Indoor Bowling Game
Create a bowling alley out of empty bottles!
- Bowler(s):Your kid(s)
- 10 empty two-liter bottles:Gulp, gulp!
- A ball:A traditional kickball, volleyball or basketball will do. Use a tennis ball and you're just setting yourself up for frustration.
- A smooth, level playing surface:Such as a driveway or hardwood floor. Sorry, this game won't work on shag carpet.
- Chalk or duct tape
- Paper and pencil:To make your scorecard.
- Sand:Optional for bigger kids.
- Video camera:You bowling league parents will want to capture this for posterity.
- Plastic trophy:Optional, but what's a bowling victory without a trophy? Find cheap five-inch trophies at Oriental Trading.
- Gather 10 two-liter bottles. If you don't have any, ask a neighbor if you can go through their recyclables.
- Wash them out. You don't want sticky bowling pins!
- Pick your playing surface. A regulation bowling lane is 62 feet, 10 3/16 inches long, and 41 or 42 inches in width. Your homemade lane doesn't need to be so big, but you will need at least 10 feet. So clear out the coffee table or move the car to get rolling!
- Use chalk or duct tape to mark your starting line (a.k.a. foul line), your gutters and the pin deck (that's bowling-speak for where the pins go).
- Line up your pins. Place them in an inverted triangle (just like they are at the end of a bowling lane).
- To make the game more challenging for older kids, fill the empty soda bottles with sand so they're harder to knock down. Regulation pins weigh about 3½ ounces. A can of soda weighs twice that (and adds even more ounces to your hips, sadly).
- Have the kids grab a ball and start bowling.
- Institute a rule that each bowler has to pick up and reset the pins he knocks down for the next player's turn. Trust us, you don't want that job: too hard on the lower back!
- If you're in a competitive mood, keep score, one point for every pin knocked down (don't worry about scoring strikes and spares; this is playtime, not math class). Or forget the score and just cheer your little ones on and be thankful that bowling is one sport you don't have to be in tip-top shape to enjoy.
- Have an awards ceremony and hand out trophies to your champions! Since everyone's a winner here, you can give them to the runners-up as well. We don't want any sore losers! (Right dad?)
- Give the Farrelly Brothers a run for their money! Break out your home video camera and shoot the kids bowling bottles. It may not be as hilarious as Kingpin, but Grandma will give it a thumbs-up!