Cut out some cardboard in the shape of a hand mirror. Cut out some aluminum foil in the size and shape that will fit the cardboard cut-outs. I used a glue stick to adhere the foil to the cardboard, and it worked really well to smooth down the foil.
I think these magic mirrors could be made a lot better than I did here. I didn’t have good scissors to cut the cardboard so they are far from perfect. A box knife would work a lot better! They also could be decorated with stickers, glitter, and painted for another project.
All-in-all they were fun for my 5-year-old and almost 3-year-old. They pretended the mirrors were the magic mirrors from the movie Beauty and the Beast.
Anyway, It beats having to supervise them with real mirrors. Of course, it doesn’t work as a real mirror but it’s still fun for pretend… and it’s basically free to make if you already have the materials on hand!
Once upon a time we had a shelf for all of our books, but that shelf went to my daughter’s Montessori school area. So, for now, we just sort of have this chaotic reading area. Hey, it works! In the photo above my 14-month-old is sitting in a chair flipping through a board book, which she does frequently and daily. If we didn’t have this reading corner, then she wouldn’t be looking at the books. We do have books so she does look (we read a lot of Dr. Seuss). My older daughter likes to sit here and flip through books as well. Some times they like to stack the books, and then the little one likes to pull them all down. I would like to point out that many of our books are from our local Goodwill store, which often has many children’s books in good condition.
Anyway, my point is that having reading materials low and accessible for children brings the idea of books into their consciousness daily. It becomes an expected part of their environment, and maybe–just maybe–it makes them more likely to think of picking up a book on a regular basis.