Children love a challenge. And that’s exactly what they’ll get when they “read” all about our bowling-alley extravaganza and spot (with your help) surprises they’ll see only here.
1. Look who’s bowling. Join a day of fun at our bowling-alley spectacular. Parents, kids, and a special group of super-athletic animals are having a blast—and your child will too! To get started, have your child point to the following strange bowlers and oddball happenings, including the ones here and anything else he can find:
- An octopus, a chipmunk, and a skunk
- A child bowling in the wrong direction
- A beach ball rolling
- A train set, a video game, a super-sized soda, two ants bowling, two planes on a runway, and an air-traffic controller. Point to the airline official and ask your child, “What’s she doing there?”
2. Encourage your little logician to answer these questions. Which animal is more likely to win a pretend bowling competition: an octopus with eight arms or a skunk with only two?
- Do you think you could grow a row of flowers at a bowling alley—if you were there to water them? What else would you need to keep them alive?
- Could an airplane land inside a building where families are bowling? Why—or why not?
- Why would the lanes inside a bowling alley never be numbered in this order: 4, 5, 6, 7, 23? What number is out of place? What one should come next?
3. Fair…or not fair? Ask, should:
- An elephant be allowed to use his trunk to bowl if it helps him beat his opponent?
- An octopus be given a ball for each arm so she can score more points when she’s bowling, or should she get only one ball to bowl with, just like everyone else?
- Tiny little critters have a lane all their own in an animal-kingdom competition, or should they be required to bowl with the exact same-size equipment as every other animal there?
4. Boost your kid’s numbers sense. Have her count the number of blue balls, red balls, beach balls, grown-ups, children who are bowling, kids who are reading, people who are snacking, and the items on the menu. Read the menu on the wall and ask your child, “What’s the weirdest thing to buy there—and why is it odd?” Discuss her answer and then ask, “What’s your favorite snack on the list?”
5. Craft a story. Use the prompts that follow. Let your child tell you what happens next.
- The storm cloud got bigger.
- The plane stopped suddenly.
- The snack bar closed.
6. Learn about bowling. Describe the game to your child. Discuss how it’s played, scored, how many turns you get, the difference between a strike and a spare, and where to aim the ball.
7. Bowl at home
- Try tin-can bowling. Spray-paint 10 empty same-size cans (tape down any sharp edges). Let the paint dry. Stack the cans pyramid-style like this: set out four cans in a row to form the base, then place three cans on top of those, add two more to form the next row, and place one more can on top of that. Let the players use a light, small ball or a small beanbag to knock down the “bowling pins.” Everyone’s a winner. Award a colorful ribbon to each.
- Add a craft. With your kids, gather 10 see-through plastic water bottles. Let the bowlers empty all the bottles, remove the labels, and set aside the caps. Pour one tablespoon of white paint into each bottle. Replace the caps and have kids shake the bottles vigorously. Paint the caps white. Then decorate the bottles with stripes in assorted colors. Arrange the “bowling pins” bowling-alley style at the end of a long room or corridor: place one bottle in front, four farther back, and rows of two or three bottles in the middle. Give each child a small ball or beanbag. Let the players take turns knocking the bottles down.
8. Go bowling! Bowling is a family-friendly sport that doesn’t require any special equipment. You can rent shoes at the alley. Be sure to choose appropriately sized bowling balls for your kids and ask for bumpers along the lanes. Bumpers will help prevent gutter balls and assure a fun time for all!