Looking for a fun and engaging game to play online? Here’s a super easy virtual bingo game that you can make yourself with Google Slides. No time to make your own? No worries! After the simple instructions, I also give you an opportunity to access a free virtual bingo game template. You can customize and reuse the free online bingo for classroom template as many times as you like. How do you make a homemade virtual bingo game? Read on to find out!
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What is Virtual Bingo?
Some businesses use virtual bingo for marketing, but this virtual bingo is meant for classrooms or parties. It may be adapted to fit many subjects and age levels. It is basically bingo played online and can be an engaging way to review concepts. It’s ideal for playing in a virtual setting, such as a Google meet or Zoom meeting. The beauty of this bingo game is that the players can choose where each word, number or picture go on their board. There is no need for the teacher or bingo host to create multiple boards. Once you have made a virtual bingo master template, you can create multiple variations.
Creating the Virtual Bingo Board
First, you need to open up Google Slides. Insert a table to use as your Bingo board. For this example and the template I created, I chose a 5 by 5 grid. Size the grid to fit your needs, and insert a symbol in the middle spot for a free space. Choose a font and type the word “BINGO” at the top of the board.
Saving the Bingo Board as a Background Image
You don’t want bingo players to be able to edit the bingo board, so you need to save the board as a background image. To do that, you will need to go to File, then Download, and download the slide you created as a JPEG image or a PNG image. The PNG image is a larger file size but the image is a bit sharper. Once the image is downloaded, create a new blank slide and upload the bingo board image as a background by going to Insert, then Image, then Upload from computer.
Adding the Markers to the Virtual Bingo Board
Amaze the bingo players with some endlessly (seemingly) regenerating bingo markers. They are very easy to make. Just create one circle or another shape of a desired size and color. Make identical copies and place them directly on top of the first one. Keep making copies and stacking them on top of each other until you have the amount you want. For the example template, I made 100 markers. When a player drags a marker over to the board, there is another underneath. No need to have a pile of markers spread all over the place with this easy method. To make sure that the markers are in front of the images or words on the bingo board when they are used, select multiple markers, then go to Arrange>Order>Bring to front. You can make your markers any color you like.
Adding the Images or Words to the Bingo Board
This versatile gameboard may be filled with words, images, or both. Images would be simplest for younger students to work with on their virtual bingo board. Images are easy to add by searching in Google from within the Google Slides platform. For older students, vocabulary words or spelling words could be used. Words from a social studies unit or science unit would be fun to use as well. The possibilities are many. Simply add text boxes and type in the words you need. I find it easiest to copy a text box from a previously-used word and change the letters inside the box rather than creating a new text from the Insert menu each time. You may also choose to have your students use a combination of words and images, as in the free template I offer.
Making a Copy for Each Player
If you are using Google Classroom, it’s easy to make a copy of the virtual bingo board for each student. Go into the Classwork section of your Google Classroom and create a new assignment. When you are inserting the link to the bingo board, make sure you select Add from Google Drive. If you try to just copy and paste the link to the virtual bingo board slideshow, you will not get the option to make a copy for each student. Here’s a quick tutorial to show you how it works.
Letting Players Set Up Their Bingo Board
Once students have opened their individual copy of the virtual bingo board, they can customize it by dragging the words or images into the boxes. In this way, each student will have a unique bingo board to use. No need for the teacher to make multiple bingo boards!
Give students a time limit, and when you are about ready to start playing, give students a bit of a warning that the game will begin soon. Between bingo rounds, students may rearrange the words or images on their boards if they wish.
How do you Play Bingo with Words?
To play virtual bingo with words, the teacher could call out the word in the virtual meeting. The teacher could also show the word on a screen and share it with students. For spelling practice, the class could spell the word together after it had been called.
How Many Words do you Need for Bingo?
The number of words you use depends upon the number of blanks you have on your board. For the example bingo board I offer, there are 24 blank spaces. You would want to have at least 24 words for students to move into the bingo spaces. You could certainly have more words for the students to choose from than the number of spaces.
How do you Play Virtual Bingo?
After students have been given time to set up their boards, the teacher calls out random images or words from the bank of choices. I’ve included a bank of choices in the example template I offer. When the teacher calls out a choice, the teacher drags the word or image over to the other side of the slide that contains the word bank.
The students drag a marker over to cover the choice that was called. The teacher keeps calling out choices until at least one student gets a completed row across, down, or diagonally and calls out “Bingo!” Another variation is “four corners” where a student has to fill all four corners in order to call “Bingo”.
How can I Make Virtual Bingo More Fun?
To make virtual bingo more fun, you could offer prizes of some sort. The winner could have a special privilege, such as getting to use a special virtual background or getting an electronic gift card, if the stakes were high. The student could choose to have the teacher do something silly, like sing a song. If you have creative ideas for virtual prizes, I’d love to know about them. The best ones are inexpensive (or free) and fun.
Going to give virtual bingo a try? I hope you have found this post to be informative and useful. I have a lot of fun with Google slides. It’s an excellent way for students to share information with each other. Do you have any fabulous Google slides projects? I’d enjoy learning about them. I’m always on the lookout for more project ideas. If you are short on time and would like a free, premade virtual bingo template, I have one ready!
It’s fully customizable when you make your own copy, includes a teacher page, and is free to subscribers, along with many other resources for teachers.
Save Time With These Templates
If you love this idea but don’t have any time to create the boards, I’ve designed templates for many special occasions:
- Back to School Bingo (perfect for the first week of school)
- Summer Fun Bingo (perfect for the last week of school)
- Baby Shower Bingo
- Birthday Bingo
- Christmas Bingo
- Halloween Bingo
- Valentine’s Day Bingo
- Wedding Shower Bingo
- Blank Bingo Board Template
- All templates in one eBook!
I hope you find something you can use. If you have any ideas for other templates I could make, feel free to let me know.
You Might Also Enjoy These Related Posts about Google Slides:
- 25 Easy Ways to Use Pear Deck with Google Slides
- How to Add Sound to Google Slides
- 5 Clever Google Slides Projects for Kids
Have a wonderful week, and have fun playing virtual bingo using Google Slides!