Family Time Calendar: Get Moving - iVillage

Imagine having your very own bowling alley at home, without the smoky, raucous atmosphere. A homemade bowling set can be set up inside or out. It's guaranteed to bowl everyone over — with fun!

What you'll need:

  • 10 empty quart or half-gallon milk (or juice) cartons, either plastic or cardboard. To prevent odors, rinse them well with soapy water and dry thoroughly. For more of a challenge, add a cup or two of sand or rice to each carton and reseal.
  • Rubber playground ball or basketball
  • Paper and pencil to keep score, if desired

What you'll do:

  • Clear out a long space in your backyard or basement for a bowling "alley" — the length depends on the age of the bowlers. The ideal outdoor surface is flat and free of debris. The ideal indoor surface? Away from anything breakable!
  • At one end of your home alley, a "pin setter" arranges the milk carton "pins" upright in the traditional triangle pattern: one pin at the front, followed by two pins in the second row, three in the third row and four in the back row.
  • A player is positioned at the other end of the alley and rolls the ball toward the pins, aiming to knock them all down at once. Young children can start closer to the pins and work their way up to longer distances.
  • If desired, create "bumpers" that keep the ball inside the alley, using chair cushions or pillows inside the house or several pool "noodles" outside.
  • To play, each player rolls the ball twice and counts how many pins were knocked down each time. After two throws, the pins are "reset." Players take turns being the bowler and the pin setter.
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