Domino Rally Bowling: Discovery at Home

What you need:

  • Blocks, dominoes, etc.
  • Crayons.
  • Ball or racecar.
  • Recycled items.
  • Tape.
  • Books.


  1. The goal is to send a ball down a ramp, which starts a domino rally with an ending that will knock over a set of blocks acting as bowling pins.
  2. Use recycled materials to create a slope or slide.
  3. At the base of the slide build a domino rally that leads to a set of blocks that can be knocked over.
  4. Test the structure by sending a ball or racecar down the slope to see if it starts the domino rally and knocks over the pins.
  5. If all of the pins are not knocked down, reset the domino rally and try again until you knock over all of the pins.

Ways to expand:

  • Make the domino rally longer to create a more difficult challenge.
  • Make it a competition! Keep score of how many pins you knock down on each turn. See which competitor wins after 10 rounds

What kids learn:

  • Basic engineering skills. Engineers solve problems with constraints. They learn to solve problems by using the engineering design process: asking questions, coming up with solutions, building, testing and improving.
  • 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!
  • Math skills. Children can practice counting and keeping track of how many pins they knock down.


  • Force: energy caused by a push or a pull, in this case, the pull created by your hand when you push the car or ball.
  • Potential Energy: The amount of energy an object stored up in something. A rolling object at the top of a slope has lots of potential energy!
  • Kinetic energy: The amount of energy an object has when in motion. When your hand releases the car or ball, the object loses potential energy but gains kinetic energy.e!