Pebble creature maths
Use pebble creatures to make outdoor maths activities more fun!
What you'll need
- pebble creatures
- acrylic pens
- leaves and other natural materials
- balance scales
- tape measure
This activity has been provided by
Useful items from our shop
- Balance Scales
- Stainless Steel Bowl
- Measuring Jugs - Set of 3
- Metal Ruler (Kids at Work)
- Mini Tape Measure (Kids at Work)
- Hand Painted Numbers on Wooden Noggins
- Numbers - Acrylic
Consider the environmental impact of preparing, carrying out & completing this activity. Could this impact be reduced? Specific considerations for this activity could include:
- leave no trace
- use a non-toxic water based pigment to mark on the eyes
Health & Safety Considerations
Follow your usual operating procedures and carry out appropriate risk benefit assessments.
Some considerations particular to this activity include:
Create a bunch of pebble creatures.
Create a hook:
Hide the creatures around your outdoor space and set up a scenario of an alien crash-landing or escape from a rock zoo.
With older children the scenario could be set up by explaining that a new species has been discovered nearby. Describe how the species looks then explain that the scientists need some help to find and record more specimens.
For younger children maybe have one pebble creature poking out nearby and ask the children if they have any idea what they may look like – see if anyone spots the one nearby. If it is found you can discuss it and what others may look like.
Generally when doing this sort of activity ask everyone to find one item each and then return to base, to prevent the more enthusiastic ones in the group from having lots, leaving others with none.
Once all the group has at least one then let them play and explore (splitting into groups if appropriate). Perhaps build houses or record the data the scientists need and see what they get up to.
Observe simple counting of the pebble creatures supporting one-to-one correspondence.
This activity could be developed by adding pebbles/leaves or cards with numbers on them, and just seeing what happens.
Does number recognition happen when collecting and counting naturally? Or does more creative learning take place?
Does any sorting take place without prompts? – size, colour, weight, eye type, surface texture, etc.
What happens after the sorting has taken place?
Do you observe any patterns being created with the creatures?
What is being used in the pattern? – different coloured pebbles or eye colour or any repeating patterns?
Introduce some mathematical symbols – these leaves have symbols drawn on with acrylic pens.
Does this lead to any calculating or even something more interesting?
Provide a balance scale and observe if any estimating and weighing occurs.
For more detailed scientific species identification provide a more accurate set of weighing scales.
Provide rulers and tape measures so diameters, heights and lengths can be recorded.
Displacing water with pebbles is lots of fun!
Why not provide equipment to record volume, allowing pebble displacement to be explored in more detail?
Take it further:
Add some pebble creatures with acrylic pen eyes to your water area!
Disclaimer: Muddy Faces cannot take any responsibility for accidents or damage that occurs as a result of following this activity.You are responsible for making sure the activity is conducted safely.