This little wicker mirror circle has been very popular recently. It is small, and yet so versatile. How would you use one? It is not only a perfect natural mirror for role play, displaying natural treasures and viewing expressions but also a great reflective small world area. Have a go at collecting natural materials and creating patterns to create a mandala or use chalk markers to draw onto its surface. Explore metallics and shiny objects. The possibilities are endless.

The mirrored base gives the ability to view the sky, clouds and trees above, adding a special sensory element to the tray.

Here are 100 of our favourites:


Mandalas are a fun and therapeutic was of creating artwork and the wicker mirror tray gives a stunning mirrored background to any creation.

Loose Parts

Collect loose parts to view in the tray. Glass pebbles and magnetic chips work really well. Natural treasures and wooden loose parts, chickpeas and buttons.

Geo Board Loom Band Play

Rustic, natural look geo boards. Just get a bunch of loom bands or elastic bands and let the shapes begin.

Wicker mirror circle tray ideas

Small Worlds

A truly magical fairy village (shown below middle) featuring our Felt Mushrooms and Trog Houses. We love the addition of fairy lights that sparkle in the mirror base.

Create small worlds in the tray using the mirror as a magical reflective background. We love the use of natural treasures and our natural stacking pebbles and wooden peg people.

Reflective worlds

Explore and discover metallic reflective objects in the mirror tray. Can children go on a shiny metallic treasure hunt around their setting to find and display in the tray? Are they all shiny or are some matt? Are they all magnetic?

Early Maths – counting with number frames

Use the wicker mirror tray for basic counting skills. Add our wooden number frames and see what natural treasure or objects children can match up and count.

Mark Making – sand

Wicker mirror circle tray ideas

Add some fine sand and a few mark making tools or just simple a finger.

Art – chalk pens

Use chalk markers on the mirror circle to mark make and create beautiful pictures. They wipe off easily with a wet wipe or damp cloth.


The little mirror tray is perfect for story time, add story props and away you go. Can children recreate the story in a reflective world?

Exploring Blackberries

Display your blackberry treats in the tray for children to look at in detail. Explore the leaves, the thorns, the beautiful ripe blackberries and the ones that are not yet ripe. Make Blackberry juice or potions.

Flower display and photography!

Explore flowers and petals in the tray. The mirror reflects the beautiful colours and shapes. Allow children to photograph the different parts of a flower.

Malteser Marble Run!

wicker mirror circle tray play ideas
With thanks to @create_make_and_play

Wow! What fun! Enjoy a marble run with Maltesers in the mirror tray! Then wipe it clean!

Beach fun with sand and coloured rice

Add sand, shells and dyed rice to the tray for a sensory delight.

Sensory Small Worlds with chickpeas

Chickpeas are great in the wicker mirror tray. Add little peg people and create small worlds. Count the chickpeas in a wooden ten frame.

Icy Worlds

Glass pebbles look magical in the tray too. And check out the Frozen ice cubes with penguins in from @create_make_and_play. A beautiful winter small world from @Little_wise_owls_childminding.

Threading and Stacking loose parts tray

Add loose parts for threading and stacking.

Wild Animals Small World Play

Our wicker mirror circle makes a lovely inviting water hole for the wild animals in this set up by @Create_make_and_play.

Salt Dough Tree Decoration

A beautiful set up displaying salt dough Christmas decorations from @create_make_and_play.

Bird Watching

Get set and ready for the big bird watch. This is a lovely set up using our wicker mirror circle from @Lottie_makes.

wicker mirror circle tray play ideas
Thanks to Lottie Makes

Taste Safe Snow

Porridge Oat Play Dough on the wicker mirror circle

The Life Cycle of a Butterfly

Studying the life cycle of a butterfly in our wicker mirror circle.

Wicker mirror circle tray ideas
With thanks to @helenshomefromhome

Exploring Sand and Beach treasures

Winter Treasures

Display winter and natural treasures on the wicker mirror circle. Create transient art.

The Colour White

Explore colours on the wicker mirror circle. Encourage children to collect items of a certain colour to display on the tray.

Remembrance Day, Diwali and New Year

How lovely are these set ups in our wicker mirror circle?

Sand Tray Play

The little wicker mirror circle is perfect for sand and shells.

wicker mirror circle tray play ideas

Magical Small Worlds

How magical is this small world set up complete with castle?

wicker mirror circle tray play ideas
With thanks to Lottie Makes

More Wicker Mirror Circle Tray Play Ideas:

These ideas are lovely from @helenshomefromhome - Life Cycle of a Butterfly, Autumn Tray Play, Mandalas, Winter and Valentines play.

Wicker mirror circle
With thanks to @helenshomefromhome

Some lovely ideas from @jenslittleowls - winter play, mark making, colour exploring and glass beads.

Wicker mirror circle
With thanks to @jenslittleowls

Some lovely ideas from @concepteducationtdn

Share your tray play ideas with us every week for #CosyTuffSpot Tuesday. Don't forget to tag us @CosyDirect and use the # over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Share your tray play with us in our dedicated Facebook Cosy Tray Play Group.

With thanks to The Cosy Creatives for writing this blog post and to Hayley from Little Wise Owls Childminding, Create Make and Play, Helens Home from Home, Jens Little Owls and Concept Education for their fabulous contributions to the play ideas featured.