Bowling Alley

Ideal for Toddler, Preschool/Pre-K

Plastic bottle sit on the ground in a 10-pin bowling formation, and a rubber ball is used 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).

Additional Activities

We think you'll also enjoy these...


We're adding new activities each week - get notified when we do!