Bingo is a popular game all over the world. Word Bingo is a fun variation on the traditional game.
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Bingo - More than Just a Numbers Game

Bingo is a popular game all over the world. In the U.K. it is played by three million people daily. Bingo is especially loved by senior citizens; it is something they find fun, sociable and easy to participate in.

Many people argue that bingo does not provide enough mental stimulation when compared to other activities such as bridge, canasta and crossword puzzles. Whilst it is true that there are other more intellectually stimulating games available, it is a mistake to think that Bingo has nothing to offer.

In fact several studies have revealed that bingo can improve concentration, short-term memory, and other cognitive functions in elderly people.

Bingo's bad reputation in nursing home settings springs from the fact that in the past bingo was often over-played. Times have changed however, and today activity staff are well qualified and highly motivated to develop a calendar of activities that offers meaningful, relevant, exciting, and wished-for activities. Regardless of what people say, Bingo continues to be immensely popular with elderly people in the community as well as in nursing homes settings and other long term assisted living facilities.

Why elderly people love Bingo

  • It is an easy and non-threatening game
  • It is a relaxing leisure activity
  • It improves concentration
  • It provides an opportunity to socialize and strengthen friendships
  • It is fun!

These days there are many variations of bingo that are stimulating and fun to play: Picture Bingo, Musical Bingo, Digital Bingo, and Word Bingo are some common forms of bingo. These variations are usually available in different levels so that people with different abilities can enjoy the game.

Bingo in long term care facilities is not played for money; in fact many facilities disapprove of the 'gambling' aspect of the game. However the excitement of winning can can provide a lot of pleasure to people. You may find token prizes for winners instead.

When I worked for an RSL Retirement Village we played ten Bingo games every Thursday afternoon. The games cost $.20 cents each; it attracted 17 - 25 participants, so there was always around $4 dollars available for the winner of each game. It took us 50-60 minutes to play the ten games; it was enormously popular and residents had a great time, every time.

Bingo games are no longer expensive; however they are even cheaper if you make them yourself. Here are some templates I have used before successfully.

Word Bingo

The Activity Coordinator is the best judge regarding who is likely to be able to participate well and enjoy themselves in this word bingo game!

How to assemble Bingo Cards

  • Download card templates and laminate them.
  • Download word cards; laminate and cut out.
  • To cover the words collect soda lids or use buttons. Alternatively, spray a thick piece of cardboard with some black or other paint of choice and then cut it into rectangles to fit the board.

How to play the game

  • Hand out a bingo card template to each participant
  • Give each participant a zip lock plastic bag with 25 lids/buttons/colored cardboard pieces.
  • Shuffle word cards; you may have to divide the cards into two lots and shuffle one at time. Anything that is laminated is very slippery.
  • Place cards in a box or inside a fabric bag.
  • Start the game by taking one card at time and saying the word out loud and clear.
  • Let participants know where to search for words on their cards: for instance 'ROPE', is a four letter word; all four letter words are located in the second column.
  • Repeat the word a couple of times, allowing plenty of time for participants to search.
  • Put used cards away so they are not used again.
  • Continue in this manner until someone calls out Bingo!

Files included:

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Word Bingo Sheets

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Bingo List - 75 Words

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Word Bingo Covers

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Word Bingo Checklist

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Comments   Post a Comment

Catherine 5th Nov 2018 Activities
Our residents enjoy Word Bingo, I change the words for the season or holiday it is fun for everyone including me. Coupled with the Word Bingo activity, we play Word to Word as a warm-up. We have played it individually, on teams and one large group.
Talita 5th Nov 2018
Hi Catherine, thanks for your feedback! It's a great idea to use seasonal words! What is the word to word wamp up?
Janet 13th Sep 2018 Coordinator, Adult Day Center
This is a refreshing change for Bingo. I'm going to try it out next week! Thanks so much.
Talita 17th Sep 2018
Thanks so much for your feedback Janet! We'd love to hear how it goes.
Lydia 2nd Aug 2017 Program Director
I use blank cards and make my own cards as needed. Time consuming but easy enough and reusable! I have USA states, OKLAHOMA history, presidents, some printed off other sites, back to school, super bowl, zoo, JINGO (bought at g-sale) Spring and thanksgiving
I use at least once a month to change things up :)
Louise 14th Jan 2015 Divisional Therapist
Happy New Year,we play Bingo in our facility every Friday and with the support of our wonderful and caring volunteers,it's free n our facility pays for little prizes,chocolates and biscuits to use as winning prizes,we also have a lot of donations from family members as well as volunteers.and that makes it very excieting for our residents.I shall try this new word game.thanks Louise.
Ali 2nd Sep 2014 Activities Coordinator
Thanks, my residents look forward to Bingo every Monday so it will be nice to offer an alternative for something different.
Probably doesn't matter, but I'm just wondering why toenail appears twice.
Helen 8th Apr 2014 Lifestyle Coordinator
We play Hoi which is the same as Bingo but with cards.
Use old packs of cards. Make up mixed sets of 8. Glue on an A4 and laminate. Use a pack of extra large Cards shuffled. You can call and show them which is great for hearing impaired and non English speaking. Milk bottle tops for markers.
Sarah 25th Sep 2018 Leisure & Lifestyle Coordinator
I play Hoi as a card game. So Shuffle normal sizedcards, hand out as normal card game. Amount of cards will depend on players. Then I use the large cards as my calling card set. I try to do it quite fast so as to make rolls concentrate. It’s v popular. I give little chocolate prizes.
Jeanette 2nd Apr 2014 Activities Officer
My residents enjoy playing Bingo every Monday morning with some wonderful volunteers. We have small prizes, which they all enjoy.
We have also been playing "Aussie Memory Bingo" for a bit more of a challenge.
I was wondering if there was a calling card with all the words on it. thanks
Jen 1st Apr 2014 Diversional Therapist
Bingo is an absolute favourite with our residents! Whenever there is a day to celebrate, we make a BINGO game to suit the occassion eg St Patricks Day, Valentines day, Australia day. It's a breeze to download some suitable pics from clip art and make up your own cards...get the residents to help you do the gluing! ENJOY!
Kerry 1st Apr 2014 Recreation
Love bingo afternoons. I put together a special bingo for the queens jubilee. Black&white illustrations of family members including favourite horse, dogs, royal landmarks and countries (sovereign). Created lots of conversation and enjoyment.
Patricia 1st Apr 2014 Co Ordinator
Love this, just played Hoy today after running it off from here, thoroughly enjoyed, no doubt this will be, too. Thank you!
Merilyn 1st Apr 2014 Options Respite Coordinator
Thank you for these Bingo updates.
Alison 1st Apr 2014 Lifestyle
Love this idea, we also paly animal bingo which the residents in our Memory support unit really enjoy
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