Optical Illusions, Holograms, Mirrors, Lights, and Lasers

While the Reggio approach to early childhood education is not quite right for our family, I’ve always admired the beautiful materials used. Specifically the attention to light and reflection which seems to captivate the children exposed to these nurturing environments.

We’ve long had a light table for the children to play on, but we’ve only recently made them a mirror box. Reflections are after-all one of the most basic forms of optical illusions…
How to Make a Mirror Box2
Mirror boxes really are quite simple to make. You merely need 3 square mirrors and some duct tape to secure them together, like so on the backside of the mirrors.
How to Make a Mirror Box3
LittleMan and SunnyGirl wasted no time in setting up their toys and discussing how many reflections they could see.
How to Make a Mirror Box5
It was especially fun to turn out the lights and break out the glow sticks!
How to Make a Mirror Box1

Since I’m really not well versed in these sorts of things, I find myself often referring to others to learn how to use light and reflection in our home.
CAUTION! Twins at Play has an excellent guide to all things light play, I referred to their ideas when I made our DIY light table. An Everyday Story did a series of posts on Reggio materials, including the best sorts of mirrors to use. And Racheous Lovable Learning has many posts about beautiful Reggio-inspired play.

This post has been part of The ABCs of Raising Well-Rounded Geeklings series.

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3 Comments to Optical Illusions, Holograms, Mirrors, Lights, and Lasers

  1. I’d never heard of a mirror box, but I love the idea! We did some building on a mirror and I was almost as fascinated as the kiddo was!

    • suzyhomeschooler says:

      You’ve got to make a mirror box. I just couldn’t stop playing with it and neither can LittleMan.

  2. Ann says:

    A mirror box as you show it in the photo is also called a retro reflector. There awe retro reflectors on the moon left by the Apollo astronauts. They enable scientists to bounce laser light to measure altitudes of landscape features on the lunar surface.
    The mathematical rule for multiple images can be discovered with your box and lends itself to the discovery of the kaleidoscope effect of multiple images.

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