Bowling Games for Physical Education

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Physical education is more than just running around and learning basic sports. hand/eye coordination, large motor skills, following instructions and working as a team are also part of physical education. Bowling games are good for young children who need to work on such skills before they can become competitive athletes.

1 Beanbag Bowling

Beanbag bowling encourages hand/eye coordination. Set up lightweight pins made from empty 2-liter pop bottles, potato chip cans or empty paper towel rolls that are filled with a small bag of sand to weight them down and keep the "pins" upright. Children in 2nd grade and younger can bowl with beanbags to measure accuracy. They will learn the basics to the game before graduating to real bowling balls.

2 Rutabaga Bowling

A fun variation to bowling in physical education class is bowling with odd-shaped balls. Using a baseball or basketball instead of a normal bowling ball encourages strength throwing as well as accuracy to keep the ball on target. Rolling an actual rutabaga is fun, too.

3 Team Bowling

Team bowling teaches cooperative skills. Children are divided into two teams with five players on the floor. Bowling pins are set up on opposite ends of a gymnasium floor, and a foam ball is used to knock them down. Each team has a guard or pin keeper and four rovers. Any player can throw the ball to knock down the other team's pins. The rovers block and throw the ball, while the pin keeper guards the pins. The object to is keep your pins standing the longest.

4 Physical Disability Awareness Bowling

Physical disabilities make playing sports such as bowling more of a challenge, but not an impossibility. Children are taught how to use a wheelchair, crutches and other specialized equipment and then encouraged to set up the bowling pins and throw a foam bowling ball. Children can be steered toward admiring people who accomplish these activities while using special equipment.

Mitzi Saltsman has been writing children's material for church and Sunday school lessons since before 1980. Her work writing how-to articles earned her a trip to San Francisco and a spot on a commercial. Saltsman holds a Bachelor of Religious Education from Great Lakes Christian College.