Centering on Children is dedicated to providing creative learning activities for autistic individuals or those with learning disabilities who are beginning the process of 'learning how to learn.' They are the sole-source distributor of ShoeboxTasks®, employing adults on the autism spectrum in their Vocational Workshop, who work in packaging and assembling the Tasks with the guidance of job coaches. Please note: all manipulatives are easy to handle and large enough to prevent swallowing. 

Thank you for supporting Centering on Children, the adults with autism that we employ in our ShoeboxTasks Vocational Workshop, and the educational goals of your special needs student.

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Mystery Bag

Mystery Bag


Mystery Bag is a one-to-one teaching tool introducing a match activity and using the sense of touch. This task contains eight pairs of differently shaped wooden objects. The student watches while the teacher places one of each of the paired objects into the Mystery Bag. The teacher then holds up one of the objects in clear view and directs the student to reach into the bag and, without looking, find the matching object by feel. With a correct match, the process is repeated with the next object until all of the objects have been matched.

This is an abstract concept that may prove to be challenging for many of autistic students. Besides focusing on the sense of touch, this activity presents an opportunity to follow a set of directions. If words alone are ineffective to convey the goal, using a combination of words and/or pictures may be more effective.  Modeling the process may also prove helpful.

Photo credit: © Jeffrey DeCristofaro 2017

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