You Don't Need a Bowling Alley for Bowling Fun

Oh no, winter is almost over! Take advantage of the freezing temperatures while they last. Head outside and play a game of bowling.

You don’t need a bowling alley to throw a ball at some pins. You might not have a bowling set, but there are great substitutions all around you. Grab a basketball or a softball to replace the bowling ball. Search around your home or neighborhood for your “pins.” It might be cardboard boxes, plastic cups or pinecones.


Even better, you can make your own bowling set. All you need are old water bottles, a balloon, water, food coloring and a bit of time.


To make the pins, fill water bottles with water, adding food coloring of any color for flair. Set them outside to freeze. Just make sure to leave a little air at the top. Otherwise, when the water turns to ice, it will expand too much and make the bottom round. You don’t want the pins falling down before you throw the ball.


To make the ball, fill a balloon with water. Set it outside to freeze. Now you’re ready to observe. How cold is it outside? How long do you think it will take for your pins and bowling ball to freeze? Make a hypothesis, then check every so often. How close were you?


Once your bowling gear is frozen solid, head outside to play.


All you really need is flat space where you can set up your pins and roll your ball. However, it’s fun to build a game space. Shovel an alleyway. Line it with twigs or rocks.


Play ball! You can practice getting a strike by yourself or grab a few friends to play with you. (A strike is bowling lingo for knocking all the pins down in one throw.)


Don’t forget to agree on the rules before you start. Is the goal to just knock over the most pins? Or are you using official bowling rules? You can learn how to score bowling online.


Good luck, and have fun outside with winter bowling!

____________


Follow Willy's Wilderness on Facebook for more kid-friendly nature stories and activities.