After we made a bunny out of a recycled coffee creamer, my toddler decided it would be more fun to use the bunny in a bowling game. After collecting some recycled coffee containers and gathering some basic household items we made our very own bowling games. I had seen the pre-made plastic bowling games in stores, but this alternative saved my family about $12.
Recycled Materials for the DIY Bowling Games
You can use recycled materials for free to make the game pieces for the DIY bowling games.
1. Recycled Plastic Coffee Creamer Containers
Collect between three and five plastic coffee creamer containers. This is the minimum amount you need to make the toddler game. Collect the two different sizes to make the game look more like real bowling, which will make this a fun toddler game to play.
Tip: Keep the covers of the recycled plastic containers to give them a more realistic bowling pin shape.
2. Recycled Paper
While you could use a store-bought ball, for this bowling games and toddler craft, try making your own ball. It starts with using recycled paper. Wad up a piece of recycled paper. Then add more pieces of recycled paper, forming a ball.
Don’t worry, when the game is done, or the toddler grows tired of this game, the ball can be disassembled and recycled.
3. Egg Carton
Use the top of an egg carton to hold the tops of the bowling game pins together when the toddler is not playing the game.
Bowling pins made from the smaller recycled plastic containers can be made to fit into the egg holder portion of a recycled egg carton, if you cut out the bottoms of the cardboard carton.
4. Pictures of Favorite Characters
Cut out pictures of the toddler’s favorite book and TV characters including Dora, Snook, Caillou, Barney, Little Bear, Elmo and Curious George. You can easily make these images using a book and a copy machine at the library, or use an at-home printer which can also scan or copy.
You could also add any picture or image from a magazine, including pictures of food, animals or other familiar objects.
Household Supplies Needed
The household supplies needed to make this DIY bowling game for toddlers also won’t cost you anything.
You will also need some duct tape or electrical tape. The tape is used for two things.
1. Cover the Ball
Cover the recycled paper ball with electrical tape or with a colored duct tape. For more than one player, make balls of different colors for the toddler game.
2. Make the Lanes
If you are stuck inside on rainy day, find a clear area in the kitchen or a safe hallway without furniture and make lanes with the tape. Test a piece first to make sure the tape will pull off easily.
The lanes are optional, and not a necessity for this toddler game.
Tip: You can also make the bowling lane outside using tape or sidewalk chalk.
Glue or Tape
Use the glue or tape to attach the character images to the homemade bowling pins.
Toddler Games to Play
Free Toddler Games to Play: DIY Bowling Games
There are many different toddler games to play with this DIY bowling game and toddler craft. They are all based on the basic bowling game of rolling a ball and knocking over the pins.
Free Toddler Games to Play: Knock Them All Down
Take turns with with the toddler, trying to knock all of the pins down. Toddlers will not tire of this game and they enjoy picking up the pins and resetting them almost as much as they enjoy knocking them down.
Free Toddler Games to Play: Pin Prizes
Another version is to set up the pins so each one has a prize in it. The prize would have to be small enough to fit into the container, but safe enough for toddlers. If you did not paint the containers , and they were thoroughly washed out, you could include one or two of the toddler’s favorite treats, like fruit snacks, in the pin.
Free Toddler Games to Play: Find a Character
As a toddler becomes more adept at knocking over the pins in this toddler game, direct the toddler to try to knock down the pin with the image of a specific character or picture.
Free Toddler Games to Play: Toddler’s Choice
Let the toddler come up with his or own games to play.