Learning comes in many forms. Every time a family takes a vacation or moves to a different city, state, area, country, the children are learning. They are absorbing the changes in geography, similarities and differences in groups of people, global character of the earth, indigenous foods, accents and other language highlights and a myriad of further new sights and sounds. Games provide yet another educational format.
Bingo! The Teacher
Children can learn most happily through games such as bingo. The concept of numbers can be confusing to a six-year-old in the dry world of mathematics. Introduce the excitement of Bingo! and it’s a different story.
Bingo the Game
Prepare the three elements of bingo, and you’re good to go. First of all, you will need a bingo board for each child present. Every board will contain an individual array of numbers. Each space on the grid of each board should be one inch square. Start with a board containing three columns and three rows. This will provide nine spaces, three in each column and row.
Secondly, markers must be provided to the children so that they can place a mark on each number called if it appears on their board. The markers can be little paper scraps or anything else that will do the job of quickly covering the board space containing a called number.
The third and last item is your process for randomly scrambling the numbers that will be called. You could even use small pieces of cardboard, with a different number on each, all mixed together in a hat.
Once the bingo boards and markers have been handed out to the children, the rules must be described. Make sure that each child clearly understands the set of rules. It is essential that every single child has a clear comprehension as to how to play bingo. Tell the players what prize they can expect before beginning the game. That way the winner will never be disappointed.
Pull out the first number and say it clearly, making sure that each child has correctly heard the number. If a child looks confused, repeat the number. The players will then place a marker over that number if they have it on their board. Repeat the process continually until someone yells Bingo! It is important to record the numbers as they are called, so that you can check the board that the player declares to be a winner.
The happiest part of the game is to have the winner take the prize. Most children will be excited for the person who has won. All of the players then clear off their boards; and a new game begins. A valuable tip to parents concerns the prize. Ensure that the children will be thrilled to get the prize offered so that they will be excited to continue playing.
Once the children become comfortable with numbers, you might want to modify the bingo board to reflect other subjects that they are learning, such as seasons. Simply devise game boards that contain images found in the season being studied. Instead of numbers, the board spaces will contain those images. Likewise, the call numbers will be replaced by call images.
You can design the board by using easy-to-delete stickers. If animals are being taught, simply place a different animal on each of 25 cardboard squares. Those will become the call images. The 3 x 3 picture bingo board is the easiest for beginning players. On each of eight spaces in the three columns and three rows place an animal sticker. In the very middle space, second row/second column, print the word FREE.
Design the bingo board to reflect the celebration. If your child is having a birthday party, an exciting game of bingo will add to everyone’s fun. Pictures of a birthday cake, candles, balloons, party hats, birthday banners, ice cream, gifts and 18 other party favorites can be contained on the call images. Please note you as adult, you can see how these games work by navigating to bingo sites. Various bingo boards are avialable. Kids however can enjoy bingo games that are not 18+ restricted, as kids don’t play for money – but for fun and prizes!
Bingo! will undoubtedly be the highlight of the party.
I’m an avid bingo writer and player and I’m always seeking novel ways to improve education through bingo.