Mirrors and Reflection

Explore reflection and the magic of mirrors with these simple activities.

Examples of Reflection

Children see their reflection in mirrors at Mirror Mirror. Photo: Saige Prime
The shiny floor at Sea of light reflects the streamers. Photo: Marinko Kojdanovski
Here you can see the reflection of the mountain in the lake. Photo by James Wheeler

What is Reflection?

Reflection is when light bounces off an object. If the surface is smooth and shiny, like glass, water or polished metal, the light will reflect at the same angle as it hit the surface.


Mirrors and Reflection

Here are some great activities to try with students using a mirror. You will need at least two mirrors.

• Ask two students to hold a mirror facing each other.

• What can you see?

• Can you notice that the reflection keeps going?

• Can you count the number of times you can see the student holding the mirror?

Why does this happen?

When you see yourself in a mirror the light bounces off you, hits the mirror, and then reflects back into your eyes. With a second mirror, light bounces off one mirror and hits another mirror, so you see a reflection of a reflection.

• Hold up some words in front of one mirror and see what happens.

• Why are the words backwards?

• What happens if you write a word backwards and then look in the mirror?

Physical Mirror

This is a great drama game and requires good concentration. The girl in ZOOOM mirrors the actions of the light, following along, fast and slow, up and down.

1. Have the students start facing each other about ½ metre apart.

2. One person is the leader, the other is the mirror.

3. To begin the leader can only move their arms and the person as the mirror copies them (in mirror image). It’s best to start with slow fluid movements so the mirror can keep up!

4. As they get used to the idea of mirroring, introduce facial expressions, or moving more.

Here is a great link to show you how it’s done

Mirrored Drawing

1. Take a portrait photo of each child in the classroom and print out their picture in colour.

2. Cut the picture exactly in half and stick it onto a piece of paper.

3. Students draw the other side of themselves, creating the mirror image on the missing side.


This activity using drawing, is also a play-therapy activity that helps create empathy, as you work with another person and it’s really easy to do.

• On a table lay out a large piece of plain butcher’s paper. (You can have a really long table so everyone’s work is on the one sheet of paper.)

• Have students into pairs standing on opposite sides of the table facing one another.

• Each person in the pair needs a texta or crayon in a different colour.

• One is the leader and the other the mirror.

• As the leader draws lines, jagged edges and swirls the mirror copies them on their side of the paper.

• See how in-sync with each other you can become.

More activities to try

Storytime with Temeka: Harold and the Purple Crayon Temeka reads Harold and Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
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Pass the Story Build imagination and improvisation in this interactive group story-telling game
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CD Rainbow Activity Make a magical rainbow on the wall using a CD
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