While bingo games for adults often offer cash prizes, cash may not be appropriate or realistic for a free children's bingo game. Instead, offer them trinkets or treats suited to their age groups or the activity at hand. Keeping the prizes gender-neutral and lighthearted ensures the recipients will look forward to the next bingo game.
Party favors and toys purchased in quantity from a dollar store are welcome prizes. Pocket-sized maze games, brain teasers, stretchy putty or high-bouncing balls are funt for a pint-sized, elementary-aged bunch playing bingo. Books of puzzle games or coloring books provide plenty of enjoyment long after the bingo game ends.
At an event such as a community picnic, camping trip or family gathering, offer an extra edible treat to each bingo winner. For a camping trip, try an extra few marshmallows for toasting, or allow the winner to be the first ones to toast their marshmallows. At a picnic, winners get first dibs on desserts or an extra slice of whichever treat they want -- with parental permission, of course. Candy dots or licorice ropes are other potential edible prizes. Before children leave the area after the games have ended, offer treats to all other participants as well so they do not feel left out.
For community programs and small gatherings alike, age-appropriate books provide enjoyment long after the bingo games end. Choose 15 or 20 inexpensive classic children's books based on the age range or opt for more current children's titles with which you are familiar. Allow the winner of each bingo game to select one book she would like to keep as a prize. Books do not have to be new; used books from a library book sale or yard sale suffice as well, as long as the books are in good condition.
Stickers and Smiles
Offer up sheets of stickers as prizes, featuring things elementary-aged children enjoy: smiley faces, music-related images, cute animals, trucks and sports-themed stickers. Allow the winner to choose his own sticker sheet. Keep plenty of extra stickers on hand so even those who do not win may go home with a special treat. Remind children not to adhere the stickers around the room or facility where the game is being held.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. She writes travel and budgeting tips and destination guides for USA Today, Travelocity and ForRent, among others. She enjoys exploring foreign locales and hiking off the beaten path stateside, snapping pics of wildlife and nature instead of selfies.