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Herd immunity bowling

Activity: A bowling game with a difference!
Aim: To demonstrate the concept of herd immunity to participants and why vaccination is important in stopping the spread of diseases.
How to make:
  • Order two sets of plastic/lightweight ten-pin skittles - make sure a ball comes with each set.
  • For an inside activity, find a way to stick eight of the ten skittles to the ground in one 'lane' only. Sticky tape or Velcro have been used in the past. If you are outside, tent pegs can be used to screw them into the grass. 
  • Ensure that the stuck-down skittles surround the two unstuck skittles.
  • Set up the other game as normal.
What to do: The ball represents a virus and the skittles represent people or animals. In one lane, most of the skittles (people) will be stuck to the floor (vaccinated) and therefore will not get knocked down (fall ill) by the ball (virus). In the other lane, most of the skittles (people) will get knocked down (fall ill) by the ball (virus) as they will not be stuck to the floor (vaccinated). In the first game, where most are vaccinated, even the unvaccinated people (i.e. the skittles which are not fastened to the floor) will be protected by the skittles/people which did not fall down/get ill. This should communicate the idea of herd immunity.