Friday, January 24, 2014

Easy Indoor Activity: Toddler Bowling!

It's cold. I'm not sure if you noticed but here in New England the winter time can be fierce and a little depressing. Sure snow is beautiful but when you have an energetic little one on your hands and temperature outside is creating an ice wonderland, the last thing mamas want to do is put 15 layers on (both her and child) and send them slipping down the driveway! To be honest, we always have a blast in the snow but the truth is some days are too cold and unsafe for a child.

My husband and his father go bowling every week in a league. It has been a tradition since he was about eight years old. I think it's super sweet and awesome that they can bond that way. It will be so cool when David gets older and he can join them. That got me thinking about how fun it would be to create a small bowling alley right here at home!

To be honest, there wasn't much planning with this one. I literally saw that my son was bored and the idea popped into my head, so I ran around gathering what I needed, which took all about 5 minutes. And the fun lasted for hours. Not to mention it's something quick you can put together every day and put to the side without mess or fuss. He had a blast :)

What you'll need:
  • two pool noodles
  • 4-8 plastic bottles, labels off
  • uncooked rice or beads
  • a ball
Since pool noodles are so light and have a hard time staying put, I wedged one end under the sofa and spaced the noodles about two feet apart. Now that I look back, I could've taped them to the floor but I'll have to try that next time and see it if is better. This worked just fine.

Fill each bottle with half an inch to an inch of rice or beads. Just enough to keep the bottles upright. If you fill them too high then the bottles become heavier and may be too hard for toddlers to knock down with the ball. You could start filling them low and work your way up to increase difficulty if your kiddo starts to go pro! The bottles are also good as a separate sensory activity since they make a cool sound when they shake and fall. David rolled the ball only a few times before he realized he wanted to shake all the "pins" instead.
*Just to note: I didn't glue the caps of the bottles but you sure can if you're worried the rice or beads can be a choking hazard. I probably will next time even though he couldn't open them.

Set the pins up at one end and let your toddler roll the ball to knock them down! Explain to them what to do, show them how a few times, give them some room and watch all the fun. This was not only toddler approved but my tween siblings loved it as well! I mean, who doesn't love bowling? The living room was filled with giggles and what sounded like maracas.
Needless to say we had our own bowling alley for about a week before he lost interest. Such a cheap yet fulfilling activity when stuck indoors this season.

What is a favorite indoor activity for your family?


  1. I love this idea! I'm pinning because I know my daughter would love to do this. THanks for the idea!

    1. Your welcome and thanks pinning Melanie!

  2. Cute idea! I love doing toddler art projects with my little guy, but sometimes he really needs something more active! This looks great!


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