Baby looking in mirror

Mirror Play & Self-Awareness

Have you looked in the mirror today?

A major development in the transition from infant to toddler involves an increase in self-awareness. The child becomes aware of being her own identity with specific interests and with her own likes and dislikes. This change gives parents an opportunity to provide support in encouraging the child’s strengths and interests. This in turn will benefit the child by increasing his/her self-worth which supports perseverance and confidence.

One activity that gives children the chance to develop the first steps in self-awareness is through mirror play. The first time an infant smiles at himself in the mirror, he is probably just reacting to seeing a happy face. Eventually when using mirror play as a daily activity your little one comes to understand that is him (and you) in the mirror.

It is between 2 to 4 years of age that children start to display a rapid increase in their social behavior. Being able to distinguish yourself from other people is necessary to build social relationships rather than simple interactions.

Jan Jorgensen, M. Ed. ECSE

Jan is an Early Childhood Special Educator in our Early Learning Program here.

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