Jun 19, 2013

It's Time for Summer Bingo!

 A week or two before our kids got out of school, I sent out a plea on Facebook, saying that I wasn't looking forward to summer for the first time EVER, and would someone please send me some ideas for staying sane and happy with my four kiddos at home?!?

A friend told me that she had played Summer Bingo with her kids last summer and they all loved it.  I decided to give it a try! 
Here are the rules to Summer Bingo.  Make them fit your family!
We start out with the Bingo card (see top photo).  Each square is filled with a different activity.  All of them are easy for kids to do on their own (or with minimal help) and there is a good variety of things that are fun and things that are chores.  Each time an activity is completed, they receive a star on that square.  For each row of stars, they receive a ticket.  Tickets are collected in a jar (one for each child) and can be redeemed for all kinds of different things.

An important point that I keep stressing with my kids (we're on week 3 of playing Bingo!), is that the basic chores of the morning must be completed before starting to play Bingo (dressed, teeth brushed, breakfast eaten, rooms picked up and any other chores done).

I was a bit skeptical at first that my oldest son, who is 14, would want to participate.  But our first week, all four kids were motivated and excited and all four of them filled up every single square!  It was a fun way for them to keep busy and do things they might not come up with themselves.  I'm pretty sure that my oldest three are saving up all their tickets for the big cash prize. Can't say I blame them!
Here are their jars with the tickets.  The tickets are just cut up pieces of paper -- highly technical.  
In order to keep things interesting, I change up the activities on the card each week.  And I'm trying to keep a running list of activities that would be good for Bingo as they come to mind during the week.  Here are some of the things that have been on our cards so far:

play a board game with a sibling
ask a parent for a job to do, and do it
play outside for an hour
read for 1/2 hour
call a long distance friend to say hello
go for a bike or scooter ride with a sibling
practice typing for 30 minutes
make lunch and eat it outside
play Solitaire
write a letter
do an act of kindness for a family member
listen to an audio book for an hour
put together a puzzle
sketch something from nature
color or draw for 30 minutes
build something with LEGO or Playmobil
practice your instrument for 30 minutes
listen to classical music for 30 minutes
scrub a toilet
fold a load of laundry 
play Wii Fit for 30 minutes
play an educational website
take photos of nature and show them to a sibling/parent
read poetry for 30 minutes and tell your favorite

These work for our kids, who range in age from 14 down to 7.  Of course, if you have littler kids, you can adjust the activities accordingly!
This is David and Goliath depicted in LEGO.

While my friend did send me her versions of the Bingo cards and the rules, you can look this up on Pinterest and find all kinds of variations.  Or make up your own!  Use this as a starting point and customize it to fit your clan!


  1. Looks so fun! Thanks for the idea, Kit!

  2. This is amazing. I'm going to have to think hard to see if this will work for ages 2-4. We may have to wait a year or so :-) But I'm bookmarking this page!