Children learn about themselves and construct their own identity within the context of their families and communities. This occurs in hundreds of ways throughout the day. In the babies space at our new Richmond centre, the children have been exploring self and identity through reflections.
“The children in the infant and toddler space have been exploring their new environment with curiosity and are beginning to develop a sense of wonder in their new surroundings. Exploring reflections and mirror play has been a huge contributor to our youngest children settling in so well to the space and in exploring and discovering their own identities”, said Simone, Educational Leader at Guardian Early Learning – Richmond.
Studies have shown that newborn babies can recognise a face, even with their eyesight limited 30cm. They start to recognise faces and actually prefer to look at faces more than anything else. Once an infant begins to spend more time awake and alert, they will spend a lot of time watching and studying the world around them. This in turn promotes recognition of their favourite toys, objects, people and, eventually, themselves. From the age of 2 months, children start enjoying seeing themselves in the mirror. At this age, children don’t yet recognise their own reflection, they do begin to engage with themselves.
Children’s connectedness and different ways of belonging with people, country and communities helps them to learn ways of being which reﬂect the values, traditions and practices of their families and communities. Over time this learning transforms the ways they interact with others. Through mirror and reflection play babies not only observe their own bodies and faces and how they move, and react to their environment, they also observe how the other children and adults react and move in the space around them.
Through this observation of self and others young babies begin to learn about the foundations of social constructs, emotions, role play, dramatic play and relationships.