Babies love looking at their reflection in a mirror, but have you ever tried showing your baby their reflection in a window? When the light is just right – typically dawn or dusk – babies can recognize their reflections while still seeing what is outside. As it gets darker, they will still be able to see their reflection, but not what is outside (unless you turn the lights off, of course, in which case they can only see outside!)
This is something that all of our babies – and kids – have enjoyed exploring! Since our windows are double paned, you can also see a double reflection at certain angles – you get get the double reflection of Anna’s face, above, but not Johnny’s face below.
Playing this game with Anna was also a great way to get five-year-old Johnny thinking about reflections, mirror images, and how light affects what we see. I love that an evening spent playing with his baby sister can set the foundation for my son to learn geometry and physics later in life!
Johnny and Anna spent a lot of time playing at this window the other evening. They spent a lot of time just looking at reflections, but Johnny started imitating Anna and then she started imitating him. Reflections are also a great way for babies (and kids!) to explore motion, and emotions!
Even without a mirror, have you ever tried imitating a baby’s facial expressions to see how they react? Even young babies will often catch on to what you are doing, and they think it is pretty funny!
What are your favorite ways to play with a baby? Do you have any fun ways of teaching kids about light to share? This laser lollipop experiment is one of my favorite demonstrations of light diffraction, and you can find some of our favorite baby play ideas in this post about activities for the very young who eat everything!