Winter Bowling

Ice Bowling (2)

Every season seems to have its own perfect variation on bowling, whether giant inflatable unicorns in the summer, haunted bowling in the fall, and now ice bowling in the winter!

For pins, fill water bottles about 3/4 of the way with water and let stand outside overnight to freeze (or place in your freezer if the temperature in your region doesn’t dip that low). Make sure to leave some room in the bottles for the ice to expand.

For balls, fill water balloons with water and freeze overnight. In the morning, slip off the rubber and you have perfect ice spheres to bowl with. The little balls of ice absolutely delighted both kids, so much so I worried they would just play with those and ignore the bowling completely!

Ice Bowling (1)

Eventually Travis loved taking tosses and rolls at our ice “pins” and seeing how many he could get with one shot.

Ice Bowling (4)

There’s an extra catch that makes this version of bowling harder; if you throw your ice ball too hard, it might shatter!

Ice Bowling (5)

Come to think of it, that fact probably added to Travis’s fun.

Ice Bowling (6)

Veronika didn’t seem to be a huge fan of the ice bowling, so I took her inside for a warmer and more toddler-friendly version. We emptied the ice from the bottles and simply rolled a nice big bouncy ball at empty ones.

Bowled Over (1)

For a toddler, persistence is key! I showed her how to reset the pins and try again after each roll.

Bowled Over (2)

We also lined up the bottles in different formations to make the game more interesting.

Bowled Over (5)

And sometimes, she preferred just to sit and play with the bottle pins, which was all part of the fun!

Bowled Over (4)

What’s your winter spin on bowling? Please share in the comments!

Bowled Over (3)

Rubber Band Activity

Rubber Band Activity (13)

I spotted this gem of a hand-strengthening and boredom-busting activity over at Hands on As We Grow ages ago and finally decided to see if Veronika was up for it. The activity couldn’t be simpler; you just need lots of rubber bands and a can from the pantry and you’re ready to go.

We have a rubber band ball that is an endless source of fascination for the kids, so Veronika was thrilled when I showed her how to peel a rubber band off of it.

Rubber Band Activity (3)

I challenged her to get one rubber band onto the can. At first she simply stretched it wide, but quickly realized it wasn’t going to get around the full circle of the cylinder like that.

Rubber Band Activity (1)

She’s still young, so she needed my help to loop the rubber band over one side of the can. But from there she could pull it across and over the other side.

Rubber Band Activity (5)

She had fun on our first round using only orange rubber bands, but enjoyed it even more when I pulled out a pack of multi-colored ones. She loved selecting which color to put on next (blue was the favorite today).

Rubber Band Activity (12)

Your kids might want to be really neat and careful as they go about this task; make patterns with different colors; or just pull on as many as they can in an allotted amount of time. Older kids could even make it into a race or a competition.

Rubber Band Activity (10)

Veronika was too young for all that, but when I challenged her to see how many rubber bands she could get on the can, she came up with her own method: Sprinkling them on top! Now that’s thinking outside the box.

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This is sure to be an activity we return to again and again as she gets older.

Rubber Band Activity (14)

Water Flow Experiment in a Bag

Water Bag Experiment (7)

This experiment was a bit of a repeat from a recent Kiwi Crate on surface tension, but so cool it was worth a re-do with materials from home. The “wow” factor of it wasn’t lost the second time around!

First, soak a length of yarn in a cup of water for about 2 minutes, until completely saturated.

Water Bag Experiment (1)

Insert one end of the yarn into a sandwich-sized zip-top bag and use a clothespin to pinch the yarn securely in place in the bottom left corner.

Water Bag Experiment (2)

Wrap the opposite end of the yarn around a small rock and place the rock in a glass over a tray (to catch any spills…just in case!).

Water Bag Experiment (3)

Fill the plastic baggie with a little water.

Water Bag Experiment (4)

Now tilt and begin pouring!

Water Bag Experiment (5)

Thanks to surface tension, the water flows directly along the wet yarn into the cup, as long as you keep the yarn taut. Ours wasn’t always exact, so we were glad we had the tray underneath to catch a few inevitable spills. But for the most part we got the experiment to work great.

Water Bag Experiment (8)

This homemade version of the Kiwi Crate suggestion was definitely worth it a second time around.

Water Bag Experiment (6)