Age level: Preschool, Early Elementary
Description: Bingo Bears is a simple, flexible game that lets young learners practice all sorts of skills in a fun, easy-to-learn way. The game includes four bingo boards with removable tiles, a double-sided spinner for identifying numbers or colors, and 36 plastic bears in 6 different colors and 3 different sizes! It’s quite an assortment of materials for focusing on the skills most learners are working on in the preschool years. Plus, most of the kids I work with are highly motivated by the bears.
Skills & Modifications: For those of you working with youngsters with autism or other developmental delays, this is a great buy because the materials are so flexbile, making it easy to introduce modifications to meet the individuals needs of your learner.
Scanning – This is a great game for young learners who’ve recently mastered scanning in a small field. There are nine squares on the bingo board that the learner must scan in order to determine if they have a match with the spinner.
Seriation – With some learners, I remove the bingo boards and the spinner. We use the bears and practice putting them in order from smallest to largest. This is a great use of the materials if you have a learner who is motivated by the plastic bears.
Listening – Another common modification I make is to remove the spinner or hide it from view of my students. Otherwise, the bingo rules remain the same, but each learner must listen to the description I give in order to participate. For example, I might say, “Cover a baby bear” or “Find a green bear.”
Matching – When using the spinner during game play, each player must match what the spinner is pointing at to the available tiles on their bingo board.
Number Identification/Color Recognition – When using the spinner, players should call out what the spinner is pointing to and practice identifying either numbers or colors (depending upon which side of the spinner you are using.) I also love that I can remove the spinner and change the tiles on the gameboards so that I can call out a mix of numbers and colors, helping my learners get extra practice with both skills.
Motor Skills – Spinning the spinner and using a pincer grasp to pick up the bears are two simple ways to incorporate motor skills practice into this game. If you have a learner who struggles with using the spinner, you can select one player or an adult to be the spinner.
Peer Play – This is a great option for peer play or sibling play because everyone plays simultaneously.
Pros: Beyond the fact that Bingo Bears is really two games in one and you can use the materials to practice many other skills, I love that the pieces of the bingo boards are removable, so you can switch it up all the time. This game provides so much flexibility that it can be used with a huge range of young learners.
Cons: The only con with this game is that there are just so many pieces. This is definitely one of those games that ends with me having the students sort the pieces and count them as they go back in the box to ensure that no parts are lost! Also, while I love that the spinner is double-sided, the center easily comes out, so you must keep the spinner on a flat surface and it doesn’t work well if you have carpeted floors.
Cost: $19.99 You should invest in this game if: you have a preschooler or teach preschool, are looking for games to practice number and color identification, or are seeking simple games for the classroom or family game night.
ABLLS: A10, B5, B25, C17, C38, G13, R6, R8, K15
VB-MAPP: VP-MTS 2, VP-MTS 5, Listener 6, Tact 11, Listener 11