How To Create A Glow-In-The-Dark Bowling Set For Less Than $10

How To Create A Glow-In-The-Dark Bowling Set For Less Than $10

An activity which is guaranteed to be fun for all the family is bowling. However, when you've got a young family, the logistics of planning and executing a trip to an alley can be tricky - especially as bowling balls can be too heavy for younger children (and that's not to mention the distractions which will inevitably be on offer like arcade games!)

Another problem with a traditional game of bowling is the cost, as mom Kirsten Nelson discovered when she arranged a birthday party for her eldest son. While a lot of fun was had, it came at a cost - specifically $60.

Credit: Crafts by Amanda

Recounting the experience on a blog and how she planned to recreate it for less in the future, she wrote:

"We introduced our boys, ages 5 and 7, to bowling at my oldest son's birthday party. We reserved a lane with gutter guards, put on our oh-so-stylish bowling shoes and played a couple of games of 10-pin at the local bowling alley. We had a blast, but left with my wallet $60 lighter.

"I wanted to try a more economical do-it-yourself version of bowling and was excited to discover nighttime bowling."

So, if this sounds like something you'd like to try out for yourself, here's how to make your own glow-in-the-dark bowling set:

1. Gather your materials

Credit: Kirsten Nelson

First thing's first, you'll need to get your bowling materials at the ready. Luckily, this involves nothing more than everyday, inexpensive items, and Nelson wrote on her blog that you don't necessarily have to use Coleman glow sticks.

This is a great opportunity to do some upcycling too, so if you use plastic bottles on the reg, you know what to do.

Credit: Kirsten Nelson

Once you've got all your materials - bottles, basketball, and glowsticks (all of which are available at Dollar Tree) - simply crack your glowsticks to activate them (great fun for the kids!)

2. Make your pins

Credit: Kirsten Nelson

The beautiful thing about this DIY is its simplicity. For less than $10, you can have a game that would otherwise cost you as much as $60 to play for an evening with your family. Better still, it's completely reusable if you get more glowsticks.

Credit: Kirsten Nelson

And because it's so easy to make, why not let your kids help you out to get them excited for the game itself? They'll love snapping the glowsticks, watching them glow, and then carefully inserting them into the water-filled bottles.

N.B: The pins need to be filled with water so that they don't fall over easily!

3. Set up your game

Credit: Kirsten Nelson

Once you've made your materials, you need to set up your game. Obviously, you'll want to do it in a place that closely resembles a bowling alley, so it's likely that this will be a hallway, where even a bad swing will still go in the right direction.

Nelson recommends setting up the pins using the following diagram. This will make it more challenging to knock down the pins at the back.

Credit: Kirsten Nelson

4. The Rules


To avoid a bowling free-for-all, especially if you're playing with very young children, it's important to establish a set of rules. You can either make up some of your own to suit your family, or play by those traditionally used in bowling:

  • Games typically have 10 rounds
  • Each player gets a chance to knock over as many pins as possible during each round
  • They get to roll the ball twice each time, unless, of course, they get a strike
  • A point is awarded for each pin that's knocked over
  • If you want to make it harder, give more points for the pins at the back

5. Play!

Credit: Kirsten Nelson

Now, you're finally ready to play glow-in-the-dark bowling! And let's face it, this really is fun for all the family - even if you don't have kids yourself, this game would go down a storm at any party. Just don't have one too many before starting!