The Mystery Bag is a versatile and essential material in the early childhood and lower elementary Montessori classrooms. The Mystery Bag is simply a bag (or box) in which the Montessori teacher places objects that the students cannot see. The students then use their sense of touch to explore the object without removing it from the bag. Eventually, depending on the lesson, the students or the teacher will reveal the object.
It can help to develop the sense of how things feel (stereognostic sense) and refine all of the senses overall. It stimulates and cultivates the student’s intellectual curiosity and has endless options for use in the classroom (i.e., the type of bag or box used, the items placed in the bag, the curricular area being taught). Even a toddler will enjoy exploring objects and vocabulary with the Mystery Bag material.
In the Montessori early childhood classroom, one lesson idea for the Mystery Bag begins with the teacher placing objects in the bag, such as a large sea shell, a piece of coral, and a sand dollar.