day 19 – skittles

Bowling used to be really popular. Remember those glossy, timber floors and rented shoes? It’s still a good game, and one you can play at home if you’ve got a hallway or foyer, or a big room with enough space to roll a ball without shifting the furniture.

We all have those products that are regularly on the shopping list, which come in round, plastic bottles that end up in the recycle bin. Maybe it’s bottled water at your place, or soft drink or fruit juice. At our place it’s milk. Start saving those bottles. You only need ten so it won’t be long before you’re playing ‘skittles’ at your house. You’ll need a soft ball, a larger one for little kids. Keep the skittles (or ten-pins) on hand in a shopping bag or basket, and always make them pack the pins away – a racing game will help with this.

Learning ball skills is an obvious outcome of bowling but just setting out those bottles involves numbers and patterns: four at the back, three in the gaps in front, two in the next gaps, and one at the front. This is an opportunity to enhance a child’s understanding of maths because the pattern always adds up to ten. Have fun. And watch out for people who walk through the front door.

Published by Dr Toni Risson

Dr Toni Risson is a storyteller and a cultural historian who has penned everything from children’s picture books to a PhD on the Magic of Lollies. An expert on the Greek cafe phenomenon, Toni curated Meet Me at the Paragon for the State Library of Queensland, and her latest book, Brisbane’s Greek Cafes: A Million Malted Milks, was a finalist in the 2019 Queensland Literary Awards. Having encountered the elegant Paragon Cafe in Katoomba as a child, Toni developed a fascination with silky oak panelling, bevelled mirrors and Art Deco wall lights long before she understood the stories behind Australia's iconic Greek cafe. She continues to document our lost café culture.

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