Lockdown Day 33 – Mystery Bag
Education of the Senses
As we have mentioned before, Montessori classrooms provide rich supports to children who are learning to make sense of the world through their senses.
One of the important, yet lesser spoken about, senses is the STEREOGNOSTIC SENSE. This sense (sometimes called tactile gnosis) is the person’s ability to identify an object without looking at it, smelling it, tasting it or hearing its sounds.
We use our stereognostic senses every day without really thinking about them. Have you ever considered how you manage to find your car keys in the bottom of your handbag? That’s your stereognostic sense at work!
* THE MYSTERY BAG GAME*
This is a fun game that can be played in every environment, indoors and outdoors. The only limit to the activity is the size of the objects as they will need to be able to fit into a pillowcase!
- A pillowcase
- A variety of everyday objects (one of each) which the child can identify and name. We would suggest that this is initially limited to 6-8 objects.
- Invite the child to play the Mystery Bag game with you.
- Ask the child to remove all of the objects from the pillowcase. Ask the child to name the objects so that you both have the same names in mind.
- Replace all the objects into the pillowcase.
- Explain to the child that you are going to ask her/him to find a specific object just by using her/his hands.
- As an example, tell the child that you will be looking for the (car). Demonstrate how to place one hand into the pillowcase without looking inside and feel around the objects. When you located the car, pull this out of the pillowcase and place it in front of you.
- Now pass the pillowcase to the child and name an object for the child to find.
- When you get to the last object, ask the child to first explain to you what the object feels like and then see if s/he can identify which the object is that remains.
This activity can be extended in many ways. Once the child has understood the purpose of the activity, you could also place some items into the pillowcase without telling the child what the objects are. Invite the child to feel inside the pillowcase and see whether s/he can use her/his stereognostic sense to identify all the objects!
You can also put pairs of objects into the pillowcase and ask the child to use her/his hands to find the matching pairs by feel alone.
The development of the stereognostic is important for the child’s emerging ability to name and perceive the environment, for building the child’s understanding of dimension, and for supporting the development of the cognitive pathways that will be used for later mathematical and spatial reasoning and language development.
But most of all… it is FUN!