Mystery Bag

By Activity Bank on Dec 16, 2013

This activity has been revised and was originally created by Charlotte Cushman and published in the Perkins Activity and Resource Guide (1st edition, 1992).  The second edition is available for purchase.

As part of their social development, students can play games with each other that encourage peer interaction and taking turns. This activity has students participating in a group activity while identifying familiar objects and reinforcing fine motor skills. Lessons include English Language Arts, Social Skills, and Orientation and Mobility.


  • Add pockets to a bag or purse using a variety of closures, such as buttons, zippers, Velcro®, ties and snaps.
  • Variety of small objects to hide inside the bag, such as a bell, key, coin, comb, squeaker, raisin or toy.


  • Students take turns hiding and finding items in the mystery bag. The first person hides a small object in one pocket of the bag, hands the bag to the next person and says, for example, “Sue, I hid something for you in the big button pocket.” Once Sue finds the object, she tells the group what she found and then chooses something to hide for the next person. The game continues until everyone has had a turn.
  • In order to include the others who are waiting for a turn, it is best if the person looking for the hidden object narrates the search. An adult can help to narrate if necessary: “Mary is looking in the corduroy pocket. I wonder what she’ll find.”


  • Have the first student tell what she has hidden, but not where. For example, after Sue has hidden something, she hands the bag to Bill, saying, “I hid the bell for you. Can you find it?”
  • This activity can also be done with a mystery box, such as a diaper wipe box. Place several small objects in the box and have the student put their hand in and try to find a particular object.
  • Try this as a matching activity where students are given a sample of something hidden in the purse and then look for the one that matches.

Hints: Encourage students to tell where they put everyday objects; for example, “Sam, I put your radio on top of your desk.” Ask students to find items throughout the day, such as lunch money in their front pocket, hat in the outer section of their backpack, etc.



mystery bag