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Many schools have been closed and kids have been home with their parents. However, the subjects of science and mirrors still remain! A mirror is more than furnishing for your home!

Many hospitals, scientist, labs, technicians, engineers, military, and more use mirrors every day to do their daily tasks!

Lab Mirror

So, we decided to do some research and found fun and informative experiments you can do at home with your kids that involve mirrors!

Mirrors and science go hand-in-hand! Scientist are always using mirrors, and we are excited to show you how to keep your kids (or yourself) entertained throughout this quarantined time.

Let’s get started!!!!!

Light Reflection Lesson

This lesson focuses on light, reflection, waves, and light refraction.

Materials – For this lesson you will need:

  • Flashlight
  • Mirror (First Surface or Standard Mirror)

Give your child both a flashlight and a mirror. Have them shine the flashlight onto the mirror!

When the flashlight is shining on the mirror, have your child look for the reflection on the light and where it is placed. When they are doing this, have them notice the angle between the reflection of the light and the light coming from the flashlight.

Light Reflection

For more detailed information about this lesson, check out this lesson plan!

Advancing:

To make this lesson even more advanced, you can try tracing the light using a mirror that has both reflection and transparency. For example, a two way mirror or a smart mirror.

Glass Two Way Mirror
Glass Two Way Mirror
Smart Mirror sample
Smart Mirror Glass

Curved Surface Mirrors

The next activity that we have is about two different types mirrors called convex and concave mirrors.

Convex Mirrors

What is a convex mirror? A convex mirror is where the reflection on the curved surface bulges out.

For example, the outside of a spoon is a convex mirror.

Convex mirrors are commonly used inside buildings so you can see around the corner, sunglasses, and any other curved surfaces that are used to magnify the objects. Like magnifying glasses.

Convex Mirror

Activity

Materials:

  • Paper
  • Writing Utensil

Try and find as many convex mirrors throughout your house as you can! Write down which object you found it on.

Spoon

Once you have made a list of your household convex mirrors, look into one!

Get out a piece of paper, and draw your reflection in a convex mirror. Do you look larger or smaller?

For a detailed lesson plan, click on the printable PDF version!

Concave Mirrors

A concave mirror is a mirror that curves inwards.

Concave mirrors make the object look smaller than reality. The concave mirrors reflect the light inward, which helps focus the light. They also turn the image upside down.

Concave mirror

Examples of concave mirrors include: Makeup mirrors, headlights, telescopes, and even microscopes.

Activity

Materials:

  • Paper
  • Writing Utensil

Now that you have found convex mirrors through your house, look for the concave mirrors! Write down as many concave mirrors that you can find throughout the house, or anywhere you go!

Finally, once you have a list of the two mirrors you can draw an image of your reflection looking into a concave mirror. Then, you can compare and contrast it with the convex mirror image you drew earlier.

For a detailed lesson plan, click on the printable PDF version!

Discovering Different Types of Mirror-Like Objects

Actual mirrors are not the only type of mirror that shows your reflection!

Reflection on water and sand.

How you ever looked into a body of water and saw yourself? Or glanced into a car window and saw your own reflection. It’s not as perfect as a mirror, but mirrors are not the only way you can view yourself!

Materials:

  • Paper
  • Writing Utensil

Activity

Look at all of your surroundings! Make a list of what you can see your reflection in!

Bonus: Write how your reflection is impacted. Does your face seem smaller? Larger? Are you upside down? Is the image warped? Etc.

Reflection on Sunglasses

After you find different types of mirrors and reflections throughout your surroundings, answer this question on your paper with the list:

“What did the mirror objects have in common?”

For a detailed lesson plan, click on the printable PDF version!

Double Mirror

Mirrors can also create double images!

Two mirrors at an angle.

All you need to do is gather two mirrors!

Activity

Materials:

  • Paper
  • Writing Utensil
  • Two standard or First Surface Mirrors

Take the two mirrors, and place the corners together at an angle.

Then, walk around the house with it for a few minutes, and see what you can do with it!!!!

You can try putting stuff between the mirrors, and counting how many reflections you see!

Once you have discovered what you can do with these mirrors, I want you to answer the following questions:

  1. What do you see when you put something between the mirrors?
  2. What happens if you change the angle of the mirrors?
  3. How many times is the object multiplied?
  4. Do you see more when the mirror is at a small angle, or a large angle?
  5. If you place the mirrors at an angle on a piece of paper, can you make a shape by simply drawing one line from one side of the mirror to another?
  6. What shapes can you make by doing this?

Mirrors combined at a smaller angle.

Smaller Angle Mirror

Mirrors combined at a larger angle.

Mirror at a larger angle.

Advanced

If you put the mirrors at exactly a 90 degree angle, you will create a “true mirror”!

When you look into a true mirror, you actually see yourself how the world sees you!

For example, when you put words in front of a mirror, the mirror flips it and it is read backwards.

As you can see in the true mirror, the lettering shows up exactly how we would see it if we were looking straight at it instead of it being in a mirror.

True Mirror

The angle flips the image, and it shows you a genuine reflection of yourself. How everyone sees you!!!

For a detailed lesson plan, click on the printable PDF version!

Symmetry

You can also use a mirror to create a symmetrical pattern!

Mirrors provide a precise reflection! Thus, they create a perfect opportunity to create a symmetrical pattern.

Activity

Materials:

Mirror

  • Paper with a half circle on it
  • Paper with half of a Capital Letter “A”
  • Paper with any other symmetrical objects

Place the mirror on the blank side of the half drawn object.

Then, there you have it!! The mirror shows the completed symmetrical shape.

Questions to answer:

  1. What happens if you move the mirror at different angles?
  2. What other objects could you make with the mirror that are symmetrical?

Those are some fun activities that you can do at home with your kids!!

For more mirror science activities, check out these links!

For a detailed lesson plan, click on the printable PDF version!

Drawing an image using a mirror

Similar to symmetry, you can use a mirror to draw the rest of an image!

Click here for the lesson plan!

Creating a Rainbow Reflection

Have you ever noticed the colors of a rainbow appear near a mirror? You can practice it at home!

Click here for the lesson plan!

Mirror illusion of visual effects and perception.

Did you know that when you’r looking in a mirror, it actually connects with your visual representation? This video is a great way to show how!

Click here for the video!

Did you accidentally break a mirror during any of these projects? If so, read our blog post about how to avoid seven years of bad luck from breaking a mirror!

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