Words – Language Bingo (Weekly Unplugged Project)

By , April 5, 2009 9:50 pm

First of all, I want to send a HUGE thank you to Lynn of Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile for doing an excellent job of hosting the weekly Unplugged Project last week while I was away on vacation.  I really appreciate it and I hope it was fun for you!

We had a lovely time in Mexico.  The kids ran around on the beach and swam in the pool non-stop.  This was our first vacation with my youngest in tow where I was actually able to relax a bit.  My three year-old was finally independent enough to allow me to read two and a half books.  What a luxury.


Surprise!  We finally got to the Unplugged Project this week.  Although I hadn’t picked the theme words for any particular reason, it actually fit in perfectly with what we have been doing lately:  learning French.

I haven’t blogged about this yet, but this summer we are all going to France for three weeks where my two oldest children (6 and 8) will attend a language class.  I used to live in France, and am determined that my children learn French.  This is step one.  I’ll write more about it another day.

Anyhow, inspired by this wonderful French bingo game by eeBoo that we bought and love, I decided to make our own version.  I designed our own, changeable bingo game for learning lots of French words.

We gathered up some heavy cardboard, card stock, scissors a ruler and some old nature magazines.

First I cut the cardboard into three equal squares, one for each of my children.  My squares ended up being about 8 in. by  8 in. (about 20 cm by 20 cm).  It doesn’t really matter how big they are, as long they are square.

Using the ruler, I penciled a grid of nine approximately equal squares on each piece of cardboard.  These became the bingo cards.

We cut strips of card stock that were the same height as our rows of three squares, and slightly longer.

Next we cut some narrow ribbon in lengths just long enough to be slightly wider than the cardboard squares.

We put one piece across each vertical line on each card (two per card):

Then we taped the end securely onto the back of the bingo card:

Finally, the really fun part.  We searched the nature magazines to find some common animals to cut out, making sure that each animal photo would fit inside one of the nine squares on the card.

We pasted three animals on each strip keeping enough space between each animal for the ribbon.

Finally, we slid the strips under the ribbons to fill in the bingo board. The strips pass easily underneath the ribbons and the slightly longer length makes a nice tab for easy insertion and removal.

When the boards were done, we cut pieces of card stock into squares that were close to the size of our animal squares.  I wrote an animal name in French on each card.

Play proceeds like this:

The cards go into a bag.  The caller pulls out a card and says the name of the animal.  Whoever has it on their card says “moi!” (me) and places the card on top of the corresponding picture.  They also must say the name of the animal in French.  The winner is the first one to fill up his or her card and must then say the name of all the animals on their card in French.

One thing that is really fun about this is that you can rearrange the strips so the cards change combinations.

You can also make new strips for other categories of study.  We did animals, but you could do words having to do with the home, the body, school – whatever you want!  As vocabulary knowledge increases, you can mix the categories or words to make play more difficult.

The picture finding and cutting is fun and also provides an opportunity to learn the words before play.

For more advanced players, you could even do verbs and conjugations.


For those of you who did a word Unplugged Project this week, here is the linky.  Please link only if you did a word Unplugged Project.  Please link to your project post rather than simply your blog (I am trying build up an easily searchable archive).  If you did not do a word project, but want to learn more about how to join in, please read about it here. We’d love to have you!


The theme for next week’s Unplugged Project will be:


Have fun!



12 Responses to “Words – Language Bingo (Weekly Unplugged Project)”

  1. I love this idea and my son loves Bingo, we might even be able to do it with Spanish if I chose carefully. “Transportation” as next week’s theme was made for us. That is pretty much the theme of every day of Kiddo’s life, how will I choose? Hmmmmmm.

    Mom and Kiddos last blog post..Unplugged Project: Words

  2. Yelli says:

    Glad you had a lovely time in Mexico!

    Yellis last blog post..Unplug Your Kids – Words

  3. Maria says:

    Bonjour from France,
    Thats a great way to learn and remember some French words. If you are coming to France this summer and your are in the South, maybe we could meet up!

    A bientôt


    Marias last blog post..Unplugged Project: Books

  4. maryanne says:

    This is a great idea! I used to live in France too, and I really want my kids to speak French but have done a miserable job of it so far. I’ll have to make one of these to use with my kids.

    maryannes last blog post..Blog Favorites: Easter Crafts

  5. Jennifer says:

    This is a great idea. I really want my kids to learn french also. I went to french school, and I want them to be bilingual like me.

    Jennifers last blog post..Butterfield Acres

  6. Holly says:

    This is great! I’m definitely going to have to make some…

    Hollys last blog post..The enormous gelato saddened the gregarious thundercloud, or Unplugged: Words.

  7. sunnymama says:

    I love your language bingo game. The pictures are great and I love the changeable design so you can make new words for it.

    sunnymamas last blog post..Words (Unplugged Project) and Humpty Dumpty and friends (Book Sharing Monday)

  8. Michelle says:

    I love this language bingo game!! It is great that you can change it. I will have to make one of these for Emily!!

    Michelles last blog post..Unplugged Project ~ Words

  9. SkylarKD says:

    Great idea! When my daughter is a bit older, I’m sure we’ll try this. We hope to put her in French immersion when she’s in school, but with changes to our province’s school system, it won’t be offered until grade 5 now (crazy!). So we’ll have some work to do at home.

    SkylarKDs last blog post..Take me out to the ball game

  10. […] Language Bingo: I learned about the Unplug Your Kids blog through Lynn @ Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile. The blog, about living a TV-free life,  includes a weekly unplugged project that includes some fun arts and crafts ideas. As a multi-lingual family with kids that love Bingo, I was enthralled by this week’s project to create language bingo cards that have a picture on one side of the cards and the word in the foreign language written on the other side. […]

  11. […] You can also combine arts and crafts with language learning by doing things like making a language Bingo game. I just discovered a blog called Bilingual for Fun that looks like it may have some good ideas and […]

  12. […] The first reminds me of our beloved Kingko game. You cut out images from magazines, and then make 9-image bingo cards out of them that you can switch about, and make bingo cards to call out, that have written words on them. Instructions here at Unplugyourkids.com. […]

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