We play bowls using a turnip for a Jack and potatoes as bowls.
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We play bowls using a turnip for a Jack and potatoes as bowls.

Any version of the game can be played to suit your residents.

There is lots of laughter as the potatoes have a mind of their own

Admin Update

A number of people have requested more instructions regarding carpet bowls. Here is a brief description of how to play.

Carpet Bowls involves playing an adapted game of traditional lawn bowls in a more casual and comfortable setting.

The game is played with eight colour-coded Bowls and a Jack.

  1. Place the jack (turnip) in the centre of the playing area
  2. Each player takes turns rolling potatoes to the jack.
  3. The player who's potato lands closest to the jack wins.

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Karen 5th Mar 2024 Lifestyle Assistant
We play this with a big sack of potatoes. Everyone sits in a circle and picks a potato out of the sack. We write the residents' name on in texta and use a swede, turnip or beetroot for the jack. Closest to the jack wins. We play several rounds. It is such a fun game, full of hysterical laughter and has staff watching as it is so entertaining watching potatoes go all over the place. To keep it special we only play it once a year for St Patrick's day. We even had a winner who took his potato back to his room to show his family, he was so proud! We invite staff to roll the jack to start the game as that is a challenge in itself.
Olivia 18th Mar 2021 Recreation Director
After the first few tosses
Susan 19th Mar 2021 Activity Director
Hi Olivia thanks for sharing this picture
Olivia 18th Mar 2021 Recreation Director
We had a ton of laughs doing this today. Carpet Bowling is a favorite we play a couple of times a month. This was a wonderful twist!! Thank you for the idea!
Lorraine 19th Mar 2019 Activities Officer
Being Irish and working as an activities officer on the Sunshine Coast QLD Australia we played this game on St Patricks Day and it was just the best laugh. I had 6 red rooster potatoes and 6 white potatoes so that was our teams. I had little Irish flags on sticks that I got in a cheap charlie shop as trophy's for the winners of the two teams and then I used the little plastic cups that their tablets are given in and filled them with green lime cordial and we all had a toast. It was a fantastic game thank you so much for the idea, Lorraine
Vanessa 19th Feb 2019 Care Worker
Loved this game. We played this last year on St Pat's day in our dementia unit , staff and residents had a great time. I plan to this again as it was such a hit.
Talita 24th Feb 2019
Thanks for your feedback Vanessa, this is great to hear!
Cara 7th Feb 2019 Seabrooke
We had so much fun playing this with both residents and staff and families. We kept it secret to have an element of surprise. we just promoted the game as Irish Carpet Bowls, didn't mention Potatoes or turnips, with everyone asking what's Irish Carpet Bowls, how do you play it. We kept up the suspense by telling them you'll have to come along and find out. We also added a little twist, we play carpet bowls in teams of two, so we coloured our potatoes red & blue and we added lots of lucky 4 leaf clovers to our carpet mat to give the residents more opportunity to win as the potatoes have a mind of their own, but here's my evaluation of using food dye as suggested by our Irish chef (bad idea) as the dye also stains your hands, so we sealed the potatoes with clear gloss to stop the food colour leaching onto your hands which made the potatoes lovely and glossy, but not such a good idea to do this on a weekend before your games on the day, cause by the time you play, the potatoes are getting soft spots resulting in roars of laughter when the residents heard the potatoes go splat and split in places, so we had to apply a quick remedy of wrapping the potatoes in glad wrap resulting in more laughter. So if you want to colour your potatoes don't use food colour. We are yet to solve this issue of colouring or adding something to distinguish teams for this years game, but I'm sure whatever we do it will be lots of fun, like others, the roars of laughter from discovering they are rolling potatoes brought everyone to the activity room to find out what the heck are they all laughing at., which in turn resulted in staff joining in and having fun. You can use Red potatoes and White potatoes but they are more uniform in shape, its much more fun with the larger odd size shape potatoes.
Solange 8th Feb 2019 Diversional Therapist
Hi Cara, well done! It sounds so much fun!
Jenny 16th Mar 2018 Lifestyle Assistant
We played this at my work yesterday was great to see all that were playing having a great time laughing at themselves and other residents ,will not be waiting to St Patrick's day next year to play this sure it will be a regular activity thanks for the great ideas.
Robyn 27th Mar 2017 Diversional Therapist
talk about laugh, people kept coming into see what all the noise was about. we had potatoes that had a mind of their own, they would skip over other potatoes, go off the mat and role back on. so much fun
Talita 3rd Apr 2017
Lovely to hear! Thanks so much for your feedback Robyn.
Diane 4th Mar 2017 Recreation Team Leader
Thank you, can imagine lots of laughs with this game...
Robyn 21st Feb 2017 Diversional Therapist
so cool, will be doing this for our indoor bowls for St Patrick's day
Robyn 21st Feb 2017 Diversional Therapist
so cool, will be doing this for our indoor bowls for St Patrick's day
Karen 14th Feb 2017 Lifestyle Coordinator
Great idea. Going to use it on St. Patricks day
Brenda 10th Feb 2017
looks like fun I will combine it with other outdoor game/s and have a picnic lunch and icecream. Thanks for the tip.
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