When playing bingo for fun online and in the bingo hall, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that the game was used as a teaching tool in the 18th Century. It all began in Germany when educators used the cards to teach children many concepts such as spelling and language skills, mathematics, and the natural world. Bingo was also used as a way to teach young people about the natural world of plants, animals, and birds.
Today bingo is not only a fun activity for kids on a rainy day or when they are stuck indoors, but a fantastic learning tool both at home and in the classroom.
Here are some ideas for bingo games that can be used for teaching children everyday concepts and information. Some of them are pure fun, while others may be a bit more of a challenge.
This particular bingo game is great for teaching kids about different members of their community. You can put anything down on the bingo squares which may include things like professions such as policemen, teachers or other workers. Also included could be those who speak Spanish, someone whose name begins with the letter ‘H’ or someone walking their dog. The kids and adults then wander through the neighborhood finding people who match the description on the cards. It is also one that can be played on one day or over a longer period of time.
Spring is practically here and along with it is the desire to get outside and enjoy the sun and the warmth. One great bingo game to play with kids over the spring and into the summer and fall months is nature bingo. Bitz and Giggles has a free printable Nature Bingo card to use for spotting creatures and elements in the natural world.
Grocery Store Bingo
Teaching children about nutrition and eating right is important. Bingo offers a great and fun way to do this. The U.S. Department of Agriculture created their own Grocery Store Bingo just last year so that parents can play the game along with their children at the grocery store or local farmer’s market. Kids play the game by corresponding what is on their downloadable bingo card with the food in their basket. Five across in any direction is a bingo both in the game and nutritionally. Click here to download this free grocery store bingo card from the USDA’s website. Nest of Posies has another grocery store bingo that is also available as a free download. You may find their version here.
Bingo Apps for Kids on your Smartphone
There are few children today who have not begun their young lives interacting with electronic devices of every sort. There are scores of smartphone or tablet apps for children including those that feature bingo games. Most of these bingo games are available for free whether you have an Android, iPhone, or a smart tablet such as a Kindle Fire. Google play also features applications such as its Bingo for Kids app that is available here as a free download.
If a PC or Mac is more your kids’ speed, then check out some of the free educational bingo applications and games at ABCya.com. This educational website is a favorite of parents, teachers and kids. There are lots of different types of bingo games including those that teach shapes, numbers, mathematics and other concepts for kids that range from Pre-Kindergarten all the way up to Grade 5.
There are endless ways to use the game of bingo to teach kids of all ages. Have you played or used bingo in other ways to teach kids? Let us know about them in our comments section.