March 8, 2023

Unlocking the Power of Mirrors with Language Development

Laura Gencarella Speech Therapist in Charlotte, NC

Laura Gencarella
Owner, Speaking Sensory LLC

Speaking Sensory speech therapy session in Charlotte, NC

Have you ever thought of using a mirror during your play schemes? We wanted to share some tips and tricks for you to “reflect on” (see what we did there?), and hopefully encourage you to try!

Mirrors provide a visual representation of oneself that can help children understand their body movements, facial expressions, and emotions. By observing themselves in the mirror, children can learn to interpret nonverbal cues and become more aware of their own emotions.

For example, you can use the mirror to play games that involve making different facial expressions or body movements. This helps children understand how their actions convey different emotions or messages.

Building Vocabulary

Mirrors can also be used to build vocabulary by prompting children to describe what they see. As an SLP, I love using the carrier phrase “I see ____” to encourage the use of a complete sentence. You can even start the sentence for them, such as “I see___ (my eyes!)” or have them imitate you. You can ask questions such as “What color is your shirt?” or “How does your hair look today?” This encourages children to use descriptive words and reinforces their understanding of basic concepts such as colors and shapes.

As your child grows, asking open-ended questions like “What do you notice about yourself in the mirror?” can also promote critical thinking skills and encourage children to express themselves creatively.

Speech-Sound Development

Mirrors are also a great tool for practicing speech sounds, too! Children can watch themselves speak in the mirror while practicing sounds or words that they have been targeting in therapy. You can use this tool to provide correction, and encourage correct placement of oral structures. For example, if your child is working on including /m/ at the end of words, you can encourage them to look for their lips closing together. This is a great way to encourage the start of self-monitoring as well.

Emotional Awareness

We all know the importance of expressing ourselves, and how this leads to more emotionally mature and emotionally intelligent children. The first step in expression is being able to understand and identify various emotions. Use the mirror to encourage “Simon Says” and imitate different facial expressions, such as happy, sad, scared, and surprised. Take it to to the next level by asking your child a time where they felt happy/sad/scared, etc. You’ll be surprised how quick they catch on and how they incorporate emotional vocabulary within their daily language.

Conclusion-Summarizing the Power of Mirrors and Language Development

In conclusion, mirrors are a valuable resource for promoting communication and self-discovery in children. Using mirrors regularly as part home activities can help improve receptive and expressive language skills in kids. So next time you’re looking for ways to engage your child’s curiosity or develop their language abilities, consider incorporating mirrors into your routine. They might just be the talking treasure you’ve been searching for! We hope you feel confident in understanding the power of mirror with language development! Contact us today for more information!

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