Pebble painting
  • } Target level: KS2 and above
  • c Time: 30 minutes
  • u Links to science and English

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.

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.


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.