Let’s Bowl!


© iStockphoto.com/ ilona75
Learning to throw a ball is one of the great joys of childhood development, and it happens usually sometime between ages 24-36 months. When kids learn to launch or throw balls, many possibilities open up to them: they can play catch with a friend or parent, they can do a balloon toss or egg toss, they can play fetch with a dog, they can start to try to aim a ball at a hoop, and they can even learn to bowl!

Bowling is a really fun way to engage your toddler in "throwing" a ball in a new way, and bowling alleys around where we are offer family afternoons with music, food, guard rails so the kids don't end up with their balls in the "gutters" constantly, and even ramps that they can launch the bowling balls from, with your help.

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But you can still enjoy bowling with your toddler, or let them enjoy the act of knocking things over with balls they throw and roll, without going to a bowling alley. You can buy a toddler bowling game in most toy stores that usually comes with plastic pins you can setup in any hallway (sometimes they are foam), or on a patio or deck or driveway.  Alternatively, you can just use a round rubber ball or beach ball, and then line up some empty soda bottles, plastic baby bottles, plastic cups, or even small stuffed animals as your targets to knock over. 

Throwing balls and bowling are a whole lot of fun for little ones no matter how you set it up. I highly recommend this game, once your little one shows interest in the ability to launch a ball. (Warning: if your toddler does NOT have something fun and safe to throw balls at they will just continue to aim for your china cabinets, windows, mirrors, picture frame and whatever else is around them!)

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