Subtraction Bowling


Bowling is such a fun family activity. Practice subtraction with concrete objects during a hands-on game!


Demonstrate and apply subtraction skills while bowling with the family. 


  • Ball 
  • 10 Bowling Pins- You can use cups, cardboard tubes, water bottles, Lego Towers, or even markers! The pins just need to be able to stand up on their own.


  • Find a space in your house or outside where it is safe to roll a ball on the ground. 
  • Count the number of pins together as you line them in a triangle at the end of the lane. 
  • Your child will then stand at the opposite end of the lane from the pins. 
  • Now, they roll the ball towards the pins to knock them down.
  • Together you can count how many pins are knocked down. 
  • Then say, “You had 10 pins and you knocked down # pins. How many are left?”
  • Count aloud the number of pins left standing.
  • Take Turns knocking down the pins and HAVE FUN!


You can make a triangle on a piece of paper. Use the triangle at the end of the lane to line up the pins. This will allow for your child to set the pins up independently.

You can make bumpers using pool noodles, pillows or with a slip and slide. 

Add challenges

You can use a ten frame for a visual while subtracting. Place 10 small objects (ie. pebbles, beads, legos) in each frame. After you bowl, count how many pins you knocked down. Then take that many small objects away. Count how many are left.

You can use this bowling sheet to practice writing and solving the subtraction problems they are creating.


Have some fun in the evening with Glow-In-The-Dark Bowling.