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Shimmer and Shine Day

Hello, I am Becky. (Rebecca Fisk - an education consultant with expertise in early years and special educational needs.) I have over thirty years of experience teaching young children and training adults. I like to use exploratory play activities so children can play and create in their own way. Today I suggest some ideas to help you get started with exploring things that shimmer and shine.

Shiny Sparkly ‘Kim’s Game’ (memory game)

Memory games are very versatile and can help children learn new words and extend their vocabulary. We use our short - term memory every day, and games can really support developing these recall skills.

Often it helps to have a theme for the game, so today we are using ‘shiny things’ as our theme. In fact, they are all silver things so a colour could be used as a theme too.

Top tip – check that your child knows the word for and purpose of an object first so that they can name it or tell you about it when they are recalling it.

Select just a few objects to start with until your child has understood the game, and as they get better at the game and recalling items then you can add more items or extend the time that the items are hidden before you try and remember what they were.

Once you have talked about each object and what it is used for, repeat the names of the objects before hiding them away and taking it in turns to recall an object. At first the children might want to peek before they remember what was under the cloth, but they will soon get the hang of it. I wonder if they can still remember some items later in the day?

This is a great game for all the family to play as it is easy to adapt for different ages and needs.

Tricks with Mirrors

Children love looking at themselves in mirrors. Understanding reflection is a scientific concept and there are lots of activities to help.

Mirror writing and drawing is great fun, even more so if you move the mirror to see the image disappear and re-appear!

Once you have explored reflection, move onto the idea of a ‘line of symmetry’. Using a folded piece of paper see if you can make a picture with the same thing on each side. You may want to do this with a blob of paint on one side and then folding the paper it will appear in the mirror on the other side, to give the idea of symmetry. You could develop this into making ‘butterfly paintings’.

Look out for big teddy ‘peeking’ into the mirror in the video!

Shiny Mobile

Use a collection of ‘found objects’ and old objects that are no longer needed to upcycle them into a shiny mobile or wind chime.

A coat hanger is ideal for the main structure and then attach objects hanging down at different lengths. Make sure they are adjacent if you want them to chink together to make a wind chime.

Silver Foil Sculptures

Using tin foil, you can make some wonderful shapes whilst developing your fine motor dexterity skills. This is a great multi-sensory activity where you can hear the foil scrunching and feel it at the same time. It is also very visual and easily accessible for all ages.

Why not make a magical world for small-world play for your tiny toys? Perhaps you can find other silver foil containers which have been cleaned out and can be added to your sculpture.


Play pairs, Pelmanism – these are also memory games

Make your own themed Kim’s game box of items ready for a games session with your family. You can play this with photos of people to remember who they are!

What happens when you look into shiny surfaces – reflections in spoons, saucepan lids, mirrors

Play mirror reflection pairs – stand opposite someone. One person moves slowly and the other has to try and be their reflection, moving with them. Take it in turns, starting with simple movements and increasing the difficulty of the movement sequence as children develop their copying skills.

Make a butterfly print using blobs of paint on one side of the fold line and pressing the other side down on top.

A shatter proof ‘school’ mirror is a really useful resource to have at home for mirror play for young children. These can be purchased online and are best for small hands and symmetry play. Watch pictures disappear with them or build periscopes!

Can you make a silver robot model?

BBC - The Robot
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