Press Here: A Magnetic Polka Dot Sensory Bag

Magnetic Polka Dot Sensory Bag | Mama Papa Bubba{this post contains affiliate links}

This week of our preschool book club was a much anticipated one.  Our book, Press Here  by Hervé Tullet, has been a favourite of ours for a very long time due to its interactive nature, so we couldn’t wait to explore it further.  If you’ve not read it before, each page requires the reader to complete an action of some sort before moving on to the next page to see what has happened to the dots {for example, ‘five quick taps on the yellow dot’ or ‘try shaking the book…just a little bit’}.  Definitely a fun and unique book!

For our book extension activity, I knew we had to do something with red, yellow, and blue dots, and while several art projects came to mind initially, I decided on an activity that combined science, sensory play, and colouring mixing…  Exploring a magnetic polka dot sensory bag!

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First off, I read the book aloud while Miss G followed the author’s instructions…

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When we got to this particular page, she did a little bit of experimenting of her own with the magnetic counting chips that were sitting nearby.

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Of course she also remembered how well we could see colour mixing in action when we put our gel baggies on our window, so she took a brief break from the book to experiment with the chips on the window too.

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After finishing the book, she got to sorting our chips.  Since we were creating a sensory bag based on Press Here we wanted to make our polka dots the three main colours seen in the story – red, blue, and yellow.

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Creating the sensory bag was very simple.  Using a heavy duty zip-close bag, we placed a little water inside, as well as several magnetic counting chips.

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Then we squeezed as much air out as possible and sealed it up.  I placed in on a big plastic tray {just in case} and added a magnetic wand to the set-up.

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Gracen got started right away.  She attempted to create different polka formations {like the ones seen in the book} and quickly noticed that hovering the magnetic wand just above the sensory bag gave her the results she was looking for.

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Allowing the magnet to touch the bag was fun too, but it almost always caused more of a reaction than she was looking for.

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When she was ready to start anew, she’d gently push her hand down in the centre of the bag a couple of times and the counting chips would disperse again.

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What was really neat was that during her play, she was able to spot all sorts of colour mixing moments, just as we had seen in the book!  I was surprised at how long Miss G stayed engaged with such a simple activity, but it really was pretty neat.

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About a half hour into our exploration, we had another idea – placing our magnetic polka dot sensory bag on our homemade light box! It looked pretty neat in the centre of a dark room with the light shining up through it and Grae mentioned that it reminded her of the black pages in the Press Here book {clever little thing!}

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When our bag eventually sprung a leak, we decided to play with the counting chips themselves on the light box.  Grae wanted to recreate some of the polka dot formations she remembered from the book, so that’s what we did.

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Of course we had to test out some colour mixing too.The results were pretty cool even though the photos I quickly snapped on my iPhone don’t really do them any justice.

For now, a big bowl of these magnetic counters stay out in Miss G’s bedroom along with her magnetic wand and light box so that she can explore them further during quiet play time, as requested. ☺


Ready for some other really fun Press Here inspired activities?  Check out what our friends came up with:

Press Here Book Club


movement game    |    sensory dot play    |     eraser art    |    press here necklace

Want to try a little preschool book club of your own?  See the entire series here.



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4 thoughts on “Press Here: A Magnetic Polka Dot Sensory Bag

  1. Where do you get the magnetic chips and magnet? Do they come as a set? Oh, I’ve just found your link above but they don’t deliver to Perth WA (Australia). Oh well, I’ll try and hunt some down … along with the book. Another fantastic idea! Thank you.

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