Bingo is a game that has been played for well over a century. Many people relegate it to a pastime for older people, but bingo is actually an excellent way to teach math skills to young children as well. Sure, the basic game can teach number recognition from 1 to 75, but there are several ways the game can be altered to make the game much more educational.
Math bingo is an excellent way to teach basic math skills while wrapping it up in a fun game. Math bingo is just like regular bingo, but with a twist. Instead of calling out numbers, the caller gives out a small math problem instead. The players then have to solve the problem and mark the right spot. When bingo is called, the problems are checked against the answers. If they are correct, the player wins.
While there are several applications for math bingo that can be found, it's good to know how to make your own set too so you can use your own problems. Here are several tips we've found helpful in making our own math bingo sets.
- Don't be afraid to reuse numbers on the same card. For instance, if you're teaching addition from 0 to 10, repeat the numbers on the card and tell players they can mark one of the valid spots.
- Be sure you have enough problems to match all of the answers. If you're using standard bingo cards, you'll need problems for each one of the numbers. Here is a page we've made about math bingo that has a standard question set for all 75 numbers. If you choose to repeat numbers on a card, make enough problems so that all the spots could be covered in one game. For instance, if you have three spots marked four on a card, then you'll need three problems that answer to four.
- Be creative with using advanced math concepts on your cards. If you're teaching fraction arithmetic, you could ask for the numerator, denominator, or even the reduced fraction. The problems may be trickier to generate, but the fun will still be there in the game.
- Speaking of the game itself, you can also alter that by asking players to make different patterns on the card rather than the traditional line. There are an amazing number of bingo patterns used in bingo halls. A bit of googling will reveal the most common ones. Make it your own game!
If your kids deserve a reward, try a game of math bingo. It's a great way to test their skills at the same time. And if you don't want to make your own set, there are apps available too.