Anti-Boredom Project for Kids: Sketchup Mosaics

I don’t know about you, but I have kids home this week of summer break. And the two most annoying words I keep hearing: “I’m bored.”  If you also find yourself fighting on the front lines of the War Against Child Boredom, maybe this activity will help. And for any teachers reading, you might appreciate this as well.

Several years ago, while I was first writing my GeomeTricks books, I uploaded over 50 mosaics to SketchUp’s 3D Warehouse. My kids kept asking me to print out mosaics they could color, and I figured other kids would enjoy them as well. So up they went.

Getting the Mosaics

To find these models yourself, go to the 3D Warehouse and use the search term “roskes mosaic.” (Or just click this link, which already has the search embedded.)

You’ll find a bunch of mosaics which appear to be already colored:

SketchUp Mosaics 1


If you want to see these in order of title (in numerical order, from simple to complex), change “Sort by Relevance” at the top right to “Sort by Title.” SketchUp Mosaics 2


Here’s one I particularly like: Mosaic #35.  Clicking the 3D Warehouse logo below takes you straight to the model’s download page.

The model’s description tells you how it was created, and that there are three scene tabs you can use, depending on the activity you want to try.

(The description also contains a dead link to the site where the GeomeTricks books *used* to be available. These models were uploaded to an old Warehouse account for which I no longer have the login! Here’s the right place, and you’ll find these projects in the “Periodic Patterns” series.)

Mosaic Coloring Activities

When you open one of these mosaics in SketchUp, three scene tabs appear along the top: “Pattern Colors,” “Color Yourself,” and “Print and Color.”

SketchUp Mosaics 4

Because these models have scenes, do not import them into another SketchUp model, using the Get Models or File / Import tools. Imported models lose their scenes. Download each mosaic from the Warehouse and open it in its own file.

The “Pattern Colors” tab represents how I modeled the mosaic. Each repeating piece is an identical component. SketchUp Mosaics 6


If you open any component for editing (Select-double-click on it), change a few colors, then close the component (Select-click outside the component), you can change the look of the pattern. SketchUp Mosaics 7


Or you can get creative while component-editing, adding new edges and colors. SketchUp Mosaics 8


The “Color Yourself” tab has no components; the entire pattern is composed of individual faces painted gray. So you can paint them however you like.SketchUp Mosaics 5


The third tab is for printing and coloring by hand – all black edges and white faces. Make sure you have a lot of markers or crayons on hand.SketchUp Mosaics 9


These coloring projects come recommended by the Roskes kids, and I hope yours enjoy them as well.

And if you or your kids want to learn how to make these mosaics in SketchUp, GeomeTricks books are also great for keeping boredom at bay!

About Bonnie Roskes

Bonnie Roskes has been writing tutorial-style projects on 3D modeling software, primarily SketchUp, since 2001. Her website, offers a wide variety of learning materials for all ages, from kids in grade school through design professionals. Her materials cover general 3D design, 3D printing, geometry, interior design, geo-modeling, and more, and future books are in the works. Read more about Bonnie.


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