A Bit Of Mystery and Intrigue

So, I have this black pouch.  It is sitting on the table as part of a My Obstacle Course station.  Are you curious as to what is inside of it?  I’ll give you a hint.  It has a bunch of something inside, something I’m sure every house has.  Think you know?  I’ll let you know if you are right…later!

Mysterious black pouch

I am a huge fan of The Amazing Race and was thinking how part of the intrigue of the show was the clue being hidden inside of the envelope.  The teams don’t know what is going to happen until they open the clue and find out. They race up, open it and can barely read it aloud because they are so out of breath.  Mystery and intrigue seem to be a common characteristic among popular reality shows and it made me think about what people were willing to do in order to get to the next stage or get the next clue.  This was a huge inspiration to me when I created My Obstacle Course for my son.  He needed something a bit different that would motivate him and I wanted a way to build his skills.  He needed structure, I decided to make it fun by adding some mystery and intrigue!

How do I do this for My Obstacle Courses in my home?  It really is quite simple.  I went on a bit of a hunt around my house, mostly in drawers, cupboards and closets.  I was looking for things that could hold and hide station materials or items.

I found an old lunch box,


an eyeglass case,

An eyeglass case is perfect for holding puffs or other small items.

An eyeglass case not only holds small items but also requires fine motor skills to open it.

and some make-up bags I had received as “free gifts” with a purchase.

Zip up pouch

Clear plastic zip up pouches

These were perfect for stations with smaller pieces or calendar cutouts.  They not only held the materials but also provided an opportunity to build fine motor skills by unzipping or unsnapping.  The fact that most of the bags were quite sparkly and colorful was an added bonus!

I have used plastic bags, leftover containers

Ziploc container hold items and requires fine motor skills to peel the lid off.

and even tennis ball cans which weren’t as mysterious because he could see through them but he still had to peel off the lid to know exactly what was going to be required of him.

Tennis ball can

Tennis ball can holding materials (counting cubes)

Larger tote bags were perfect for larger items like stuffed animals, small balls, cars and other items I used to work on building social, literacy and receptive language skills.

Tote bag for larger items

It was not only fun for Andrew to get to experience the mystery and intrigue of not always knowing what he was going to find (his face is always priceless as he scans the room to see what I’ve set out) but it was also fun for me to try and find ways to hide things so he wouldn’t know what they were.  It’s the same feeling that I get when we hide Easter Eggs or wrap gifts for him.  A bit of mystery and intrigue can make an otherwise mundane task seem more like an adventure.

Do you have any idea what I have in the mysterious black pouch?  Check it out!!

Mysterious black pouch holding dominos -this time!

I’ll do a post soon on how I use dominos in My Obstacle Course but for now, I encourage you to add some mystery and intrigue to the time you spend with your children and go on a little hunt of your own to find ways to hide materials.  You might be surprised at what you find right under your bathroom sink!!

Engage, Encourage and Empower

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