It’s been twelve years since I published the “Life Experiences Bingo” sheet I’ve used for breaking the ice at the various Christmas parties we’ve hosted over the course of our marriage, but it remains one of my most popular posts, especially in the month of December.
When the stats for this free printable started climbing in August and September, though, it dawned on me that teachers might be using it to help students get to know each other in the classroom. That lead me to create a special new “Back-to-School” version of this game:
Of course, as homeschoolers, my kids have the same handful of students in their “class” every year — their siblings! — and they already know each other pretty well by this time. But we do participate in co-ops and extra-curricular group activities, and this ice breaker bingo is a fun way to meet new people in those settings.
It can be played several ways. If the group is small, students can mark the squares on their own paper that are true of them, then compare notes when one gets a bingo.
Alternatively, they can collect signatures of their fellow students by having each sign an appropriate box. For medium sized groups, go for a straight line Bingo to win or allow each person to sign multiple boxes on the same sheet. For very large groups, insist that students get signatures from different people in each box and/or that they play until somebody gets a blackout with every square covered.
Award bonus points to the winner if he can introduce all the people who signed the winning row or block of squares to the rest of the group!