Make your own bowling pins from water bottles. Try a glow in the dark version. Get bowling indoors!


  • 10 empty plastic water bottles – 500ml, or 1L Aquafina are both good
  • A small bowling ball: a tennis ball or softball
  • Scoring pencil and pad
  • A prize for each round

plus, for the Painted Version:

  • Paints – acrylic high gloss paint (I recommend: dark green, red, yellow, blue, orange, yellow and white)

or for the Glow in the Dark Version:

  • 10 x 6 inch Glow in the dark sticks (see Amazon)

This is a simple way to engage with your Thanksgiving kids and is fun for all the family. A great game for kids aged 5 upwards to make and to play.

I've included two ways to play – either with painted bottles (which is super fun and creative to prepare), or a groovy glow in the dark version (which is more unusual and entertaining).

Both creative and fun, this is a game that will keep your people entertained, and have the kids giggling and well occupied. For a game of 10 frames (or rounds), allow about 30 minutes play.

You can play indoors or out.


Make your pins at least a day before.

1 Prepare the bottles
Remove the labels and tidy up the outside of the bottles.

2 Paint the bottles
Remove the lids and squirt a small amount of paint into the bottom of each bottle.
Choose colors to suit.
Add a just few spoons of water.

3 Slosh
Slosh the paint around to coat the inside of each bottle with the color.
Repeat, for every bottle in a different color.

4 Decorate
Cut out and stick on appropriate images if you fancy.

5 Dry
Leave to dry overnight.

6 Fill the bottles
Half fill your bottles with water.
This will ensure the pins don’t fall over too easily – completely full is not good. Just half.


Set up your play area.
The glow stick version works very well outdoors, but in cold weather indoors is fine.

Indoors: clear your hallway, living area or kitchen. Remove fragile stuff and anything that people could run into or knock over.

Outdoors: find a level space – the driveway, patio or short grass.

Mark up a line.
Stand up your skittles, about 6 inches apart. 4 pins in the back, 3 and 2 in the middle, 1 front.

Use a small ball to bowl down the pins.



  • Aim to knock down as many skittles as possible: 1 point per pin
  • Play 10 rounds
  • Players roll twice in each round, unless you hit a strike (all the pins down)
  • Add up scores after 10 rounds to see who wins!


  • Strike – when you knock over all the pins with your first bowl
  • Turkey – Three strikes in a row….how appropriate!



1 Prepare the bottles
Remove the labels and tidy up the outside of the bottles.
Half fill each bottle with water to stabilise it.

2 Add a glow stick
Just before you play, crack each glow stick.
Insert a glow stick into each empty bottle.