Playing summer bingo can be a fantastic way to get everyone at your house excited for summer!
So, what exactly is summer bingo?
Just like the popular bingo game, summer bingo is a simple grid full of fun activities that you want to do as a family during the summer.
As you complete any of the activities on the grid, you get to cross them off with a marker or a sticker.
When you complete a row or column of activities, this counts as a “BINGO,” and you get to celebrate even more!
To make getting started with summer bingo as easy as possible, simply grab the Summer Bingo Printable Pack from the Jen Bradley|MOMs Free Printable Library!
How to Use the FREE Summer Bingo Printable Pack
Inside the Ultimate Summer Bingo Printable Pack, you’ll find several options for getting summer bingo happening at your house!
Here’s what’s included:
- Two different completed summer bingo printable boards (with 2 different backgrounds to choose from)
- Two blank summer bingo printable boards to choose and fill in your own activities
- 64 activity cards to use in creating your own large summer bingo board at home
Here’s a closer look at one of the free completed Summer Bingo Printable boards:
If you’d like to write in your own summer bingo activity ideas, you can print out one of the blank Summer Bingo Printable pages like this:
To get lots of ideas for fun summer activities, check out the section below called “Brainstorm activities!”
Decisions to make before you get started
Before you start using your Summer Bingo Printables or homemade board, it will be important to decide on a couple of things:
How often will you do activities?
Will you do a summer bingo board activity every day? Two or three times a week? Or even just once a week?
The frequency has varied for us over the years, depending on whether we were traveling, moving, or having a new baby join our family!
The important thing is to come to an agreement so no one is left with unfulfilled expectations.
It can be helpful to talk about your board at the beginning of each week and choose which activity or activities you’d like to do that week.
What will you do to celebrate a bingo?
The point of the bingo game is obviously to get a bingo!
So once that happens, what will you do as a family to celebrate?
Some simple and easy rewards for a finished bingo are:
- a trip to the ice cream store
- having a late-night family movie at home
- picking up a box of donuts from the local bakery
- adding a new pool float to our pool
- making a special dessert (other than the ideas already on the board!)
- doing any activity that didn’t make it onto the board
If you want to create your own summer bingo board on a large scale, check out these detailed instructions here:
How to Create Your Summer Bingo Board
Step 1: Gather supplies
The first thing you’ll need is the board. I recommend something sturdy – such as this 20×30 inch foam core board that I’ve reused for years.
You could definitely do with a smaller size, like these 11×14 inch foam boards that come in a pack of 10 from Amazon.
A corkboard like this would be great too. You definitely want something that will be durable enough to stand up to your kids!
Also, if you are going to be stapling the bingo marker pieces onto your board, it will need to be thick enough to take a staple.
I like to cover our board with a large piece of butcher paper. You can choose any bright color or keep it simple and go with white.
The board title
Next, it can be really fun to give your bingo board a fun title.
You can get similar 4-inch letters inexpensively right here on Amazon. I’ve had mine for years and reuse them over and over!
If you are crafty (in which case, I applaud you!), you could make or even hand-letter a bright and exciting title instead.
The next thing you’ll need will be cards with the summer bingo activities written or printed on them. To make this as easy as possible, there are 64 summer bingo idea cards included in the Ultimate Summer Bingo Printable Pack!
These cards are 1.5 inches square and would be easy to arrange in a 5×5 or 6×6 grid on any foam core board or corkboard.
(There is also a page of blank cards so you can completely customize your board too!)
The last thing you’ll need for your summer bingo board will be some type of bingo marker.
I punched out lots of bright 1-inch card stock stars with this fun paper punch to use as markers. You could cut out squares or circles to use as markers too.
If you know that you don’t want to reuse your bingo activity cards from year to year, you could simply put a sticker or write a checkmark on the activities you complete.
Step 2: Brainstorm activities
Once you have all of your supplies, it is time to think about what summer activities you want to include on your summer bingo board.
It’s a great idea to sit down with your family and have a quick brainstorming session.
This way you can give some parameters as to what types of activity ideas you are looking for.
You can certainly include activities on your summer bingo board that your child already loves to do.
These everyday activities will feel more special just because they’re on the board!
Our favorite activities
Here is a quick list of some of our very favorite summer bingo board activities to help you get your creative juices flowing:
-Make a special treat
-Play a board game
We love pretty much all board games, but these cooperative games from The Peaceable Kingdom have been great summer activities for my younger kids!
-Have a stuffed animal fight
Start by removing all the fragile items from one of the rooms in your house.
Have your kids bring their stuffed animals and then start throwing them at each other.
This causes all types of hilarity. One personal recommendation from past experience: don’t use an old favorite stuffed animal that is on the brink of falling apart.
-Hold a theme day
For more on this awesome summer bingo board activity, check out this article about our favorite indoor activities for kids.
-Go on a nature walk or hike
-Campout in the living room or the backyard
-Have a “snowball” fight
For a summer snowball fight, kids can bundle their (clean) socks into balls and throw them at each other.
Better yet, these soft white “snowballs” are perfect for an off-season snowball fight!
(Again, it’s a good idea to clear out fragile items from the room where the snowball fight is going down.)
-Star or cloud gaze
-Host a LEGO challenge
You could have your kids build a LEGO creation while blindfolded or with only one hand.
You can also divide your family into teams and give each team a challenge to build the same item within a certain amount of time (ie: a castle or a spaceship in 15 minutes).
Then have the teams go to different rooms of the house to create their masterpieces.
-Create a puppet show, movie, or play
-Have a water balloon or water gun fight
We’ve been using these self-sealing water balloons for years! They are so easy to fill too.
-Have a marshmallow war
This is similar to the stuffed animal and snowball fights – except in place of stuffed animals and socks, use giant puffy marshmallows.
There is something hilariously satisfying about throwing marshmallows at each other.
It’s a VERY good idea to count out a specific number of marshmallows to use for the war (five per person is usually perfect) – that way you’ll know how many marshmallows to look for when the war is over.
No one likes finding an old, wrinkly marshmallow underneath the living room curtain six months later! (Better yet, make this one an outdoor activity!)
-Do a science project
There are so many great science kits out there for kids. We had some especially good success growing our own crystals with this kit from 4M.
-Play catch, ping pong, tennis, etc.
-Make a sidewalk chalk mosaic
This is a super fun and simple summer project!
Start by using duct tape to outline your mosaic on the sidewalk or driveway.
Decide if you want anything specific in the center, and then place the duct tape in random straight lines all over the rectangle.
Have the kids fill in each of the spaces with sidewalk chalk, making sure that adjacent shapes are different colors.
Once colored, lightly rub each shape with paper towels to make it look finished.
Then pull up the duct tape and voila! Your awesome mosaic is done! Be sure to take a pic before it rains!
-Practice sumo wrestling
Start by marking out a large circle on the floor with masking tape.
Then put down a small mark in the center of the circle too.
Take two bed pillows and put them on the front and back of your children’s torsos. Use a ribbon or a belt to keep them in place.
If your kids’ hair is long enough, put it into a high bun on top of his/her heads.
Then have them square off against each other in the “ring.”
The first person to push the other sumo wrestler out of the ring is the winner!
-Play charades, hide and seek, or other simple games
-Write and mail a letter
-Do a craft or paint
-Try an escape room
There are pre-made escape room kits available that have been a ton of fun for all of my kids!
Check out this article to read more about our experience with these escape room kits as a fun indoor summer activity!
-Have a picnic lunch
-Participate in a puzzle challenge
You can divide the family into two teams and race to finish two puzzles with the same number of pieces and difficulty levels.
Or you could all work together and race the clock. You may also consider putting together a puzzle with only one hand or while standing on one foot.
For more great summer bingo board activities, this article from Parents has a ton of great ideas too!
We usually end up with more activities than we can fit on the board, and that’s okay! Check out the video in the next section to see how we narrow down our choices in a way that usually makes everyone happy.
Step 3: Choosing our activities
We put all of our activity idea cards into a bowl and the kids take turns pulling out one card each.
After reading it aloud, they vote on whether they want that activity to go on the bingo board. If three kids want to keep an activity, it goes on the bingo board!
If three or more kids veto a specific activity it is set aside to save for later.
Taking the time to have everyone contribute to the board really helps them to feel invested and excited when it is time to start doing the activities from the bingo board together!
Step 4: Assemble your bingo board
To put your board together, start by putting your title at the top.
Next, arrange your summer bingo activity cards in a square grid. In our experience, a 5×5 or 6×6 grid works best.
With a 5×5 grid, you can easily put a FREE SPACE in the center position.
Once your cards are arranged, either staple, glue or tape them to the board.
(If you staple them, you can carefully pull them off and reuse some of them in a different arrangement next year!)
Step 5: Display your board in a prominent place
Be sure to put your summer bingo board in a place where members of your family will see it often!
You could put it in the family room, a kids’ bedroom, in the kitchen, by the fireplace, etc.
Basically, anywhere will work, as long as it is not stuck away in a closet somewhere!
As you start to play, staple a star or other marker over each activity that you complete. You’ll be getting bingos in no time!
Final thoughts on family summer bingo boards
We’ve been playing summer bingo for the past six years in our family after we were introduced to them by my sister-in-law.
All five of my kids absolutely love it – even after all this time!
Whether you choose to use the completed summer bingo printable, fill in your own activities on the blank board, or create your own giant summer bingo board, your kids will love seeing the different activities in store for them this summer!
Pin the image above to your Pinterest so you can come back to these ideas in the future!
Related articles about family summer fun activities:
Are you going to play summer bingo this year?