Teaching your kids to bowl may contribute to creating a healthy and positive hobby that they can carry with them through adulthood. Bowling can become a family activity where everyone can spend time together once or twice a week in a social environment. It can also lead to teaching your children manners in a competitive environment. Join leagues and contests for a competitive edge, but teach your child to always enjoy himself when bowling.
Take your child to a bowling alley as early as three or four years old. Ask your local bowling alley if they offer a league or class for young kids. Take advantage of bumper bowling if your alley offers it, especially the first few times you take a young one bowling.
Find the most appropriate weight of ball for your child. Six pounds is usually the lightest ball, which your child may still struggle with. Rent shoes from the bowling alley if you don't want to invest in bowling shoes.
Explain the basic rules and common courtesy associated with bowling. Tell your child that he or she gets a turn to try to knock down all of the pins. If he does it, he got a strike and his turn is over for the moment. Tell him if there are still pins standing he gets one more chance to knock them all down, which is a spare. Let him know that he should sit down after his turn is over to allow other players to take their turns. Also, let your little bowler know that if someone is bowling on the next lane, he should wait until they roll their ball before rolling his own.
Teaching technique will come next. Walk her up to the line, and show her that she must stay behind the red lane when she rolls her ball. Show her the correct way to hold and throw the ball, and then let her roll it however is most comfortable for her. Smaller children are usually able to roll it from between their legs, as the ball may be too heavy to throw it properly. Don't worry, she'll grow into it. Continue to show her the proper way to hold and throw the ball periodically as she becomes more comfortable with bowling.
Tips & Warnings
- Purchase a ball for your child as he grows and becomes more interested and proficient at the sport.
- Encourage her to raise her average and beat her best game and series more than competing with others. Teach her to value the joy and social aspects of the game.
- Ask if your bowling alley offers midnight bowling or Cosmic bowling (glow-in-the-dark) for older kids and teens.
- Do not let your child use a ball that is too heavy or bowl in street shoes, as this can cause injuries.