Bowl Toss Game

Basic Activity Info

Activity Type: 

  • Creative Art
  • Physical
Age Group: 
6-9 yrs
9-12 yrs
Time Requirement: 

Group Size: 

  • Large Group
  • Medium Group
  • Small Group

Play Area: 

  • Classroom (small indoor space)
  • Gymnasium (large indoor space)

Fundamental Skills: 

  • Throw

Activity from "Recreational Tool Kit for Rural, Northern & Remote Aboriginal Communities", which was published by Northern Links. Participants throw "dice" into the air from a decorated bowl, and depending on the sides they land on, they get to collect a certain amount of counting sticks. 
Other Skills:


1 bowl per every 5-6 participants (can use a margarine tub, Tupperware containers, or any other bowl)
5 objects per bowl to be used as "dice", traditionally some First Nations would use plum pits, but other objects that can be used are: milk jug lids, bottle caps, buttons etc. 
50 toothpicks or craft sticks per bowl used (these are the counting sticks)
Material to decorate the bowls: feathers, beads, paper, glue, scissors, and more.

Set Up: 

Divide participants into groups of 5-6, and have the participants work together to decorate their bowl.
Or have a bowl for each participant.
As a group decide on two different designs. Using markers, draw design A on one side of 2 "dice", and draw design B on one side of the other 3 "dice".
Place the "dice" inside the bowl.
Give each group 50 toothpicks or craft sticks, which are the counting sticks.

Step by Step: 
  1. When the bowls are decorated, the "dice" are in the bowl and each group as their 50 toothpicks or craft sticks, the game begins.
  2. The first participant in the group will toss the "dice" into the air using the bowl, and can either catch them in the bowl or let them fall to the ground.
  3. The side that each "dice" landed on will determine the participant's score (see the end of this section for scoring rules).
  4. If the participant scored 3 points, then they will collect 3 counting sticks (toothpicks) from the pile.
  5. The next participant will then toss the "dice".
  6. Continue until all 50 counting sticks are gone.
  7. The participant with the most, wins!
  8. Scoring Rules
  • 1 "A" or "B" = 0 points
  • 2 "A"s = 3 points
  • 3 "B"s and 2 blanks = 3 points
  • 2 "A"s and 3 "B"s = 3 points
  • 4 marked sides up = 1 point
  • 5 blank sides up = 1 point
  • 5 marked sides up = 8 points
Safety Considerations: 

When throwing the "dice", be sure that participants are not throwing them towards each other.


Have more participants per group and per bowl. Participants could work in pairs and take turns throwing the "dice".
Change the scoring rules. 

Adaptations (General): 

Encourage everybody to participate and provide assistance with decorating the bowls to the extent that it is needed.


Developed for the Leisure Information Network.