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Montessori Mystery Bag Lesson

Montessori Mystery Bag Lesson

Montessori Mystery Bag Lesson

The direct aim of the Mystery Bag Lesson is to develop stereognosis sense, and the indirect aim is to line up objects from left to right...which is a pre-reading skill. It is ideal for two to three-year-olds.

The materials you will need are a cloth bag containing about four or five everyday contrasting objects, such as a key, eraser, coin, shell, cube, spool, box, etc., or use contrasting objects your child shows an interest in, and a small mat (optional).


1. Open the bag, choose one object, and ask the child, "What is this?"

2. Tell him the correct name, and then ask again, "What is this? Do you want to feel it?"

3. Continue through all of the objects, placing them on the mat. "All right, let's put them all back. Let's see if I can tell what they are by feeling inside the bag without looking." Return objects to bag.

4. Continue to bring out one object at a time and identify it until all objects are removed from the bag.

5. Ask the child, "Would you like to have a turn?"

Extension: classify the objects--use all animals as objects, all transportation, or all feeding objects (cup, spoon, plate, fork).

Other mystery bag containers: You can use other containers for your mystery bags (the above pic is a child-size backpack given as a birthday gift): gift bags, wine bags, fanny packs, purses, and decorative boxes.

Metal boxes are nice for "opening and closing," or for small areas that won't fit a backpack.


1. All objects are to be taken out and identified by the child (they learn and say the name of the object).

2. Items are to be changed from time to time, especially during the holidays or a change in seasons (Easter, Summer, Halloween, Christmas, etc.).

You can also use objects from nature: moss, flower bulb, seashell, geode, large green leaf.

Note: this exercise involves both muscular and language memory.

Want more Montessori sensorial lessons? Join my sister website, Montessori for the Earth~Lisa Nolan

Photo by diongillard on / CC BY