Ring the Bottle: A Math Carnival Game

3.3 based on 30 ratings
Updated on May 17, 2010

Nothing chases the blues away like a trip to the amusement park. Bring the fun home with an easy do-it-yourself version of a boardwalk favorite.... Ring the Bottle! Cluster some empty bottles together in a small box, grab some bangle bracelets, and give everyone a chance to toss their rings.

To sneak in some learning, tape numbers on the tops of each bottle and for each round, give kids a number target. They'll need to add, subtract, or multiply the numbers on each bottle they "ring" to determine if they're the winner. You can play this game alone, or cluster it with some other carnival fun, such as a Basketball Free throw (set up empty garbage bins, tape a line on the floor with masking tape, and let kids try to make a basket) or beanbag toss. Don’t forget to print out carnival tickets redeemable for future prizes, whether it’s a physical prize like a toy, or an event like a pizza party or trip to the movies.

What You Need:

  • 10 or more bottles, clustered together
  • Several bangle bracelets (or small yogurt tops with the centers cut out, so they form rings)
  • Tape
  • Markers

What You Do:

  1. Cluster the bottles together so they are lined up tightly. You can also stand them in a small shoebox.
  2. If you'd like to sneak in some math practice, tape a number onto each bottle, ranging from 1-100 (if you're practicing addition or subtraction) or 1-11 (if you're practicing multiplication).
  3. Tape a mark on the floor to be the "throw line", so kids know where to stand as they toss their rings.
  4. Set a target. For example, tell kids, "The winner is the person who rings bottles that add up to fifty or more" or "The winner is the person who can multiply the numbers on their bottles to reach a higher number than everyone else" or "The winner is the person whose bottle numbers, when multiplied, are the highest number".

Let each child take a turn trying to ring the bottles. Make sure you have a prize ready for the winner!

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