What You Do:
- At least a week before Halloween, you and your child can create bingo boards for each family member who wants to play. Use a ruler to create a grid of squares on each piece of poster board or cardboard. This is a great opportunity for your child to practice her measuring skills. Create at least 25 squares (5 rows by 5 columns) for each board. Be sure each bingo board has the same amount of boxes.
- While each bingo board has the same amount of squares, the combination of symbols may be different from one board to the next. Start with one of the boards and brainstorm the various words for the symbols and imagery associated with Halloween.
- Help your child write these words in the boxes. Examples include: black cat, witch, broomstick, Frankenstein, Dracula, vampire, bat, spider, cobweb, cauldron, pumpkin, Jack O’Lantern, and the Grim Reaper. Essentially, you and your child should choose words that you will be able to locate pictures of in magazines or in the grocery store, anywhere in your day-to-day routines. You may use the same words twice in one board, but try to have a variety of different words on each board.
- After the boards are created with each square containing the word of a Halloween symbol, you’re ready to play. Assign a board to each family member. For the next week or so, each player will look out for the symbols on his or her bingo board. When you find one, cut out the image. You can find symbols in newspapers, magazines, coupon books in the mail, food and other kinds of packaging, and all over the printed media. (But searching and printing images on the Internet is against the rules!)
- Once a player has an image of word on her board, she'll paste it in the appropriate square.
- Once you cover your board with all of the required symbols, you can yell “Bingo!” for everyone to hear. The first one to cover their entire board with the appropriate symbols and yell "Bingo!" is the winner of the game.
Your family may decide beforehand what the prize will be if you like. The activity works best with three or more players over the course of a week or so. Ghoul luck!
Cheri Lucas has her Master's of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction. She was a writing aid at Corte Madera Middle School for six years. She is currently working as a freelance writer in San Francisco.