Last year I started decorating some water bottles to use as bowling pins, for some reason I put them to away and forgot about them!  Well a few weeks ago I suddenly remembered that I had them, and was determined to get them out from their hiding place.  When I had originally made them I left 2 of the bottles for my little ones to decorate, so before I set it up we had to get the paint out to do some decorating.  My youngest charge decided that she was going to decorate her bottle before I had even asked if she wanted to, she actually wanted to do both bottles and got rather annoyed when I told her the other one was for her brother.

You will need:

  • 6 2-litre bottles
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Ball

When you paint your bottles you need to have thick paint, not watery, as it will just run off the bottle.  I originally applied 2 or 3 layers of a white base coat before I painted on my design, and they have actually lasted really well.

When my charged painted her bottle it dried rather quickly so we didn’t have to wait too long before we could play, but the moment we started to use it the paint flaked off although that didn’t bother my youngest charge.  All the other bottles that had been previously painted held up really well and didn’t chip at all.  So if you want the paint to stay I would paint the bottles with a base colour first, let it dry and then give it to your little ones to either draw on with pens or paint it.

This was such a fun game for us to play and when my eldest charge came home from school he was desperate to play instead of doing his homework.  Thankfully he got his homework done really quickly so could get a few goes in before dinner.

I set the first game up and then after that I let them put the bottles back into place if they knocked it over, I think they found that part just as fun as trying to hit them over.  We played the game inside, but this is a perfect game to take outside, although you will probably need to put something like rice or water at the bottom of the bottle to make them slightly heavier and therefore less likely to be blown over.

This game is easily adapted for different age ranges; for younger children they can literally just try to knock the bottles over, but for older children you could assign points to each bottle and make it harder by adding more weight to the inside of the bottle.

However you decide to play it or decorate the bottles, this is great game for those long summer holidays that are getting ever closer.

This activity may help development of:

  • Gross motor skills – throwing/ rolling the ball
  • Fine motor skills – for using a paintbrush
  • Adding – if you are using points to determine the winner