I’ve recently found a few new blogs to read, thanks to the wonderful Tuesday Tots link up at Rainy Day Mum. One post in particular caught my eye this week as it featured a very simple activity with shaving foam and mirrors- one that I knew The Toddler would love. Please do pop over and have a read of Danya Banya, it really is an amazing mix of recipes, crafts, family and play.
I’ve also recently invested in a mirror for our Tuff Spot, from TTS Education (where else?!) and this one is great because it fits snugly into the tray, and its actually a thin sheet of mirrored plastic that you can roll up for storage and that is totally safe for babies and toddlers to climb on and to investigate. We’ve used it quite a lot with sensory play since we got it, but this was our first focused activity with it.
Shaving foam and the Tuff Spot mirror
I wanted to talk to The Toddler about her reflection and I’m trying to encourage her to say her own name too. When we look at her reflection in the mirror usually, or when we talk about members of the family, she calls herself ‘me’. And when prompted to say Bella or Isobel (she responds to both names although we use Bella more) she does not oblige. So I thought that some focused mirror work would help not only with naming and describing body parts, but also with practising saying her name a little more too. Of course, the shaving foam was there for sensory purposes, but also to strengthen her fine motor skills (by holding the brushes) and to expand her creativity.
We started off with laying the mirror inside the Tuff Spot, then adding the foam, a dusting mitt and several different types of brushes- paint brushes, a toothbrush and wallpaper pasting brush. I then invited The Toddler to come and play!
Immediately, The Toddler was enthralled with the mirror and spent a long time checking out her reflection. We talked about who she could see (‘me!’) and how her body parts were being reflected in the mirror. She found this hilarious and could have quite happily stayed sat on that mirror all afternoon. She also enjoyed a game of peekaboo with herself which was great fun to watch!
After a while The Toddler noticed the other items in the tray, so we squirted some foam onto the mirror and I encouraged her to look at her face, and to paint it. This was hilarious as she was asking, “Where’s me gone?!” over and over.
Then we talked about the foam- how it felt, how it looked, how it smelt. It took me a moment to realise but The Toddler associated the foam with snow. She kept repeating what I thought was ‘crispies’ (I actually considered pausing the activities to get her a snack!) then I realised she was saying ‘Christmas’. Wow! The foam did look a little like snow and we spent a long time talking about how snow was cold and we can make snowmen and snowballs with it. Her communication during this activity was wonderful!
The Toddler loved using the different brushes to manipulate the foam and we investigated all the ways we could make patterns and marks in the foam. We practised up and down strokes with The Toddler repeating ‘Up, down! Up, down!’ and we made circles too- ‘Round and round! Round and round!’. We also used the mitts to make different patterns in the foam, which The Toddler proudly proclaimed to be ‘dots’.
What we both really loved about this activity was the creativity. The Toddler was more than happy to sit and transfer blobs of foam from one brush to another; to make peaks in the foam and to swirl her toes around too. It was a wonderful sensory experience- as shaving foam always is- and a chance for her to use different tools to make marks, patterns and prints. She loved sitting inside the tray and looking at her reflection for a while, then using the foam to hide it again. And what an easy activity to set up and clear away too. A roaring success- even if she didn’t say her own name!