How Great are Mystery Bags?

Montessori stereognostic bag - a mystery bag from An Everyday StoryA few simple treasures, each unique in their shape or texture, together in a small bag. A mystery bag is one of those classic children’s activities, isn’t it? At 4, Jack loves them. I remember loving them well into primary school.Β This was Sarah’s first time playing.

Simple mystery bag for toddlers - An Everyday Story A Mystery Bag for Toddlers and Preschoolers - An Everyday Story Stereognostic Sense - An Everyday StoryYou might have heard of or seen Stereognostic Bags. This is a Montessori mystery bag. The stereognostic sense is our ability to identify objects based on touch alone (without seeing them). The ones I have seen have typically worked on geometric shapes, having pairs of shapes in a bag.

When the activity is presented to the child all the materials are taken out of the bag and examined. Then all the shapes are placed back in the bag. One shape is pulled out and then you have to find the matching pair just by touch.

Sarah has been playing with her matching squares a lot and so she understands the concept of matching. If your little one isn’t at this stage yet, not to worry, you could just use a selection of other materials without having matching pairs. I try to also choose items that Sarah can say, this way she can name each object as she pulls it out.

Much like opening & closing activities, these little bags can become more and more challenging as Jack & Sarah refine their stereognostic sense.

Here’s what’s inside our mystery bag at the moment:

  • two pinecones
  • two cars
  • two stones
  • two square blocks
  • two little people

Jack and Sarah, like many siblings I hope, don’t always get along. So games like this one help them to take turns and enjoy playing together, revelling in the other’s joy when they find the matching item. Just be sure to watch out for little cheeky girls who like to peek inside the bag.

I do love a mystery bag, that’s for sure.


9 Replies to “How Great are Mystery Bags?”

  1. I’ve just found your blog via “this brown wren”. Very inspiring! I am going to try out a mystery bag today. Looking forward to reading through previous posts.

    1. Hi CC. So nice to meet you. Hop you pop back again soon πŸ™‚

  2. I love the mystery bag! I am always looking for Montessori inspiration and your blog is full of it! Thank you!

  3. This is something we haven’t tried before, thank you for another great idea x

    1. I wonder if Em and Is will get the giggles like Jack and Sarah always do….mostly because they are peeking…cheeky monkeys πŸ™‚

  4. We love mystery bags! Feeling inspired to pull ours out and refresh it!
    Thanks for sharing your videos – they’re so precious! Love the peaking!!! They all peak don’t they! πŸ™‚

    1. They do don’t they? And then when you ask them not to peek…well that just makes peeking that much more fun πŸ™‚

  5. I remember trying to do a similar activity with my stepson a while back. I bought some wooden 3d shapes in a bag and showed them to him. He objected to the activity so hid the shapes. Two years later I still have no idea where they are!!

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