Seeing their reflection is one way to support baby's sense of self. Looking in a mirror with pēpi is a fun game that also supports eyes to focus and ‘track’, language acquisition and is an opportunity to strengthen relationships.

Why do it?

  • When baby watches their own face and their parent’s face when talking, it helps language development (particularly ‘receptive language’ or ‘ability to understand’).
  • Moving the mirror slowly across baby’s field of vision helps their visual tracking skills.
  • This can be a fun activity for baby and whānau to share together — it strengthens their relationship.

How to do it

  • When you and baby are comfortably lying together on the floor, talk to baby as you look in the mirror together. Tap their nose and say, ‘Baby’s nose’. Do the same with your nose, and say (for example), ‘Mummy’s nose’.
  • Tap other parts of their face and your own, naming each part.
  • When baby is focusing on the mirror, try moving it slowly over them, and see if they’ll keep watching themselves as the mirror moves. If so, they’re practising tracking.
  • You could play with baby this way for several days in a row — what do you notice? Do baby’s responses change over this time?

Using more reo Māori

Te reo Māori English
Ngā mahi ā pēpi Play for baby
Wā tākaro Playtime
Titiro ki te whakaata Look in the mirror
Kei hea te pēpi? Where’s baby?
He ataahua koe You look beautiful
Kei hea ā māmā? Where’s mum?
Kei hea tō ringaringa? Where is your hand?
Kei hea te ringaringa o pāpā? Where is dad's hand?
Tekau ō matimati You've got ten fingers
Kei hea tō ihu? Where is your nose?
Kei hea te ihu ō māma? Where is mum's nose?
Kei hea ō karu? Where are your eyes?
E hia ō taringa? How many ears have you got?