Pebble Patterns

Basic Activity Info

Activity Type: 

  • Transition
Age Group: 
6-9 yrs
9-12 yrs
13+ yrs
Time Requirement: 

Group Size: 

  • Large Group
  • Medium Group
  • Pair
  • Small Group

Play Area: 

  • Classroom (small indoor space)
  • Gymnasium (large indoor space)
  • Outdoor - Field
Adaptations icon.

Activity from "Recreational Tool Kit for Rural, Northern & Remote Aboriginal Communities", which was published by Northern Links.
For participants to practice their observation skills by re-creating the pattern or design that was created. These observation skills can be relayed into real life activities, and allows them to be observant in natural surroundings. 


10-20 (or so) pebbles/buttons/paper cut-outs or coins of varying sizes, shapes and colour per pair. 

Set Up: 

Have participants get into pairs, or into groups of 3.
Participants can collect 10-20 pebbles of varying size, shape and colour from the outdoors. Or the leader can provide the pebbles or use buttons, paper cut-outs or coins.

Step by Step: 
  1. One participant in each pair creates a pattern or design using some or all of the pebbles.
  2. The amount they use depends on the skill level and age of their partner. 
  3. This participant can write down their pattern or design so that they do not forget it. 
  4. The other participant will study the pattern or design for a set amount of time.
  5. When the set amount of time is up, the pattern or design will be destroyed, and the pebbles can be mixed in with the pebbles that were not used.
  6. That participant now has to re-create that pattern or design as accurately as possible. 
  7. The other participant can tell them which pebbles are wrong if they wish, and the participant tries to correct them.
  8. After they get it correct. Switch roles!
  9. If participants are in groups of 3, either 2 participants can work together in re-creating the pattern or they can take turns.
  10. As the activity goes on, have participants use more pebbles and create more complex patterns and designs. 
Safety Considerations: 

Remind participants to keep the pebbles on the table or ground.


Keep score. If the design had 10 pebbles, and the participant recreated the design and got 8 pebbles right, then they get 2 points (1 point for every miss). If the design has 12 pebbles and the participant recreated it with 9 right, then they get 3 points. Lowest score at the end of a determined amount of rounds wins. 

Adaptations (Blindness/Visual Impairment): 
Blindness Icon

Allow participants who are blind or visually impaired to study the pebble designs using their hands.


Developed for the Leisure Information Network.