Plan a Picnic Activity: Picnic Bingo

Bingo is an easy game for kids to play, and lots of kids can play at the same time! It can be a fun
activity for before or after picnic lunch - or really any time you need to keep your kids entertained!
This also makes a fun Mommy and Me game for moms who have just one child.

You'll Need:

Picnic Bingo Cards*

Picnic Bingo Call Cards*

Washable, non-toxic colored markers (colored pencils, or regular pencils)

A plastic bowl, bag, or small box to use to hold the Call Cards

A few simple "Bingo!" prizes

*Picnic Bingo Cards and Picnic Bingo Call Cards are free printables.  The links are shown below.
Each opens in a new window for your convenience or right-click and save to your computer.  These
are Word documents.

Picnic Bingo Card Sample* (print 1)

Picnic Bingo Card Blank* (print as many as you will need, one per player)

Picnic Bingo Call Cards** (print 1 of each)

*The Bingo Cards will print on plain computer paper (white is best). Print one of the sample cards,
and then print as many blank cards as you will need. Print more than you need so that you can play
several games---until everyone is a winner!

**The Bingo Call Cards are to be printed on plain white business cards (10 business cards to one
sheet [standard], should be compatible with "Avery 8876" business cards, although any business
card should work), available at office supply stores, Waltons, Makro). It is simple to print on
business cards. Just put the blank business cards into your printer's paper tray and print the Call
Cards as you would any other document. You should not have to change any of your printer's

Prepare Bingo Cards

Prepare the Bingo Cards ahead of time. This will take approximately 30 minutes.

Separate the Bingo Call Cards. The business cards are already perforated, and if you bend each
perforation line, up and down, a few times before you separate the cards, the cards will tear away a
little easier. You should end up with a total of 50 individual cards, 10 individual cards for each
Bingo Call Card. For the moment, keep all 10 individual cards for each Bingo Call Card together
(that is, do not mix the 50 individual cards at this point).

Look at the Bingo Card Sample. In the row across the top, you'll see HOTDOG, ANT, PICNIC
TABLE, WATERMELON, and CATSUP (with corresponding pictures). In each row under the
pictures, there are numbers. Note that in each separate column, the numbers do no repeat (that is,
in the HOTDOG column, no number is repeated, and so on for the remaining four columns). Using
the sample as a guide, you will now make the bingo cards for the game.

Place a blank bingo card in front of you.

Put the 10 HOTDOG Call Cards in a dish and mix them up. Pull out a card. Whatever number is on
that card, put that number in the box in the first row under HOTDOG.

Pull another card. Put that number in the box in the second row under HOTDOG.

Do this three more times. You now have 5 different numbers in the HOTDOG column.

Put those five cards back into the bowl. Take the next blank bingo card.

Pull 5 cards, one at a time, and mark those numbers in the five rows in the HOTDOG column.

Continue until you have done all the blank cards for the HOTDOG column. Set the HOTDOG call
cards aside.

Using the ANT call cards, fill in the rows in the ANT column. Continue until you have finished all of
the blank cards for the ANT column. Set ANT cards aside.

Continue in this manner for PICNIC TABLE, WATERMELON, and CATSUP. [Note that in the PICNIC
TABLE column there is a "FREE" space. Do not put a number in this box.]

You may want to make several copies of each of these completed bingo cards. Each card will be
unique (the laws of probability suggest that none of the columns of numbers for each of the
pictures is the same). If you made 10 cards, then make 5 sets of copies. Use one set of copies for
the first round of play, the second set for the second round of play, etc.

How To Play Picnic Bingo

The instructions for playing bingo are very simple.

Put all of the Picnic Bingo Call Cards into a bowl (bag or box). Shake the bowl a little to mix up the

Give each child a Picnic Bingo Card and a colored marker (colored pencil or regular pencil).

Draw a Call Card from the bowl. Read the word that tells what the picture is and the number on the
card, and then show the card to the players. Set that call card aside (do not put it back into the bowl).

Each player will look at his/her Picnic Bingo Card to find that picture in the row across the top and
down that picture's column for the number called. If the number is there, then he/she will color in
that square.

The object of the game is for one player to fill in:

the whole column for one picture (that is, color in all the boxes for the 5 numbers under one of the
pictures), or

fill in one row going across (that is, fill 1 number for each picture, going across that same row), or

fill in the numbers so that either diagonal is completed (that is, the first number in the first row, the
second number in the second row, THIRD SPACE/THIRD ROW IS FREE and is considered filled,
fourth number in the fourth row, fifth number in the fifth row).

Using the Bingo Card Sample, an example of a winning card would be one of these four:

HOTDOG 3,1,7,8,4




Remember, every player automatically gets the FREE space to use for any winning combination.

When a player fills in a whole column (any one of the five columns), a whole row (any one of the five
rows), or either diagonal, he/she should shout "BINGO!"*

*Note: You can teach smaller children a valuable lesson about playing fair and being honest. When
a player shouts Bingo!, check the card against the call cards that have been pulled. That is, go
through the cards that have been pulled, make sure that each spot filled on the winning card is a
card picture/number that was really called. This will help young children learn the value of being
honest and playing fair.

Have Bingo Prizes Handy!

It's easy to have a few little "prizes" ready to give away to Bingo winners. Just rummage through
your local dollar store, Wal*Mart, Target, or Kmart, and find little toys, games, or other "prizes" that
are inexpensive. These prizes can be "gag" gifts as well---just use your imagination! Put everything
in a big box that you've covered in bright colors of tissue paper or other gift wrap so that opening the
box and pulling out a prize is part of the Bingo game fun.

Play Bingo Again and Again

You can either use the same cards, and have the players use a different marker color or pencil or
you can have extra sets of Bingo cards available. Just put all the Bingo Call Cards back into the
bowl---and start again!

Have the last Bingo winner pull the cards and call out the word and number! That way, the same
player can't win two times in a row---and all the players can eventually get a turn at being the Bingo

Bingo might sound like such a simple game, but if you make it fun, it will be fun!

Jan K., The Proofer is freelance proofreader and copyeditor. Visit
http://www.jansportal for more
information about Jan’s proofreading and copyediting services and Jan's other free resources.
Please visit Mom's Break ( for free printable crafts and projects. ©
Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.  Material on this page used with permission.
Family Fun - Picnic Bingo
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