Nature Bingo

A sample bingo game board, a five by five grid with images and words within.
This is an example of how the board should be laid out. The NPS Arrowhead is the "Free" space.


A game of nature bingo can be a great way to become more familiar with your surroundings. For the soldiers at Jockey Hollow, a keen sense of observation helped in many situations, whether they were standing guard, on patrol, or foraging for food and other supplies. Like most games, it also helps to pass the time, something else that soldiers had to do during the boring, fatiguing stretches of inaction.

To start, you'll need to assemble a bingo board. Draw up a list of sights, sounds, smells, and other things you might experience in your backyard - or wherever you plan to play. If you're playing with other people, you can use the same list, or make up individual lists. You can use the example board here as a way to get started. You should make up your own once you're comfortable. Your lists should have twenty four items in it.

When you're ready, assemble your list into a five column, five row grid, one item per each space. Leave the center space empty - that space is "Free" and always counts as marked for scoring.

To play, look around for the items on your list. When you see, feel, hear, or experience the item, mark it off. To score a "bingo", a row, column, or diagonal line of squares needs to be marked. Remember, the center square "Free" always counts as marked. Players in a group should let others know they have scored by saying "Bingo!"

To change things up, swap boards with another player, make up a new board, or try different ways of scoring. Don't have time to assemble a board? See how many items on your list you can find in a certain amount of time. You could also try playing in a new location, too. Remember - observation is key to winning Nature Bingo.

Last updated: August 21, 2022

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