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Sensorial - Mystery Pouches

UMA student Shana McCarty-Ebler of Colorado Springs, CO shares her creative original project for the Sensorial area of learning. What a hit with the children!

Mystery Pouches

Purpose: To stimulate the child’s sense of touch and to correlate the sense of touch to the sense of sight.


  1. Wooden tray
  2. Wooden bowl holding 10 different natural objects (non-toy) that match the objects that are hidden in the pouches
  3. 10 individual pouches made from muslin which have little windows on one side that stay closed with velcro and that each contain an object which matches one of the objects that are in the wooden bowl
  4. A rug 


  1. When first introducing this exercise, start with just five items. Later, change them out to the other set of five items. And then later, place them all on the tray.
  2. Because the pouches are a white material, and since they will be touched a lot, at the beginning of the exercise: point to the pouches, look down at your hands, say, “I need to wash my hands” or “I need clean hands” and then go wash them. 
  3. When demonstrating, pick up the pouches very ceremoniously (to indicate how to gently handle them)…in other words, discourage the possible temptation to pull the flap. 

Option: Although the pictures indicate the items aligned horizontally, another option is as follows, especially when beginning with only five objects:

  1. Take out each object, name them and place them in a vertical row on left side of rug
  2. Take out each pouch and place them in a vertical row on far right side of rug.
  3. Lift, feel, and name the top object in left row
  4. Starting with the top pouch in right row feel it carefully…continue down the row until you find the match
  5. Lay the match just to the right of the object
  6. Continue in same manner until all have been matched
  7. “Let’s check to be sure” (lift each flap, starting at the top)

What I learned from creating this original project: The sewing took longer than I had anticipated, but I really enjoyed doing this project.  I tried to think of similarly shaped objects that may make it a little more difficult to discern…The varying objects were of differing shapes and sizes, which added an element of interest as well.

What I learned from my demonstration of this activity: I had learned from my last lesson to remain completely quiet and to focus on the work rather than the child or try to read his face, so that went pretty well this time.  I was very happy that he did this work a couple more times on his own. It made me feel that it was successful.  The coin and the key kind of disappeared in the corner of the pouch and were a little difficult to maneuver into the window area and made me think about using a double-sided scotch tape the leave it centered, but not obscure the “feel” of the object.

What I learned from the child’s response:  His squeal of delight made my day.  I knew that he would enjoy doing this work and I left him completely alone…with his back to me, where I could discreetly see how it was going.  He was completely absorbed.

Very clever. Thank you Shana!

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huazi Look before you leap. First think, then act.-Salvatore Ferragamo Swiss watch replicas

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