Bingo is such a fun game to play in LDS Primary classes but don't be limited by the traditional way to play. There are so many fun things you can do with it! Use this game the week of someone's birthday as a mini celebration or to keep the attention of your class. Whenever you plan on using it next, try one of these 5 fun ways.
A couple of tips for using my Bingo boards: They are all made coloring book style for an extra activity as well as to make them easy to copy. If you plan on using them throughout the year, have the children color their own boards. Laminating the boards allows you to use them several times with washable markers to mark off each square. If you think you will only use them a couple of times, skip the laminating and bring chips to cover the boards. In the photo above, I grabbed the tokens from our Sequence game.
Class Reward System
Use Bingo every week in your classroom as a rewards system. For example, in my class we give out homework. If they come with their homework done, each person gets to pick one calling card and mark it off on our class Bingo board. When we reach a Bingo, we bring in a class treat- anything from candy to popcorn to mini slinkies. Since they have filled out a survey at the beginning of the year, I know their interests. Once we get one Bingo, we go for a blackout. The blackout reward is a class party. For us, that means an extra special class the next Sunday. Everyone is allowed to bring in treats, I bring some games, and maybe a movie. However, there is always still learning going on- just in a much more fun way than normal.
What do you want to encourage your class to do? Bring their scriptures every week, sing along in Sharing Time, or sit in their chairs? Using Bingo is a fun way to get everyone on the same page. You can even do individual Bingo boards so each child is earning a reward instead of the class as a whole.
Pull out Bingo boards when there is a Sunday coming up that you know is going to be harder to maintain the children's focus (i.e. Summer break is about to start) or when you need to review some important concepts. Instead of simply asking your class questions, play Bingo as you go. Use a table, chairs, or the floor as a flat surface so the chips don't fly everywhere and it's easy to mark each one off. Draw one calling card out then ask a question from the manual. If the child or team answers it correctly, everyone gets to mark it off their boards. If it's wrong, the calling card goes back in the bag. I have found that this really helps everyone focus as they all want to get a Bingo! When they do get one, have the explain what each square means in their Bingo. Then go for a different formation, black out, or start again. You can bring in a treat for each Bingo (one starburst, or a sticker) or simply play for the fun of it.
Make the game extra tricky by requiring different Bingo formations like a big square (all the outside pieces), a small square (inside spaces), an x (two diagonals), or any other fun design you can think of.
Match that Story
Instead of using the Bingo boards, focus on the calling cards. For younger classes, you will want to make two copies of the calling cards and use them as a matching game. You can do this one of two ways: 1) Mix up all the cards, placing them upside down to play like a traditional matching game. They can flip over two cards after they answer a question, repeat a phrase, or do something else suggested in the LDS Primary manuals. 2) Put one set of cards on the board then hide all the other cards around the room or in Easter eggs. As the children find the cards, they say one thing about that card and find it's match on the board.
For older classes, you will only need one set of calling cards but with the words cut off. Put the words on the board instead and hide the pictures around the room or in Easter eggs (or vice versa). As they find the cards, they have to match it up to the correct words. Some of the people will be harder to figure out if you haven't played your Bingo version before so be prepared to give clues to help them figure it out. Use my Bible Bingo boards for a great year end review! Again, ask questions before they make a match.
Head to the copy store and have them print one copy of the Bingo board in a larger size (you will want the main squares to be as big as the calling cards if not slightly bigger). Print the calling cards out on different colored paper and match them to different questions or activities that you plan on doing in class. Depending on how much time you will have, you may want to pick one Bingo they will definitely get with a few distraction cards. Put the big Bingo up on the board and all the calling cards in a punching board (see a punching board example). Give each child a turn punching through the tissue paper to get a calling card. They must answer a question or do the activity before they can add the card on top of the square on the bigger Bingo board. The colored cards will make it easy to see where they will getting a Bingo.
Ready, Aim, Fire!
This version is a lot of fun but you will have to adapt it according to your classroom's energy level. Be sure to get permission before doing this one as well as it involves using a Nerf bow and arrow or something similar. Place all the calling cards spaced throughout the entire board. You don't want any too close to each other. Have a child go to the opposite end of the room and shoot one of the cards. What the Nerf arrow hits, is the one they can mark off on their board. You can attach a question or activity to each calling card or do this as part of a class party. If you are having trouble figuring out which card is hit, line the arrow tip with chalk or a white board marker so it will leave a spot on the calling on the card without ruining the board. You can take each calling card down as it is shot to make it easier for future children or make it more difficult by keeping them up.
Pssttt... These Bingo boards are also great for Family Night!
My Latter-day Saint Bingo Boards
Click on the picture to learn more about each one.