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Boredom, R.I.P.

Do you, or your students, ever feel like the cobwebs are piling up on you? While daylight is getting shorter, the days are feeling longer and longer? The bats of boredom are flying around and you just cannot chase them out?

Some times the zombie repellent in the classroom cauldron needs needs stirred up a bit. Using the free online trial of Bingo Card Creator to create a set of bingo cards is the first step to keeping the zombies at bay. Or, if you are in a hurry, download 8 free Halloween bingo cards to print and start playing.

Once you and your students become pros at bingo, or if you already are, you might to need to try some variations to keep things fresh. Here are a few variations and suggestions to make the bingo games more interesting.

Have the winner be the caller for the next game. Kids always love a chance to do something special. Letting the winner be the caller is a great reward and it helps reduce the odds of one person winning multiple times.

Give an extra prize if the winner has Bingo more than one way.  This is a great strategy teaching tool. The kids will have to decide if they should yell “Bingo” as soon as they have a row, column, etc. or if they should wait and try to get bingo another way and win a better prize. See Spooktacular Bingo Variations for variations on winning patterns.

Allow multiple winners per round. This is a great idea especially if your students are younger and still learning to read. You might allow 1 to 5 winners, for example, per game. This helps keep interest up and improves everyone’s chances of winning a prize. It also helps level the playing field for kids who do not read as fast or have trouble finding the words on the card.


Spooktacular Bingo Variations

Ahh Halloween…there is a chill in the air and a far-away howl echoing through the trees. As the days countdown, each becomes a little more spooky. With all the costumes, the parties, and the gobs of candy beckoning, it can be hard to keep your students paying attention to you.

Just like other activities, some times you need a new shock for your bingo game to keep it spooktacular. A great way to clear out the cobwebs, and keep the little monsters from becoming zombies, is to allow different winning bingo configurations in addition to the standard horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines.

The first step is to use the free online trial of Bingo Card Creator to create a set of bingo cards. To get started even faster, download 8 free Halloween bingo cards to print and start playing.

Christmas Bingo Card

Spooktacular Bingo Variations

Here is a list of bingo variations to get you started:

1 Four Corners. Pretty self-explanatory. Cover the four corners of the card.

2 The Box. Fill the four lines around the outside of the bingo card.

3 The Little Box. Fill the center square and the eight squares surrounding it.

4 X Marks The Spot.  Fill both diagonals running through the center square.

5 The Cross. Fill both the vertical and horizontal lines that run through the middle square, also known as The Plus.

6 Rows. Starting with the first row, fill the first, third, and fifth rows. Or, fill the second and fourth rows, maybe for a smaller prize.

7 Stripes. Same rules as above, but use for the vertical. Also known as columns.

8 Blackout. Another self-explanatory variation. Blackout your card by filling every square. This variation can also be called Coverall.

9 Letter Bingo. Create patterns for each letter of the alphabet, or even better, let your students figure out patterns for each letter.

After playing a few games and trying some of the variation above, your students will very likely have new ideas of their own on how to make the game better. Encourage them to explore and innovate by allowing them to create their own variations and then trying them out on the whole class.


Halloween Bingo Game

Halloween is one of the biggest holidays on the school calendar, principally since we (regrettably) don’t get the day off for it.  To celebrate, why not play some Halloween bingo with your kids?  You’ll need some Halloween bingo cards, which you can create online with the free trial of Bingo Card Creator.  If you only need a few of them, you can download eight here.

Rules for Halloween Bingo

1) Print out one card for each person who will be playing.  You can print them with Bingo Card Creator.

2)  Tell your players to mark the Free Space in the middle.

3) You’ll need some way to call the cards.  You can either print a call list and just read from top to bottom, or cut up one card and put the squares in a hat, then draw randomly from them.

4) Call one word at a time.  Your players should find that word, which could be anywhere on their card, and mark it as called.  (I prefer marking them with candy — that makes everyone a winner!)

5)  When someone completes a row, column, or diagonal, they should stand up and say “BINGO!”  That person wins.  You can keep playing through multiple winners.

Prizes for Halloween Bingo

Since children generally end up overeating candy around Halloween, I suggest you consider slightly more healthy prizes.  My two favorites are giving the winner the first go at bobbing for apples, or perhaps the first turn with helping to carve the jack o’lantern.

Bingo for any Occasion

Regardless of your lesson plan or event, you can make great word bingo games with Bingo Card Creator.  I encourage you to give it a try, either with the free download or the free online trial.  You’ll be up and running in seconds and the program is very, very easy to use.

Happy Halloween!


Halloween Bingo For Kids

When I was growing up, we always tried to have a few activities to do around Halloween.  One of our favorites was playing Halloween Bingo, principally because a) it doesn’t take that much time to do and b) it is a good way to work off a sugar rush or settle down after a day of trick or treating.

What You’ll Need

  • one bingo card per player
  • one of those lovely plastic pumpkins, to draw words from
  • one person willing to call words
  • tokens to mark words — I find stickers and candy work well, if you can prevent people from eating them
  • about 10-15 minutes to play, depending on how many kids you have and how fast you call words

How To Make Halloween Bingo Cards

I’m sort of the Internet’s expert on the subject of weird and wacky bingo games you could play.   If you’re just looking for a few cards, you can try this set of eight word bingo cards which I made for you.  Otherwise, you should probably try Bingo Card Creator and whip some up yourself — it will only take a minute or two.

The cards look like this:

How To Play Halloween Bingo

  1. Print up a call list (a list which contains all the words for the bingo game).
  2. Cut the call list into strips with one word per strip, and put the strips in your plastic pumpkin.  (You could just read from the list in order, but where is the spooky magic in that?)
  3. Print out your bingo cards and cut them up, giving one to each player.
  4. Reach into your magic pumpkin and draw a word.  Say it out loud, and have people mark it on their cards with a sticker or piece of candy.  (No eating allowed!)
  5. When a player reaches 5 words all in one row, or in one column, or on the diagonal, they should stand up and say “Bingo!”  This means that they win.  I like to give out a little prize like the first candied apple, or maybe the first crack at taking a chunk out of the family pumpkin if your children are already swimming in sugar.

Did You Enjoy Halloween Bingo?

Bingo Card Creator is useful for all sorts of fun and educational bingo games.  You can use its free trial to create up to 8 cards per activity.  If you want to keep up on what the latest and greatest seasonal bingo cards are (we release more every month), just copy/paste the following onto your blog or website, and it will keep you and your readers informed about our most popular bingo activities.  (And they’re free, to boot!)