Bingo, Lotto, and Three-in-a-Row

Bingo games, and their variations, help young players develop listening, speaking, and fine motor skills. They also provide a fun way for children celebrate a holiday or play with a theme while practicing good sportsmanship.

Prepare cards and game boards

Print out the game cards on cardstock. Cut each page in half to make 2 cards. We usually trim a little of the extra white space off the bottom of the cards as well. You can print out the deck of calling cards on card stock or regular paper and glue them onto index cards. If possible, laminate both the games cards and the deck of calling cards for longer use.

Rules of the game

Each player gets a game card and handful of tokens to cover spaces on their card. These could be pennies, buttons, or small squares of paper. At the start of each game, the caller puts all the calling cards in to a basket.

The object of the game to to cover 5 squares in a row - horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. The image in the very center of the card is a free space and counts as a "covered" square. Players are encouraged to put a token on that sqaure at the beginning of the game.

The caller pulls one card at a time out of the basket and reads it to the players, for example: "Th - Pumpkin". Players then look at the "Th" column of their game card to see if they have an image of a pumpkin. If they do, they cover that square with a token. The caller continues to draw and call out the cards from the basket and players continue to cover squares until a player has 5 squares in a row. When a player has five in a row they should stand and call out "Bingo!"

The player reads out the squares they have covered to make their five in a row and the caller checks to confirm that they have been called. Once the squares are confirmed that player is declared the winner. All the calling cards are then returned to the basket and stirred up and all players clear their game cards before the next round of play.

Lotto

This variation of tic-tac-toe and bingo is won when a player covers four squares in a row or in a square.  Each player makes his/her own gameboard of 8 squares (a grid of 2 rows, each with 4 equal squares).

To create game cards

Choose and cut out the boxes containing any 8 of the 12 game figures. Glue one different figure box in each square of the grid. We usually glue the 4 remaining pictures on the back.  I have the students’ gameboards and a few extras laminated whenever possible. This makes them easier to use and prolongs their life. It also eliminates the possibility that students may try to change pictures on the board during the game in order to win.

To play the game

Prepare calling cards for each of the 12 figures using the 3x5 cards. Cut squares of different colors of construction paper the same size as the grid squares and ask each player to count out 10 pieces to use as markers.

Put the 12 "calling" cards in a container (small baskets work well) and take one out at random. Show that card and have the players cover that figure on their gameboard if they have used it. Place that card in a pocket chart or in a row on a magnetic board where it can be seen by the students and easily checked. Cards can also be shown to players by using transparencies on an overhead projector or using computer images on a whiteboard screen.

To win the game

Players win the game with they have covered all four squares in either row, or all four of the squares on the left, in the middle, or on the right, as shown below. When a player has four in a row or square, they should stand and call out "Lotto!" or other agreed upon call. They then read out the squares they have covered to make their lotto and the caller checks to confirm that they have been called.  Once the squares are confirmed that player is declared the winner. 

x x    
x x    
  x x  
  x x  
    x x
    x x

All the calling cards are then returned to the basket and stirred up and all players clear their game cards before the next round of play. Players may agree that the winner gets to draw and call out the cards for the next round.

Three-in-a-Row

Creating the cards

Choose and cut out the boxes containing any 9 of the 12 game figures. Glue one different figure box in each square. We usually glue the 3 remaining pictures on the back along with the name of the person making the gameboard. I have the students’ gameboards and a few extras laminated whenever possible. This makes them easier to use and prolongs their life. It also eliminates the possibility that students may try to change pictures on the board during the game in order to win.

Playing the game

Prepare calling cards for each of the 12 figure using the 3x5 cards. Cut squares of different colors of construction paper the same size as the grid squares and ask each player to count out 9 pieces to use as markers. Put the 12 calling cards in a container (small baskets work well for this) and take one out at random. Show that card and have the players cover that figure on their gameboard if they have used it. Place that card in a pocket chart or in a row on a magnetic board where it can be seen by the players and easily checked. Cards can also be shown to players by using transparencies on an overhead projector or using computer images on a whiteboard screen.

Winning the game

Players win the game with they have covered three squares in a row, horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. When a player has covered three in a row, they should stand and call out an agreed upon call. They then read out the squares they have covered to make their three-in-a-row and the caller checks to confirm that they have been called.  Once the squares are confirmed that player is declared the winner. 

All the calling cards are then returned to the basket and stirred up and all players clear their game cards before the next round of play. Players may agree that the winner gets to draw and call out the cards for the next round.