Bingo and Books: Expert Tips for an Epic Reading Challenge

digital bingo card
Masthead Waves

Beanstack’s digital bingo reading challenges bring the same excitement as traditional bingo but with a literary twist! By crafting a digital bingo card packed with diverse reading prompts, these challenges cater to readers of varying ages and interests, fostering an inclusive and enjoyable experience for all involved. They’re a great way to provide participants with clear goals to work toward, and they promote literacy by encouraging regular reading. Better yet, they allow participants to connect with each other as they share progress, swap book recommendations, and partake in the joy of reading!


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Tips to Set Up an Engaging Bingo Reading Challenge

Crafting a digital bingo reading challenge is a breeze with Beanstack’s versatile bingo board templates. Before diving in, keep these helpful tips in mind:

  1. Determine the duration: Decide on the length of the challenge, whether it’s a month-long challenge or a specific period of time.
  2. Create a bingo card: Design a card with various reading prompts. Include a mix of genres, formats, and difficulty levels to accommodate different reading preferences and abilities.
  3. Provide flexibility: Allow participants to choose which prompts to complete and which order. This adds a sense of autonomy and personalization to the challenge.
  4. Set achievable goals: Ensure the reading prompts are attainable and realistic. When selecting the prompts, consider the participants’ reading speed and availability.
  5. Encourage sharing: Create a platform or online community where participants can share their progress, book reviews, and recommendations. This will foster a sense of camaraderie and motivate others to join the challenge.
  6. Offer incentives: Consider offering rewards or prizes to participants who complete a certain number of prompts or achieve bingo on their card. This adds an element of excitement and encourages active participation.

Following these tips makes it easy to create an engaging bingo reading challenge that will captivate your community and foster a love for reading.


Choose Fun and Relevant Reading Prompts

When selecting reading prompts for your digital bingo card, choosing options that are both fun and relevant to your community is important. District librarian for Charleston County School District Christy James notes, “Because you can offer so many opportunities for different types of activities and reading, you have the ability to customize the challenge to meet the interests of your audience and make sure there’s something for everyone that’s going to appeal across the board.” 


Not sure where to to start? We’ve generated a list of ideas you can use. See below for more:

  • Genre-specific prompts: Include prompts encouraging participants to explore different genres, such as “Read a Sci-Fi Novel” or “Try a Historical Fiction Book.” This allows readers to expand their reading horizons.
  • Author-specific prompts: Feature prompts highlighting specific authors or series, such as “Read a Book by Jane Austen” or “Start a New Fantasy Series.” This can spark curiosity and encourage readers to delve into new worlds.
  • Format-specific prompts: Incorporate prompts focusing on different reading formats, such as “Listen to an Audiobook” or “Read a Graphic Novel.” This accommodates readers who prefer alternative formats.
  • Theme-specific prompts: Introduce prompts that revolve around a particular theme or topic, such as “Read a Book Set in a Different Country” or “Explore a Book About Science.” This adds an element of exploration and discovery to the challenge.

When you get creative with prompts, you can make the reading experience fun for all. Assistant supervisor at Boyertown Community Library Sairra Cloen adds, “We hold a monthly bingo reading challenge with the theme changing each month. Usually, the theme centers around something happening that month, like a holiday, season, or special day.” 


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Design Exciting Rewards and Prizes

Think about amping up the excitement of your bingo reading challenge by incorporating rewards and prizes. This is a great way to make the challenge even more enticing and motivate readers to participate. Here are some ideas:

  • Gift cards: As rewards, provide gift cards to local bookstores or online book retailers. This allows participants to choose books they are interested in.
  • Book-themed merchandise: Offer book-themed merchandise like bookmarks, tote bags, or mugs featuring popular book quotes or designs. These items remind participants of the challenge and can be cherished by participants.
  • Author interactions: Arrange for virtual or in-person author interactions as a special reward. This can include author Q&A sessions, book signings, or exclusive access to author events.
  • Reading-related experiences: Consider offering experiences related to reading, such as a visit to a literary landmark, tickets to a book festival, or a subscription to a book recommendation service.

Offering rewards and prizes can be a powerful way to encourage active participation in your digital bingo reading challenge. Community engagement librarian at Suffolk Public Library in Virginia Amanda Henderson notes, “We give out prizes at the end of each challenge. We like to give library experiences as prizes, such as bookmobile visits, personalized classes, and storytimes, but our most popular grand prize has been a Nintendo Switch. We’ve found this to be a great way to engage participants.” 


The Power of the Four Corners Strategy

To boost engagement and interaction in your digital bingo reading challenge, consider incorporating the “four corners” strategy. Simply divide the bingo card into four sections, each representing a unique category or theme. Participants aim to complete several prompts from each corner to achieve bingo. This approach adds a little variety to the challenge, prompting readers to explore diverse genres, authors, or formats and encouraging them to uncover new books and reading experiences along the way. The four corners strategy also fosters friendly competition, motivating readers to strive for a “full house” by completing prompts from all four corners. By implementing this strategy, you can increase excitement and involvement in your digital bingo reading challenge.


Start Creating Your Bingo Cards Today

Bingo challenges are a fun and interactive adventure that people of all ages can enjoy. Whether you’re organizing an event, promoting reading in your community, or simply looking for a new way to engage with literature, customizable bingo challenges are a great option. 


Better yet, creating your digital bingo cards using templates in Beanstack allows you to design a challenge that aligns with your goals and objectives. Choose from different sizes, customize the content, and sprinkle in activities and reviews for an enhanced experience. Ready to get started? Contact our team today to learn more!

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