Bingo is fun for all ages. It’s a game of chance and there is no skill involved. This makes it an activity that all your campers can participate in. Though the game is enjoyable for kids to play, especially when there are some fun prizes on the line, we suggest you attach a theme to the evening’s activity. If you run a day camp try running it after lunch.
This is (Extreme) Bingo. Take a theme and create a party, more or less. Add in some prizes and music and your set. Bingo should always be played indoors.
The following Sample Program Outline is Disco Bingo.
- Bring the kids into the dining hall or other large area with tables and chairs.
- Hand out bingo cards after the kids have sat down.
- Have them mark the cards with crayons. Using “doppers” is too messy and if the kids use items, such as coins or tokens, to mark their card there is a chance that the items will move when the table is bumped. We understand that by having the kids mark the cards you are unable to use them again, but quite frankly, bingo cards are pretty cheap when bought in bulk.
- Have a dynamic staff member be the “caller”. He or she will go over the rules and the pattern (regular, blackout, diamond, etc.) for the game.
- Begin calling numbers. Keep the pace slow enough so that all the kids can find the numbers, yet not so slow as to bore the group.
- When someone yells out “Bingo!” the party really starts. Everyone in the room yells out “Bingo!” and a staff member flickers the lights (or if you have disco lights or d.j. lighting, the staff member will turn off the main lights and turn on the party lights).
- The disco music starts playing.
- Everyone stands up and dances. Kids will just move around or they will do some John Travolta moves.
- Play the music for 30-60 seconds.
- Once the music stops the player that won will go to the prize table and choose his or her prize.
- Continue the games until the activity time is up.
Anything disco will be good. Do you have a disco ball? Have the staff wear disco attire if possible. Purchasing afro wigs from a party store is very inexpensive and fun. While you’re at the party store get some streamers.
Disco music of course: BeeGees, Kool and the Gang, etc. Get a couple of disco compilation CDs.
Fun items from Oriental Trading Company would work great.
EXTREME BINGO: ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS
There are a few common patterns. They are single line (the typical way of playing bingo), two lines, the four corners, center cross, forming the letters L, T, Y, postage stamp (2×2 and in a corner) inner square (4 × 4), roving square (3 × 3), diamond and blackout. Lines can be made horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.
On poster board draw pictures of bingo cards with each possible pattern. Each poster board should have one pattern on it. This way you won’t have to explain to the kids what “four corners” is.
There are a number of ideas that you can use. Here is a short list of my favorite themes to get you started:
- Disco Bingo
- Hip Hop Bingo
- Country Bingo
- Beach Party Bingo
- Caribbean Bingo
- Cruise Ship Bingo
- Rock Star Bingo