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Indoor Games & Maths Activities for Children: 10 Pin Bowling

On a rainy day, it’s not always easy to find indoor games for children that will keep them occupied for hours and help them burn off energy, too. But this 10 pin bowling set made from household objects is guaranteed to do both, and it’s a great maths activity, too. It’s super easy and fun to do, and your children will spend hours playing with the result. What’s more, if you’re looking for activities for kids’ parties, indoor ten pin bowling makes for a fantastic sport theme.

What you need:

  • 10 empty clear plastic bottles with lids
  • Brightly coloured acrylic paint
  • Water
  • White glue
  • Plastic or foam ball


  1. Wash, rinse and dry the 10 empty plastic bottles.
  2. Pour paint into each plastic bottle to 1cm depth.
  3. Replace the caps and shake each bottle until the interior of the bottle is completely covered in paint.
  4. Unscrew the caps and make sure you pour out any excess paint.
  5. Leave the caps off the bottles overnight, until the paint has dried.
  6. Apply white glue to the inside of the caps and screw back on. Wait a couple of hours until dry.
  7. Let your child use their imagination to decorate the outside of the bottles: add faces, stickers or other fun designs.
  8. Your 10 pin bowling set is now ready to go!

Remember to be careful to protect surfaces and your children’s clothes when they’re messing around with paint, but don’t worry if there is spillage – this can be easily tackled with Surf excel and our helpful stain removing tips!

Playing 10-pin Bowling Indoors

Playing with balls inside the house often results in breakage, so it’s something parents usually encourage kids to do outside. But with bowling, you’re actually rolling a ball along the ground, so it is relatively safe for your children and you to play indoors.

However, you should make sure you remove breakable items from the area in which you plan to create your ‘bowling alley’, and you should always use a soft ball, instead of something that is hard or bounces. Place the 10 pins in a triangle configuration with a single pin at the front, backed by lines of two, three and four pins. The aim of the game is to knock the pins down in the minimum number of tries. Each person has two chances to roll the ball. If they knock all the pins down in one go, it is called a ‘strike’.

Bowling as a Maths Activity

10 pin bowling is an excellent maths activity for children as they need to total up the number of points they get from each round. The game is completed after 10 rounds. The winner is the person with the most points. If you really want to recreate an authentic bowling experience, encourage your children to wear special bowling shoes, put on some background music, and provide a table of drinks and snacks.

Bowling Bingo

Younger kids might not be ready for the maths aspect of bowling, but if they recognize their numbers, Bowling Bingo could be a good alternative. Draw up several bingo cards featuring different numbers and specific types of bowling scores (like the top pin only, strike, miss, as well as specific numbers). Divide into teams and compete to see who will be first to cross all the different bowling scores off the card.

Crazy Bowling

This is a great variation to normal 10 pin bowling! Compete to get the highest score when bowling in a different way – perhaps try facing backwards, rolling the ball between someone’s legs, or turning around before rolling the ball. Kids will have a great time coming up with crazy ways to roll the ball. Do your kids enjoy bowling as a maths activity? Let us know in the comments box below!