Back in September of 2012, I made a mirror play table for my Twins. The mirrors are all made of acrylic and are unbreakable. So they are totally safe for infant to adult! Then I added multicolor LED lights to it, but changed them to all white LED star lights because the multicolor lights were too busy and distracting! It is wonderful now with the star lights!!
I have had many Moms ask me to tell them how I made this table, so I thought it was high time for me to tell everyone how to create a mirror table!
But why would you want a mirror play table for your child?
There are many reasons that you should have a mirror play table for your child! Mirrors can be very inspiring when added to your child's play space. Mirrors reflect light in multiple dimensions, they open up a dark area and bring light as well as beauty into it. When you add mirrors behind or under objects a child is playing with or investigating, it opens up new ways and ideas of inspecting or playing with the objects. For example, When a child is playing with a set of blocks they would get a more interesting perspective if the blocks are placed on a mirror and have a few mirrors around them. The child gets to see the blocks and their block creations in many different angles and perspectives, as well as reflective depth. The block play now becomes a magical world with many different views.
Children also love to look at themselves, they especially love to look at themselves while playing! With the addition of mirrors into your child's play space, you are not only giving them inspiration; you are also giving them a way to notice themselves more when they play. Children learn from playing, what better way to learn about themselves then to add mirrors so that they can see their own faces, hands, feet, and their whole bodies while they play and explore their toys.
A mirror play table gives them the perfect opportunity to learn, play, and explore their toys in a whole new way. It is very interesting for a child to see their own hand reflected in a mirror while building with blocks, or sorting some colored gems, etc. You can count on the child putting their own lovely little face into the reflection during play too! It's so sweet to see them smile at themselves while they are deep in whatever adventures in play they are enjoying at that moment! There is really no limit to what they can play with on the table, as long as the toys are not really large or too bulky. Large or bulky toys are likely to cause issues with the table.
Mirrors are a big deal!
If you want to learn more about mirror play, I highly recommend that you read, Making the most of light and mirrors! This book covers light tables, light play, and also mirror play! It is a really amazing, must have book! It's also a great starter book for those who are interested in the Reggio Emilia approach to learning. Everyone should have this book! Oh and this book is what inspired me to make the mirror play table and a few others wonderful play items we have around my Twins' indoor play environment!
Please check out my Pinterest board that showcases many photos of my Twins Playing with Light and mirrors. You can view it here!
To make this table I used duct tape, a Thomas the Train folding play table, and two sets of acrylic mirror trays from Discount School Supply. 12 total mirrors total.
I will warn you, I change out our bottom six mirrors every 3 months. This is why I am able to now take pics and write this post. I did not bother to take pics of the building process back when I made it in he Fall of 2012. The reason for this is that there comes a price to pay with using safe, unbreakable acrylic mirrors, they will get scuffed over time. I assure you that it has been more than worth it to replace the mirrors every 3 months. My twins use the table a lot. They get a lot of wonderful reflective play hours from this table. I would never stop replacing the bottom mirrors, and I wouldn't want to leave them there indefinitely while looking so scuffed. It takes away from the reflective play if the mirrors are heavily scuffed. Think of this mirror play table as a pair of shoes, you have to drop $20 on shoes, if not more every few months because your child's shoes get scuffed, worn out, or too small. You would not want your child to wear shoes that no longer fit or looked like something the cat dragged in, same goes for the bottom 6 acrylic mirrors. They will get a lot of play out of the mirrors, but the play with show. They will look very well loved, which I assure you they really will be very well loved. Every child that comes to our house to play, loves the mirror table. They all love to look into the mirrors around our light table, around the room, in our block play area, and in our Waldorf playstand. Children LOVE mirrors!
Please read the comments under each photo to see how to make this very special table!
|Finished mirror table.|
|simple children's play table, it came with two folding chairs and was from wal mart. We use the chairs for this table and at our mirror table, as well as our activity table.|
|close up of the taping|
|so the same for the remaining 3 mirrors and then also tape them to the first 3 mirrors.|
|it should then look like this|
|see the tape I stuck to the tape on the mirrors, then it will stick to the table too once you gently press it down.|
|see you can barely see the space. I was not able to show the mirrors layed out on the ground to be taped, because I did not replace the top 6 mirrors.|
|see how it is taped to the table, this is to prevent damage to the reflective side of the mirrors.|
|Tape on the sides in two places to hold the top mirrors in place well,.|
|Then, if you want add some Christmas lights. I previously used multicolor but soon realized that white were a much better choice. I chose white LED stars, we LOVE them!! Simple white Christmas lights would be very nice too!|
|All done and lights on!!|
|playing with Target dollar bin reusable ice cubes. You can see another post with fun usage of plastic reusable ice cubes purchased from the dollar tree in spring of 2012 HERE|
|very into examining the diamond shapes on the mirror table!! ;)|