Offering loose parts (shells, rocks, twigs, glass pebbles etc) to your play space can inspire so much creativity. Add a mirror to the mix and a whole new dimension of playful curiosity is created.
I’ve been curious about Reggio, loose parts and mirror play for some time, gathering ideas and information on my Natural Play – Open Ended Creativity board on Pinterest. After reading some wonderful mirror play posts from Kate at An Everyday Story, and then this lovely activity from Hannah at Paint on the Ceiling, I finally introduced a mirror into our play.
It was wonderful to watch R’s reaction to the mirror. Obviously he’s seen a mirror before, but I guess looking at one from a new perspective, tweaked his curiosity. He spent a long time examining his own reflection, drawing with his finger across the glass, and moving around the mirror, looking at the room reflected inside it from different angles.
Next to the mirror I placed a cushion for R to sit on, and a basket containing our silver foil blocks that we had wrapped the day before. He began by arranging the blocks into four straight lines, chatting away to himself as he did this, making up stories.
After lining up the blocks, he placed them back into the basket and began constructing sail boats and steam boats with them. The picture below is one of his steamers.
As he played, I set out a few more bowls and trays containing loose parts. As this was his first time playing this way, I wasn’t sure what R might like to use, so I offered glass pebbles, small mirrors, sea shells, and sea glass.
He was very excited to see these loose parts and began creating an ocean for his sail boats and steamers, using the glass pebbles and sea glass.
As he arranged the items on the mirror, R exclaimed “let’s tell a story” and he began narrating a story about sailors, ship wrecks, treasure and mermaids. I grabbed the nearest pen and paper and recorded his story. It was really wonderful to see his creativity being ignited by this new type of play.
The mirror and loose parts remained on the floor, set up just like this, for two days. The scenes and arrangements changed. Patterns were made, the blocks were unwrapped and the foil was used for sculptures, all on the mirror’s surface. It was right in the middle of the living room but I loved it. Every time I looked at it, I smiled. To me it looked like a sparkling pond in the middle of the room and it was lovely. We will definitely be exploring a lot more with mirrors in the future.