Trash Bowling Pins
Trash Bowling "Pins"

Games: Trash Bowling

Dick Moss, Editor, PE

Here's a fun team game that uses existing PE equipment and discarded trash items as targets. It's hectic and loud and involves your students' math and cooperative skills.
    Place your targets along one side of the gym. Use whatever PE and trash items you have in your school and assign points to the different items. Assign more points for hitting small targets versus larger targets. For example:

  • Bowling Pins - 1 point
  • Empty juice bottles - 2 points
  • Empty Pringles containers - 2 points
  • Empty water bottles - 2 points
  • Paper towel or giftwrap tubes - 3 points
  • Plastic film canisters - 5 points
Trash Bowling Setup
Trash Bowling Setup
Divide your class into teams of 4-6 students. Provide a scoresheet for each team, so they know what the targets are worth. Every player is given a tennis ball and every team is provided with a bucket, garbage can or other container.
How to Play
    On your signal, students start bowling their tennis balls in an attempt to knock down the garbage pins.
    After tossing their ball, students chase the ball and pick it up, along with any items they've knocked down. They return to the starting line where they put those items into their team's bucket.
    The fun part is that students can aim at any target in the gym. So they can make a choice: to hit whatever they can, or to attempt to hit the items worth the most points.
    Teams get together at the end of the game, take their trash targets out of their bucket and add up their points. This is an excellent math exercise and students will have to decide whether to add their items up in their head or record the points on paper.
    The team with the most points wins the game.

Reference: Ann Griffin (2005 National Adapted PE Teacher of the Year), “Toys from Trash: Inexpensive Equipment Options for Physical Education.” A DVD from Championship Productions, 2005.

All photos courtesy of Championships Productions,  “Toys from Trash,” DVD .

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© 2010, Physical Education,

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