DIY Bowling: Discovery at Home

What you need:

  • Empty plastic bottles.
  • Small toys, pebbles, sand or other objects to weigh down the bottles.
  • Ball.


  1. Fill the plastic bottle with a few small toys to weigh them down.
  2. Set up the plastic bottles in as many rows as you wish. One in the first row, two in the second row, three in the third row, ect.
  3. Then take about 7-10 steps away from the plastic bottle pins.
  4. Roll the ball on the ground towards the pins.
  5. Try to knock over as many pins as possible in one try!

Ways to Expand the Activity:

  • Keep score. For every pin you get down, you earn a point. Play against someone else by taking turns rolling the ball from the same starting point. The one with the most points at the end wins.
  • Make the pins different weights. Put a different amount of material in each bottle and experiment to see how much force it takes to knock over the pins.

What Kids Learn:

  • Experimentation! When kids experiment, they're learning how to learn. Failure is an important part of experimenting, so let kids try things that won’t work. It’s how they figure things out!
  • Hand eye coordination. Young children can use activities like this to help improve communication between their minds and bodies.
  • Math skills. Children will practice counting, adding, and subtracting when figuring out how many pins were knocked down and left standing.
  • Vocabulary:
    • Force. Energy caused by a push, pull, or gravity.
    • Push. An action when you move something away from your body or away from an object.
    • Friction. Resistance an object experiences when it rubs against something else.