Mirror Play Ideas – Discovering Shapes and Symmetry

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This post is the second in our new bi-weekly series, Exploring Reggio, which we are presenting together with The Imagination Tree, An Everyday Story, Twodaloo and Learn With Play at Home. You can read our introductory post here, which explains our aims for the series. This week we are focusing on mirror play.

Exploring Reggio and mirrors

R (5 years) enjoyed our previous exploration of mirrors and loose parts so much that I was excited to find new ways of incorporating a mirror into his play. I thought I would try something very simple – placing his wooden rainbow stacker beside a long mirror on the floor. The rainbow stacker is such a wonderfully open-ended and engaging toy. R plays with it in so many different ways, so I thought the introduction of a mirror would add an interesting new dimension.  Whenever I show photos of our rainbow stacker I always receive lots of questions about it, so I’ve included some information at the end of this post.

Reggio ideas with mirrors

R began by lining up the rainbow pieces across the mirror, forming a tunnel. When he had placed all the pieces in a row, he lay down to  look through the tunnel and let out a whispered “wooow”. The photo below shows you what he was seeing. Such a beautiful rainbow tunnel.

Reggio mirror play with a rainbow stacker

R then began experimenting with the individual pieces. He loved that he could turn the arches into circles. It was a wonderful opportunity to talk about symmetry, semi-circles and circles, and the concept of “half”.

Mirror and a rainbow stacker

He also stacked rainbow pieces one on top of the other and placed smaller arches underneath larger arches, creating circles within circles.

Reggio play with mirrors

R loves building structures with his rainbow stacker and he was fascinated to see how different they looked with the addition of a mirror. Completely new shapes and patterns emerged like the one below.

Reggio mirrors and rainbow stacker

He used almost all of the rainbow stacker pieces for the structure below. He builds these quite a lot and they always look amazing, but the mirror added a whole new dimension.

Reggio mirror play

It was difficult to capture in a photo, but hopefully this gives you some idea of what it looked like when reflected in the mirror.

Reggio mirror play ideas

Exploring Reggio with mirrors

This has been such an engaging way for R to play with the rainbow stacker. He has explored shapes, depth, dimension and symmetry. He has made patterns, built structures and even made numbers. When he put the indigo and violet pieces together in the top left photo below, he said “Look Mummy, I made a three.” There was also imaginative play when he brought out a toy train to drive through those gorgeous rainbow tunnels.

Exploring a rainbow stacker on a mirror

About our wooden rainbow stacker
Our rainbow stacker is made by Grimm’s Spiel and Holz. They are a German company who make the most amazing wooden toys. I ordered mine here in Australia from Honeybee Toys, but if you are in the UK or US it is also available from Amazon ( Grimm’s Extra Large 12-Piece Rainbow Stacker ) or google “Grimm’s Large Stacking Wooden Rainbow” to find a stockist in your area. Grimm’s make two sizes of rainbow stacker, the one you see here is their large one with twelve pieces.

More Reggio inspired mirror play
Be sure to visit my lovely series co-hosts to see how they have been inspired by Reggio mirror play. Everyone’s take on this focus is different and it has been lovely to see how we have all bee inspired in different ways.

Exploring Shapes and Patterns on a Mirror Box
Making Play Dough Self Portraits
Painting a Starry Night on the Mirror
Painting on the Mirror


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  1. Really beautiful Ness.

  2. There is so much to explore with mirrors. It really adds a depth to play and discovery. Love this series and your posts Ness. Those images are breathtaking.

    • Thank you Rachel. It has been exciting to bring this new medium to our play and learning and now that we’ve started, I can see so much potential in it.

  3. I love the idea of playing with the rainbow stacker on a mirror- how engaging and beautiful!

    • Thanks Stephanie. It’s such a simple idea, I can’t believe we haven’t tried it sooner.

  4. Oh my, how beautiful!

  5. Oh my word – this is positively mesmerizing!!!!

    • Thank you Asia, I appreciate that so much!

  6. Beyond beautiful- I would even enjoy playing with this!

    • Thank you so much Clarissa! It really was beautiful to look at – especially since the rainbow stacker is so bright and colorful.

  7. Love this! We have the Grimm Rainbow Stacker as well (from Amazon) and it is a favorite to be sure. My kids (and my husband!) were thrilled with this new way to play, explore, and build. Thank you for sharing!

    • Thank you Carrie! It’s really quite special isn’t it, seeing all of the different shapes forming. It adds a whole new dimension to the stacker.

  8. Looks incredible!

  9. Jo

    This is such an great idea!

  10. The rainbow looks so wild on the mirror! We have a small version of that rainbow. Going to pull it out tomorrow! Thanks for the inspiration!

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