The Mystery Box (The Five Senses: Touch)

Continuing with our study of the five senses today we're going to talk about touch or feeling. We are now midway through our unit on the five senses. Each day (Monday-Friday) this week, I'm posting an activity to give your preschooler the opportunity to isolate one of their senses. If you haven't already, check out the Alphabet I Spy Bottle we made to use our sense of sight and the Guess the Sound Game we did to use our sense of hearing.

preschooler pulling a measuring tape out of the mystery box

Curious about how our sense of touch works? When a stimulus reaches our skin, our nerves send various signals to our brain (depending on the type of stimulus). Different receptors in the skin, respond to different stimuli. For more information, you can read about the somatosensory system.

There are many activities you can offer your preschooler throughout the day to go with this theme. Make a sensory bin filled with different textures. In art, you could sculpt with clay or finger paint. For math, count manipulatives or pom poms. To include the sense of touch in music, clap or stomp your feet along with the radio.

The way I introduced our discussion of this sense to Little M. was through this fun little game: the Mystery Box. We had so much fun with this activity!

Here's What You Will Need to Make the Mystery Box and Play the Game

  • an empty tissue box
  • construction or scrapbook paper
  • clear tape (I used packing tape)
  • scissors
  • random small objects for guessing

Making the Mystery Box

First, you will need to prepare the box. You could simply use a plain tissue box. I just covered the box in pretty scrapbook paper as if I were wrapping a present. Then I secured it with tape. I didn't care for part of the box being covered it tape, and part uncovered; so I wrapped the whole thing in packing tape. This also has the effect of making the box somewhat less destructible.

Playing the Game with Your Child

Choose a small object which is familiar to your child (in my case, a toy screwdriver). It's a good idea to pick something that your child plays with frequently, because then it will be something in their sense memory. Although, they have probably never focused on identifying on object without their sense of sight before, this will give them a better chance at succeeding.

Give the box to your child, and ask them to feel the object without removing it. Ask them if they can describe it, then if they can name it. Little M. had so much fun trying to figure out the “mystery.”

After your child discovers what the object is, you can ask them if they would like to choose a mystery for you. They can take the box and find a small object to try and stump you! We must have taken around fifteen turns each. This activity was so much fun!

Mystery Box (Preschool 5 Senses Unit: Touch)

If you found this activity helpful, please share or leave a comment down below. I'd love to hear from you! Need a book to go with this activity? Check out the 5 Senses Book Roundup.


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