Painted pebbles

Learning objectives

To develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Resources needed

  • Pebbles, sea glass or shells
  • Paints or paint pens
  • Varnish (optional)



Does something catch your eye? Perhaps a smooth, shiny piece of sea glass or a flat, round pebble?

  • Go walking in search of suitable objects to paint.
  • Use paints or acrylic paint pens to decorate them.
  • Find a picture or something to copy onto your pebble. The shape of the pebble may remind you of something, such as a leaf or a wave.
  • Think of some positive messages to share with others.
  • Spray or cover the pebble in varnish to protect it (optional).
  • Leave it in a special place or give it as a gift.

Painted pebble 1
Painted pebble 2

Activity A

  • Leave a pebble trail for others to find.
  • Perhaps the pebbles link together because they are similar, such as all being of animals or boats.
  • You could also leave pebbles outside your home as decoration or a welcome.

Activity B

  • Choose a place to visit, such as Smeaton's Tower at the Hoe.
  • Paint a picture of that place on your pebble.
  • When you visit, hold the pebble in front of the tower and take a photo to show where you have visited.

Painted pebble 3

How to put the idea into practice

1. Read through the suggested activities.

2. Plan a walk to collect some materials (paints, pebbles, etc.).

3. Paint at home and do the follow-up activities suggested above.


Ways to include all learners

  • Larger pebbles may be easier to handle.
  • Try free-drawing instead of copying pictures.
  • Use your fingers to decorate the pebbles instead of pens and paintbrushes.


This activity was devised by Katherine Gulliver, Research Assistant at the Plymouth Institute of Education, University of Plymouth.

Research with Plymouth Institute of Education