Amidst all of the excitement of kindergarten, children are working hard to develop good concentration and memory skills. These skills will play a crucial role in a child’s early reading and math development, as they learn to form letters and numbers, read words, focus, and follow complex directions. Building these memory skills can take lots of practice, but can also be loads of fun, especially when practice feels like playing a fun game!
Here’s a game that mixes the luck of Bingo with the skills involved in games of concentration and memory, and it adds a fun musical twist. This activity works well in the classroom, but it's also a great birthday party idea!
What You Need:
- colored pencils, markers
- bingo markers (bottle caps, plastic chips, etc.)
- 6 index cards, cut in half
What You Do:
- Create game boards: Write SING-O at the top of each paper. Then use a ruler and pencil to create a 3x3 playing grid.
- Choose 12 common children’s songs (see the suggested song list below). Write the title of a song in each of the nine squares. You’ll want to be sure to pick songs your child is familiar with.
- In each square of the nine squares, have your child draw an object from the song. For example, a star for “Twinkle, Twinkle,” or a birthday cake for “Happy Birthday.” Repeat for each board. (Hint: Choose from the same 12 songs, but don’t choose the same nine songs for each board, so that each board is different.)
- Keeping in mind the same songs as those you listed on the game boards, write the first line of each of the 12 songs on the index card halves, one song per card. (Note: Most of these first lines are the same as the titles.) Put the cards face down on the table and mix them up.
- Now it’s time to play! Give each player a board and some bingo markers. The first player chooses a card, and reads aloud the words from the song. She then finds the matching song on her board.
- In order to mark that square on her board, she has to sing the next line from the song. Here’s an example: The selected card reads, "Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are." The player has to sing, "Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky." If she can sing the next line, she can mark that square on her SING-O board. If she cannot sing the next line, the other players can help her but she won't be able to mark the square on her board. Either way, the card is then returned to the table, face down. Continue on to the next person who will then choose a card from the table and so on.
- The next player chooses a card. She may end up choosing the card that was previously picked, or she may pick a different card. Each time, at the end of the turn, the card is returned to the table.
- The first player to get three squares in a row shouts “SING-O!” and wins.
Suggested Song List:
- Baa Baa Black Sheep
- Old MacDonald Had a Farm
- The Wheels on the Bus
- The Itsy Bitsy Spider
- Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
- Happy Birthday
- The Muffin Man
- I’m a Little Teapot
- Mary Had a Little Lamb
- ABC Song
- Three Blind Mice
- Row Row Row Your Boat
- The Farmer in the Dell
- Yankee Doodle
- Skip to My Lou
- Have You Ever Seen a Lassie?
- Down By the Bay
Liana Mahoney is a National Board Certified elementary teacher, currently teaching a first and second grade loop. She is also a certified Reading Specialist, with teaching experience as a former high school English teacher, and early grades Remedial Reading.