Adding a mystery aspect to preschool activities can turn an ordinary lesson into an extraordinary one.
Using a mystery bag or asking preschoolers to close their eyes while you hide something adds a mystery component to many activities, and reinforces the concept of object permanence (the understanding that objects continue to exist when they cannot be seen).
Here are just a few activities that do just that!
Put one piece of candy on each of the nine game squares. Ask your child to close their eyes while you pick one of the squares. When they open their eyes, they start taking one piece off the board at a time, counting one higher with each piece. When they take the candy off the square you chose, yell, “Don’t Eat Pepe!”
Your child gets to keep the candy they retrieved from their turn. Ask, “How many pieces did you get?” Now it's your turn. Fill the empty squares on the board and switch roles. Close your eyes and let your child pick the square! Repeat until the candy is gone.
Set out the clouds separately with the numbers facing up. You may want to start with just 4-6 clouds and add more as your child is ready. Ask your child to close their eyes while you hide the airplane under one of the clouds. Tell them to open their eyes and repeat the following rhyme:
Airplane, airplane where did you fly, you must be hiding up in the sky?
Ask your child to pick a cloud by telling you the number and flipping it over. Repeat until they find the airplane under one of the clouds. When they find the airplane, celebrate and play again.
Set the character cards face up on a flat surface. Have your child cover their eyes while you hide the cookie under one of the character cards.
Ask the question by chanting, “Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?”
Let your child guess which character the cookie is hiding under. If they guess incorrect, have them put the card back down and try again. Repeat until the cookie is found.
4. Mystery Bag
Mystery bags are a great invention. Very little prep and always exciting. You can use them for whatever you are studying or just use random items. Simply put one thing in the bag and give students clues about the item in the bag until they guess it.
Show and Tell
At school we ask students to bring a favorite item from home and put it in the mystery bag. When they come to class their classmates ask yes and no questions to them like, “Is it soft, is it yellow, can you play with it, do you read it?” The student who brought the item answers yes or no until the other students guess what is in the bag.
Supplies: Plastic eggs, animal cards
1. Lay out the animal cards in front of your child and ask them to identify as many as they can. Share a few facts about each animal and allow them to share what they know or like about them (refer to the clues below if needed).
2. For the following activity, hide the animal cards out of your child’s view and put one in the egg at a time without your child seeing. “I have an animal in this egg. I will give you clues and let’s see if you can guess who is in each egg.”
- Chicken—I lay eggs, I use my beak to peck, I have wings but I don’t fly, I often live on a farm, I say cluck cluck or cockadoodle doo.
- Fish—I live in the ocean and I am a great swimmer, my skin is scaly and slimy, I can breathe with my gills underwater.
- Octopus—I live in the ocean, I have a large head, no body and eight legs, I spray ink to scare away predators.
- Frog—I am usually green and small, I can jump really high and I say ribbit.
- Penguin—I live in the arctic, I have two flippers that help me swim, I eat fish and waddle when I walk.
- Alligator—My skin is scaly, I live in swamps, I have a long snout with sharp teeth.
- Eagle—I have wings and I am one of the biggest flying birds, I build my nest way high up in trees, I have a white feathered head and brown feathered body and a yellow beak.
- Snake—I have a long flexible body, with no arms or legs, I slither to move and I say “Sssssss.”
Have a great time adding the element of mystery to your preschool lessons!
Mrs. Melanie and Mrs. Katie