SNOWBALL BOWLING FUN INDOOR GROSS MOTOR GAMES
Do you have a set of plastic bowling pins laying around? Or maybe some empty tissue boxes, Pringles cans, or milk cartons? See if you can find a set of objects that could work as bowling pins and try one of my favorite fun indoor gross motor games!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: bowling pins (plastic or homemade), variety of balls (tennis ball, playground ball, ping pong ball), craft materials if decorating your own pins
WHAT TO DO: If you don’t have bowling pins, find 10 objects that will work. Make one of them a snowman or somehow designate it as the magic pin (an smiley face on the bottom, maybe?). On each of the others, write one motor skill (push ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, Supermans (lying on stomach, lifting and extending arms and legs to fly like Superman), plank and hold, stand on one foot, etc). Set the objects up in a line across the floor. From about 10 feet away, have your child roll a playground ball (“snowball”), toward the objects. If she knocks down a pin other than the magic snowman, she must complete the gross motor skill that is on that object 10x. If she is able to hit the magic snowman, she can remove one of the pins with her least favorite activity. The game continues until all of the pins have been removed. Be sure to mix up the pins every once in awhile to “hide” the snowman pin.
HOW TO CHANGE IT UP:
-Practice different ways of throwing to the pins — overhand, underhand, rolling. Use different types of balls for increased challenge — ping pong ball, playground ball, tennis ball
-Have your child practice kicking accuracy to knock over the pins by kicking the ball instead
-Change it up and if you have more than one child they can assign someone else to do an activity if they get the magic snowman pin.
-For a more academic twist, put letters, sight words, math problems, etc. on the pins.
-To incorporate a fine motor activity, have the children decorate the pins or other objects to make them into snowmen. Cut out paper for scarves, arms, noses, etc.
SKILL AREAS ADDRESSED: Gross motor skills, coordination, cognitive skills, motor control, endurance, strength
Want to take a closer look at the skills kids are using in this activity? Check out our Clinical Closeup page, where we break down the skills listed below in terms everyone can understand.