Many people ask us if we could possibly provide blank bingo cards so that they can make their own bingo cards. Personally, considering that I sell software which lets you create word bingo games, I wouldn’t suggest actually creating your games by hand. Instead, you should just sign up for the free trial of Bingo Card Creator. It will create the bingo cards for you so that every one is unique. If you do this by hand for a large group of people, expect it to take well over an hour.
However, for folks who absolutely have to do things by hand, I’m happy to give you blank cards. Just click on the below image to download a PDF file of them, which you can almost certainly print from your computer.
While many of our customers may be familiar with how to play educational bingo from using it in their teaching careers, it is a new activity for some of them. Here is how to play:
What You Need
- One unique bingo card for each player (no photocopying!) All cards printed by Bingo Card Creator are unique.
- Each player needs to have some method of marking the cards. A writing utensil works fine if you only want to use the cards once. If you would prefer not to write on the cards, marking them with coins, candy, or some other sort of chip also works.
- Generally, one gives a small prize to the winner. For Halloween bingo this might be candy, but for, say, spelling review bingo it might be as simple as a Good Job sticker! Note that bingo can generate multiple winners, so it is a good idea to prepare a few prizes just in case.
- Some method of calling the cards. Calling just means telling players what space to mark. The simplest way to call is with a call list, where you just read words from the top of the list to the bottom. You can also cut up the words from a bingo card and mix them in a hat, then draw them at random.
(Note that if you’re familiar with traditional numerical bingo you might be expecting to call a letter with every word. Bingo Card Creator defaults to having the words appear under any letter, so you probably do not want to do that. If you would rather do this, select Options -> Consistent Column Headers, and make sure to print your call list from File -> Print Call List. The online version of the software doesn’t support this yet.)
- Tell everyone the rules.
- Tell everyone to mark off the free space.
- From your call list or hat, pick one word and announce it to the players. You can either just read the word or, if you’re feeling creative, you can ask a question to which it is the answer. For example, if you were playing US Presidents Bingo, you might ask “Which President signed the Emancipation Proclamation?” Make sure to keep a note of all the words you have called by, for example, ticking them off with a pencil or leaving them in a pile.
- Continue playing until someone scores all the words across a row of their card, down a column of their card, or across a diagonal (top left through bottom right passing through the free space, or top right through bottom left passing through the free space). That player should stand up and say “BINGO!”
- Check the BINGO to make sure you actually called the 5 words they BINGOed with, and if they did, congratulate them and award them a prize.
- You can continue playing bingo so that multiple players can win!
This is the basic game of bingo, but there are many variations. If you have one you particularly like, please feel free to share it with us in the comments!
It is Back To School season, and that means many teachers are looking for a creative way to introduce a room of rambunctious students to each other. I’ve got a personal favorite: Icebreaker Bingo.
What you need:
- One set of bingo cards (one per student) with facts about them. I like to play with activities they might have done over summer vacation, since that is a low-stress way to get students talking without saying “Introduce yourself”. The cards contain statements like “I went to the library” or “I went out to visit my grandparents”.
- Your class list.
How to play:
- Explain the rules to the students.
- Randomly call each student from your class list, and ask them to stand up, say their name, and say what the most fun thing they did over summer vacation was.
- The students should mark down the name of any student who did one of the activities on their card, in the box for that activity. For example, if Dan says “Well, the most fun thing I did this summer was to go visit grandma in Hawaii”, then students can write Dan under the “I went out of town” and “I went to visit my grandparents” boxes.
- When a student fills 5 boxes in any row, diagonal, or column, they should stand up and say BINGO. But they have to be able to say which of their classmates did what in order to win.
- Keep playing until everyone has been introduced.
A variation on this is to write the student’s names on the bingo cards. This makes students keenly interested to hear the names of their classmates, at least at the beginning, but it can get disruptive of self introductions and be a bit intimidating for shy students. Still, it is a fun activity for teachers with strong classroom management skills.
If you have any favorite activities, I’d love to hear them!