Basketball Bingo

I’m keeping it light and easy today. It’s a Friday after all.

Today I’m writing about an idea to do with your kids. I haven’t done a post like this forever. I think with Pinterest and all the bigger blogs I just figured that moms are covered for the most part on ideas. But this one came to me in a moment of genius, and I thought I would share it because it’s quick, easy and effective.

One week night I had a meeting at my house, so my husband was in charge of the kids for the night. Crew and Elle were busy with their activities, so it was just the younger two kids Chad had to worry about. He wanted to go to a high school basketball game, but the little kids didn’t want to go. He was pushing it, and they were whining and complaining. That’s when I stepped in with my genius idea.

I said, “What if I came up with a scavenger hunt for you to do while you watch the basketball game?”

I immediately started folding a paper into several squares. I had 32 squares in the end. I was trying to keep them entertained for awhile.

Then I started filling in the squares with things that they would see and hear at a basketball game. I drew a little ear in the corner of squares that had something to listen for. Besides sounds and sights common to a basketball game, I threw in local idiosyncrasies as well like a cowboy hat and a wasp. I made sure to involve the cheerleaders and half-time performance to keep Croft engaged. Here’s what I came up with on their Bingo sheet:

wasp (Our mascot)

American flag

giant W (Our high school)

cheerleader

#25 (I just wrote down a bunch of random numbers. Between the scoreboard and jerseys I figured they were covered.)

hair bow (Are cheerleaders’ bows getting bigger and bigger or is it just me?)

cowboy hat

bleachers

scoreboard

color yellow

dribbling basketball

any grandpa

someone you know (This was a fun one.)

popcorn

coach

#2

#34

referee

hand on heart

three-pointer

color black

making a basket

cartwheel

#16

pom pom

3:33 (My son loves time and monitors clocks continually.)

handspring

little kid

buzzer*

whistle*

Star-Splangled Banner*

yelling*

(*these were the sounds to listen for)

When the kids got a black out, they could get a treat from the concession stand.

I sent the kids off to the game with clipboards and markers.

Chad reported that the Basketball Bingo/Scavenger Hunt was a hit. They enjoyed looking and observing.

bballbingo_Fotor

Crew had a double header (basketball) last Saturday afternoon, and I whipped up another Bingo sheet to occupy the two rug-rats. This one was much smaller – only 16 squares. I was just looking to get them excited about going but knew once they got there they would find other things to do.

This time I threw in a few basketball skills and terms so they could learn the game as they played their Bingo game. They got to learn about

free throws

fouls

traveling

rebounds

three-pointers

I also made this Bingo sheet a little more personal because it was a smaller game. I put some pressure on Crew to perform with the squares “Crew scores” and “Crew gets a rebound.” He came through for his siblings in the first two minutes. I also included the family with “Grandma” and the sounds “Dad yelling” and “Mom cheering.” (I’m one of those moms that jumps out of her seat to cheer for a great play or an awesome shot.)

We have three baseball games on Saturday, and I just may make a Bingo/Scavenger Hunt game for those. I want to make sure not to overuse the concept or it will lose its magic, but a new sport will bring new life to the game.

I’m thinking I could also use the Bingo game idea for hikes, concerts, plays, recitals, meetings, parades, church, etc. — really anything that a child might be hesitant to go to. Giving them a purpose to listen and watch may just be all they need. I think the Bingo game is also a fun way to learn new vocabulary and concepts.

And all it takes is a piece of paper and some creativity.

Let me know if this idea works for you. I’d love to hear how you adapt it for your family.

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