by Maria Chatzi
Are you a parent or a teacher looking for exciting and engaging pebble and rock activities for young kids, for indoor and outdoor fun? Do you want to get them spend some happy time away from their tablet or television screen? If so, this page is for you.
I have compiled a list for you. I did my best to give you my original, fresh ideas and not include what most of us have already seen while searching online. Some of my ideas have been inspired by traditional rock games, from various cultures.
The pebble and rock activities below are not grouped into categories by age range because there is a lot of cross-over. Almost all of them could be easily adapted for younger or older children.
Here’s the list of pebble and rock activities for kids (age 3-9):
1. Give kids some pebbles and non-toxic paints, or some craft materials, to create a pebble baby monster they found one day outside their school and followed them home.
Ask them to give their monster a name.
Then, have them make the baby monster’s favorite toy. The toy can be larger than the pebble baby monster, or smaller. It can be made out of any material found around the house or in their classroom. Ask kids what kind of toy it is and why it is the monster’s favorite. Also, ask them how they would take care of the baby.
2. Children will love making a “Funny Pebbles Museum”.
The pebbles could have funny faces or animals painted on them, or have naturally formed funny shapes. One idea for displaying them is to use shadow boxes placed on a shelf or table top. Another idea is to glue a magnet on their back side. You can display them on the fridge or a metal board, which will be the museum. Ask them what their favorite display is and why they think their friends would like to visit this museum. Also, ask them for any ideas of what other type of cool museum they can create with beach pebbles. This will work well as a group activity too.
3. Help younger kids practise counting in a playful way with the “Pirate Gold” game.
For this game, you need 30-40 small sized pebbles (larger than your thumbnail). The younger the children, the fewer the pebbles; this is due to their smaller attention span. Paint all the pebbles a golden color with non-toxic paint. When the paint has dried, put all the pebbles in a container. The game is played with two players. If a second child is not available, an adult can take the place of the second player.
You also need a die. The players take turns in throwing the die. The player with the biggest number is the one who plays first. The first player throws the die and counts the dots on the upper surface when it has rested. This player takes as many pieces of golden pebbles out of the container as the number on the die says. Then it’s the second players turn to repeat the same actions and gather golden pebbles.
Near the end of the game, if only very few pebbles are left inside the container, the players must see the exact number of dots on the die they’ve thrown, or else they cannot make a move to gather any more of the pirate’s gold. For example, if there are only 2 golden pebbles left, only the player who gets two dots on the upper surface of the die, when thrown, will be the one to gather the pebbles. So, the players will keep on taking turns in throwing the die until one of them gets the desired lucky result.
When all the pirate’s gold has been gathered, the players must count their golden pebbles. The winner is the player with the largest number of pebbles.
4. Have kids write a short story about a homeless pebble alien that has invaded their room.
Who is he? What (imaginary) planet and galaxy is he from? How did he land on earth and how did he end up in your room? Why? Was it an accident? Or is he on a mission? How will you hide him from other humans? Can you help him with his mission, so he can get back home? How? Children can also paint or draw their homeless pebble alien visitor on a real medium to large pebble from the beach.
5. Boys and girls will all get excited playing a Pebble Robot Racing Game.
This is for two players. If you play this game indoors you will need to draw a pebble track on a game board, or tape the pebble track pieces onto the floor, using double-stick tape or bluetac (you must do this to prevent accidents because paper may slide on the floor).
To make the shapes of the pebble track pieces, you can either draw the outline of imaginative pebbles or find some real beach pebbles, trace them and enlarge the images (as much as necessary) to cut out and place on your game board or to tape on the floor.
You will also need a die to throw and two beach pebbles for the kids to paint robot pictures on them. Alternatively, they can recycle robot pictures found in old, discarded books and magazines – just give them a pair of scissors to cut them out and some non-toxic craft glue to create their pebble robots.
The players can move their pebble robots only if the die they throw sets to show the larger numbers of dots on its upper surface, that is only numbers 4, 5 and 6.
The winner is the player whose pebble robot gets to the end first.
If you play this game outdoors you can:
a) use sidewalk chalk to draw the pebble track on cement or
b) use a strong stick, not easy to break, to draw the pebble track on dirt ground or on slightly wet sand on the beach.
Please keep in mind that the information given here relates to children but addresses adults. This is NOT a section of a website for kids, although there are plenty of activities suitable for children. Kids (especially those of younger ages) must always be attended by an adult when exploring, playing or creating with rocks and pebbles.
If you loved this list of activities for children, and want more ideas with beach stones and pebbles for fun and engaging things kids can do, CLICK THE LINKS BELOW to get to related pages of my website. I have more lists for art and crafts projects, educational hobbies, poetry and creative writing.
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