upright and looking through the square opening. You should be able to see the ceiling.
- Now, let us arrange our periscope. Place one of the cartons in such a way that the mirror is facing you; this will be the bottom of our periscope, from which you will see what’s above.
- Place the other carton with its mirror 🪞 facing the table; this carton will be the top of the periscope.
- The open tops of both cartons should face one another. Now, secure it with tape. Your periscope is ready.
Mirrors are a great learning tool for children. It can help younger children explore different objects and emotions and help slightly older children understand reflection, refraction, the laws of light, and symmetry.
It is also a great tool to improve their presentation skills and foster creativity. Hope you can take inspiration from the activities mentioned above and bond with your children while doing the same.
In the comments below, let us know which activity from this list your child enjoys the most.
I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for creating engaging and educational activities for children. I strongly understand child development and know how to create activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.