The Mirror Routine

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If you have seen any comedic performance in the past century, you have likely seen the Mirror Routine. When two people try to seamlessly imitate each other, it is not only entertaining to the viewers, but to the performers as well!

In its chapter on symmetry, the Moebius Noodles book gives instructions on how to do this “live mirror” activity with your kids, with examples of movements, and extensions of the game. The Mirror Routine is easy to learn for both kids and adults when the movements are simple. As they grow more complex, however, you may find yourself struggling to keep up with your kid!


The Mirror Routine has been around since vaudeville days. The most well-known example of it is this scene from the Marx brothers’ film Duck Soup. In Duck Soup, Harpo Marx’s character breaks a mirror and pretends to be his brother’s reflection in order to conceal it.


Twenty-two years later, Harpo Marx returned to the screen on I Love Lucy. When Lucy tries to trick her friend Carolyn into thinking she is Harpo Marx, she is surprised by the real Harpo and mirrors his exact movements.

Your kid or student might be familiar with the routine already! In this scene from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, pegasus Rainbow Dash is confronted with a changeling clone of herself and mirrors her every move.

Or, if your kid is a fan of Adventure Time, they might have seen the magical dog Jake attempting and failing to do the Mirror Routine when his human friend Finn catches him trespassing in their friend Marceline’s house.

Invite your kids to try the Mirror Routine: it will challenge and delight the little performers.

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Marina Mersenne is a student, writer, and autodidact. As a lifetime unschooler, Marina takes part in discussions concerning learning and educational systems. With Moebius Noodles, she hopes to expand on alternative ways of learning and teaching mathematics.

Posted in Make

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