You hear “sensory activity” and you think messy, right? Well, lucky for you, this kindergarten language development activity is mess-free but just as much fun as any other sensory activity! The purpose of this activity is to let your child explore an object using only their sense of touch, while using descriptive language to communicate to you what the object feels like.
Mystery Box – Kindergarten Language Development Activity
Supplies you Need for the Mystery Box
- Cardboard box (medium size)
- Items to put in the box (hairbrush, toothbrush, stuffed animal, pom-pom balls, avocado, play dough, slime, etc.)
- Craft knife/box cutter
- Items to decorate the box (optional) – marker, streamers, tape
Making your Mystery Box
Find a Box
I grabbed a leftover box from the garage and laid it on its side. Be sure to use a small or medium sized box. A large box will make it difficult for your child to reach the objects you place in the box.
Make sure the box flaps are open or cut away. This will be the opening, so you can place the objects in the box. On one side of the cardboard box, I drew two circles using a toddler-sized cup to trace around. I then simply cut them out using a craft knife. The holes needed to be large enough for my daughter to reach in but not see inside.
Decorate the Mystery Box
This is optional! If you want to keep it simple and easy, you can skip this part. The activity will still be just as much fun. The teacher in me can’t help but want to make the box “pretty.” I used streamers, black sharpie, and white paper to make the box look more appealing.
Gather the Mystery Objects
Now it’s time to gather (and hide out of sight) a variety of items to put in the box. You will want to select different objects that will elicit a variety of different tactile feelings. I chose a hairbrush, toothbrush, stuffed bunny, pompom balls, balloon, avocado, play dough, and feathers. Smooth, rough, soft, hard, slick, round, bumpy, prickly, and slimy are just a few of the possible adjectives that you want your child to identify.
Time for the Fun!
Next, I asked my daughter to close her eyes. Then, I placed one of the objects inside the box. She put her hands through the holes and picked the object up without opening her eyes. You might even want to blindfold your child to keep him/her from peeking through the holes to look into the box.
As soon as my daughter got ahold of the objects, I would ask her a couple of questions as a way to encourage her to use descriptive words to identify what she felt: Is it heavy or light? Is it hard or soft? Is it smooth or rough? Guide your child in using adjectives like the ones below to describe the objects.
Texture: smooth, sticky, rough, silky, lumpy, pokey, fluffy, slippery
Shape: round, flat, straight, wide, narrow, square, bent
Size: long, short, big, small, fat, chubby, thin, tall, large, tiny
The mystery box makes for a fun, relaxing kindergarten language development activity that can easily be revamped by changing out the items in the box! Here are some variations of the mystery box that you can try:
- Nature box – leaves, rocks, sticks, pinecones, dirt, and flowers
- Literacy/Math box – Letter and number puzzle pieces
- Summer box – goggles, swimsuit, sand, seashells, beach ball, water
This kindergarten language development activity will be a nice break from the messy activities we usually do. I’ll be adding it to our sensory activity rotation from now on. What version of the Mystery Box will you try?
Nataly is a certified elementary teacher turned stay-at-home-mom to two little girls. She enjoys sharing simple yet fun kids activities to help make playtime meaningful!
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