Bowled over

This fun maths activity is about creating a bowling alley with empty plastic bottles with numbers painted on them. This teaches counting and ordering which helps with early maths. The rolling of the ball towards the bottle encourages hand–eye coordination.

What you will need:

  • Ten empty plastic bottles
  • Permanent marker
  • A small ball (such as a tennis ball or small soccer ball)


  • Write the numbers one to 10 on the bottles.
  • Line the bottles up in a triangular shape.

How to play the game:

  • Ask your child to roll the ball to knock the bottles over.
  • Show your child the numbers of the bottles they knocked over. For instance, ‘Look, you knocked over number five and number eight’. This will encourage number recognition.
  • Older children might want to add up the total value of the numbers knocked over.
  • Count how many bottles were knocked over and how many remained standing.
  • Like 10-pin bowling, the person who knocks over the most bottles wins—or create a variation where the winner has the highest total value for the bottles knocked over.

We’ve borrowed this content from Learning Potential with their permission. You can find the original article here. Check out more of their full range of practical support, tools and tips here.

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