Making shapes with rainbow pebbles

by Fellowship Agency September 5, 2017

Our friends at Edx education sent us their Rainbow Pebbles and they make for a fantastic #WhatsInMyTray. All of the pebble shapes are the right size to be made within a Gratnells tray and it makes for very easy tidying up!

Learning outcomes

You will be able to:

  • identify shapes from a printed pattern
  • build a range of pictures from using the rainbow pebbles.

You will need (per group)

  • A range of Shallow (F1) Gratnells trays
  • EDX Education Rainbow Pebbles
  • Gratnells inserts for organising and arranging your pebbles


  • When you first get your rainbow pebbles, we recommend organising them into Gratnells trays and inserts, grouping them by colour or size. This encourages tidiness, but also makes the selection process much easier when it comes to finding the pebbles you need for each shape or stack.

What to do:

  • First, choose an activity card from the pack of pebbles and select the required pebbles from the organised tray and place into a separate tray. This then becomes an individual workstation.
  • Then, make the shape/structure within the Gratnells tray. This helps to make tidying away much easier, but also provides an even surface for the structure to be built on. This will also allow you to easily catch the pebbles if your structure falls.

Other things to try…

  • Make simple pictures with a variety of rainbow pebbles.
  • Colour sorting with the rainbow pebbles.
  • Share photographs of your shape creations on social media using #WhatsInMyTray.

Curriculum links:

EYFS- Development Matters- Mathematics: Shape, space and measure- To notice simple shapes and patterns in pictures.

EYFS- Development Matters- Mathematics: Shape, space and measure- To show an interest in shape and space by playing with shapes or making arrangements with objects.

Year 1- Primary National Curriculum– Maths- To recognise and create repeating patterns with objects and with shapes.

Health and Safety

As with all Gratnells What’s In My Tray activities, you should carry out your own risk assessment prior to undertaking any activities with children.