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Bingo Plus

Save on Bingo Games and Bingo Supplies!

"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, 1981).

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.

Bingo Lottery
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 bingo numbers

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.

Intercom Bingo
submitted by Penkay on March 18, 2001

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 game.

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 3.

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.

Buddy Bingo
submitted 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
submitted 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.

Card Bingo
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 men.

Scout Bingo Afternoon
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.


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.


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 different cards.

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 facility.

Trivia Bingo Large Print Book

Trivia Bingo Large Print Book

Photo Bingo, Everyday Items

Photo Bingo, Everyday Items

ElderSongA® Bingo

ElderSongA® Bingo

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Professional Bingo Set Professional Bingo Set



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