Even as a newborn, your baby will love staring at faces. When your baby is 9 to 12 months old, you can harness that fascination to develop several skills: eye-hand cooridination, language and listening skills, and imitation, just to name a few. Here's a simple baby play activity that your baby is bound to love.
Baby Play with Mirrors
- Begin by locating a unbreakable mirror or a mirror that is safely and securely anchored.
- Plop your baby in front of the mirror so that he can see both his reflection and your reflection.
- Develop language skills of body parts by asking your baby to point to his nose, hair, eyes, etc. If he needs help, you can point to your own nose or point to his nose until he grasps the conccept.
- Work on imitation skills, by making funny faces in the mirror and asking him to do the same (wrinkle nose, stick out tongue, widen eyes, etc).
- Use favorite toys to perform sort of a "puppet show" in front of the mirror. Invite him to join you in the play.
Development of Self-Awareness
Believe it or not, your baby won't realize that he's looking at his own reflection until somewhere around 9 months of age. To "test" to see if he's got the concept, unbeknownst to him place a small sticker or spot of lipstick on his face. When he sits in front of the mirror, if he tries to wipe it off his own face and not the face of the baby in the mirror then he has it all figured out. Additionally, as he is looking in the mirror, put a toy or stuffed animal behind him. If he tries to reach for the reflection rather than reach behind him to grab the toy, he still is not aware that he and his reflection are one in the same.