Did I tell you that my girl loves pebbles? Eversince she was a toddler, in our garden walks, she always picks up pebbles and without fail starts to meddle with them. She will sometimes stack them up and see which one will topple the stack, lay them out in a straight line, throw them onto different surfaces to hear the sounds made, or pretend to use them as ingredients to cook a meal for me. These pebbles are just the right size for their small palms to grasp, and it is round edged so it is not dangerous. Her obsession with these pebbles always had me brewing up different ideas of using these pebbles for play and explorative activities.
One of the ideas that came up is using markers to draw on the pebbles. I presented the pebbles in a basket, and some chalk markers (from Daiso). Chalk markers are water-based markers which makes the ink washable. It becomes an open-ended art activity that allows Rae to use her imagination and creativity to make marks on the pebbles. You can also use these beautifully drawn pebbles as paper weights in your office!
Learning Points from this Art Activity
Making marks on the pebbles was an extremely engaging activity for Rae. She started choosing different coloured markers and labeled them as ‘orange’, ‘purple’,’pink’ and so on. Feeling the different shapes & sizes of the pebbles with her fingers, she also used comparative terms like “big”, “small” and adjectives like ” smooth”, “dirty” to describe the pebbles. It is so evident to me that when a child’s senses are stimulated, discovery learning takes place naturally. Drawing on concrete objects like pebbles was a different sensory experience compared to her usual activity of drawing on paper. It is a different level of mastery when making marks on three-dimensional objects like pebbles. She has to exercise tighter finger grip, and with more intense concentration to prevent the markers from slipping off the surface, and the lines from deviating. While drawing, she will probably derive simple conclusions that it is easier to draw on flat, and not curved surfaces. This can also be a pre-writing activity for children to learn mark-making.
Check out Rae’s mark-making on the pebbles.. From extreme left, she drew a snake, and the middle pebble is a bird who tries to eat up the snake! The pebble on the extreme right is the flower that is the bird’s favourite hiding place. From this little open-ended activity, I can clearly see Rae’s imagination at work, and drawing becomes her medium of expressing her ideas and creativity.
Such open-ended activities allow your child to be free with her art expressions. Its perfectly alright for the child to draw the way she likes it, and use her markings to symbolise her ideas. Encourage her to expand her thoughts by prompting her with questions. Ask her to express and describe what she is drawing. Value her artwork and show interest in what she is drawing. Remember that the process of creating is more important than the finished product to a child.
Great Art Activity for Playdates!
For one of the playdates, I decided to let some children try this activity together! They were so engrossed in drawing on the pebbles, that I ran out of pebbles in no time! Try it out sometime, if you need a filler activity to occupy the children!
Have fun drawing on pebbles, we did!! 🙂