Bowling Alley

Recycled bottles set up as bowling pins with a bouncy ball as a bowling ball

This activity promotes development and learning by encouraging children to demonstrate and understand cause-and-effect, and use reasoning and problem-solving skills.

Materials Needed:

  • 6 – 8 plastic water bottles, half-filled with water
  • Balls in a variety of weights and sizes
  • Smooth flat surface
  • Paper and pencil (for older children)

Participants: This activity is intended for adult/child interaction, however, once set-up, children can play independently.


  1. Set up a “bowling alley” by organizing the water bottles at the end of a smooth, flat surface.
  2. Help your child select a ball, and roll gently towards the pins. What happened? How many were knocked down?
  3. Have your child roll the ball with more force. What happened now? How many were knocked down?
  4. Select a different ball to roll. Did it have a different effect? Narrate the experience to your child and ask open-ended questions.

Extension: Have older children document their bowling experience by creating a chart or graph indicating how many pins they were able to knock over with each type of ball, or by the amount of force used (soft, medium, hard).

Bright Horizons
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Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
Recycled bottles set up as bowling pins with a bouncy ball as a bowling ball