|"People who join together
in an activity have a common bond that unites them, resulting
in better communication, closer friendships, and increased
self-confidence." (Hastings, Complete Handbook
of Activities and Recreational Programs for Nursing Homes,
Bingo, despite what many say,
is a great game! Hundreds and thousands of people play
bingo each day around the country. But sometimes its
over utilized in the nursing home setting. Program coordinators
must provide residents opportunities for activities "Beyond
Bingo." But, since bingo is so popular, I listed
some alternative ways to run your bingo games just to
make it interesting. Send in
your favorite bingo alternatives.
submitted by Alice Greene of Grace Ridge Retirement Community
on March 6, 2006
Size of Group: any size
Equipment: Bingo cards and a print sheets of all of the
Objective: to enhance communication, to enhance eye-hand
coordination, to initiate communication, to make a decision,
to make friends,
Description: At the beginning of the month explain to all
residents that will be playing how to play Bingo Lottery.
The bingo lottery game is a cover ALL.
Each day two numbers are posted on the activity board at
lunch time and dinner time.
It will take about the whole month to play
Each day the residents mark their cards and whoever completes
a cover all first wins the game. The prize is lunch out
anywhere with the Activity Staff. This game has been so
fun that the residents enjoys coming out of their rooms
just to check the numbers. It gives them something to look
forward to each day.
submitted by Penkay on March
Intercom Bingo cards are sold
for $1.00 each through the activity department. Residents,
Staff & Family Members may purchase as many as they
desire. (The activity staff may not purchase any)
Each bingo sheet has a number
on it. When someone purchases a bingo sheet/card write
that number and the name of person who is buying the
card on a sheet of paper. This paper is kept in the activity
office. (This will help in case reference is needed for
any reason, lost, misplaced cards & it helps keep
track of the number of cards sold).
Intercom Bingo is played Monday
through Friday. Bingo numbers are called one a day. Mon
- Fri. Example: Monday I announce B10 Tuesday it maybe
O63, Wed I19 etc.. The game can on for 2 or 3 weeks sometimes
only a 1 week & a day or 2.
At the end of your morning
announcements (which includes the day, date & year)
announce the intercom bingo number. You get the intercom
bingo number by using one of the large print calling
cards. The number is then posted on a bulletin board.
These numbers stay up on the board until the end of the
When you have a winner, verfiy
the card against the numbers on the bulletin board, then
announce over the PA System that you we have a intercom
bingo winner. Write the winners name on the winning card & post
it on the bulletin board. I do not give the winner the
money until 2 days later. The reason for the 2 day wait
is in case there is a second winner, who may be off,
works a later shift or for whatever reason is out of
the facilty for a couple of days.
The money you collected for
the cards is divided between the winner & the Resident
Council funds. (The Resident Council fund is money being
raised for a large priced item they have voted on to
purchase for the facility/activties like a Snow Cone
Machine) Example of how the money is split: Total number
of cards sold will be the dollar amount collected $40.00
the winner gets $20 & the resident council funds
get $20. In the case of 2 winners the pot is split by
I have found residents & staff
listen to the morning annoucements much closer by doing
this activity. You will see residents that normally don't
interact with others or leave their room will come to
the bulletin board to check the numbers called against
their cards & will often stay out for a while.
by Tracy Groene of Enid's Senior Care on March 12, 2001
Residents that need help playing
bingo sit with residents that need no assistance ---
they are buddy bingo players. Its great fun for all that
play. Both recieve prizes when one of them bingo's.
Bingo and the Bazaar
by Sue Neitzelt of Rosewood Manor on March 4, 2001
The residents play bingo and
win play money. They then have a bazaar every two weeks
and buy things with the money they won at bingo. For
prizes, find cheap items at local discount stores. The
residents at times donate things they no longer want
to the bazaar.
submitted by Jan Huegerich of
Exira Care Center on March 1, 2001
Residents are each given
7 cards face up laid out on a table. The leader will
then have a new deck and read out the cards as they are
dealt. Everyone with that card turns it over and when
all of each residents cards are turned over they holler "bingo".
Prizes are then given. We have played this with 1 to
many residents. You also can alter the number of cards
that are dealt out, it really makes no differance. We
use it for our seperate activity for our ladies and our
submitted by Kim Jensen of Avalon at Newport onFebruary 23, 2001
We invite our local Cub Scout
and Brownie Troops to play Bingo with us once a month
and turn it into a party. Lots of my intergenerational
connections come from Holiday groups that come to carol,
etc. Scouts bring prizes for the residents and we provide
prizes for the kids. Ice Cream sandwiches make great
treats. Lots of fun and great photo opportunities!
submitted by Deann Ruckman
of Hawthorne Care Center
As an alternative to prizes,
we give a quarter to the winner of each bingo game. The
cover all games are worth $1. Residents look forward
to winning money and save it to purchase items out of
the vending machine or buy a dinner ticket for a family
member on our monthly Family Restaurant Night. It's also
less expensive than purchasing prizes. Be sure to check
with your state law and administrator to see if bingo
with cash payoff is permitted in your state.
ANOTHER CASH BINGO
Residents pay a nickel per
card and may purchase up to 2 cards. To make payoffs
easy to calculate, collect all money as residents enter
the room. Divide the total "take" by ten (or
the number of games you plan to have). This is the payoff
for each game. You may want to take off 20% off the top
to use in the final coverall game. Be sure to check with
your state law and administrator to see if bingo with
cash payoff is permitted in your state.
GIFT EXCHANGE BINGO
Do the residents obtain unwanted
Christmas gifts they would like to exchange? Invite them
to bring such gifts the day after Christmas. Use these
gifts for bingo prizes.
Many activity books describe
Musical Bingo so I won't go into detail here. But, have
you thought of inviting a guitar player, a piano player,
singer, or other musicians to play the songs. Having
live music really livens things up!
Have a volunteer take pictures
of all the residents. Cut each picture into a 2 by 2
square and make multiple Xerox copies of each picture.
Paste the copies onto a large sized card... making many
At the game, call the persons
name. If a player has the persons picture on his/her
card, the player covers it up. If a player doesn't know
who the individual is, invite the individual whose name
was called to stand up or raise their hand.
Now, it should be obvious
by now that not all residents will attend the activity
and not all residents will know each other. In addition,
as residents come and go, the cards become obsolete (well
almost... take a Polaroid picture of the new resident,
make extra Xeroxed copies and paste his/her picture onto
the space of the resident who has left).
It may be a lot of work initially,
but you'll have a very personalized activity for your