Hideho everybody.  It is going to be Halloween shortly and Google is sending me hundreds of people looking for free Halloween bingo cards.  They are probably doing this because I own a small business which sells software that makes bingo cards.  You can certainly use it to make yourself some Halloween bingo cards, but I’ve already done the work for you: you can get a free set of eight Halloween bingo cards over at my other site.  Just download and print, pretty easy.

I presume if you’re looking for this you already have an idea of what to do after you’ve printed your cards, but here are my suggestions:

1)  Decorate the cards with your children using Halloween-themed stickers, which you can find just about anywhere this time of year for about a dollar a package.  Kids love stickers.  Or you could have them draw a ghost or pumpkin on top.

2)  Play Halloween bingo after trick-or-treat, as it is a good nighttime activity for continuing the festivities after you might not feel comfortable with the children being out.  You can use candy as markers for the spaces which have been called — young kids, in particular, love this one.  It is also a sneaky little way to prevent them from overindulging on the candy they have collected, since they’ll need it to play bingo with.  An alternative to using candy is using a halloween stamper, which you can find at crafts shops for about $2 when you include the ink.  (This doesn’t scale as well as candy — you’ll need about one stamper for every two bingo players.)

3)  You probably want to give a prize out for bingo, but your children are going to get far too much candy for their own good anyhow, so you can give a “prestige” prize: the winner gets the very first candied apple, for example, or the winner gets to design one of the jack o’ lanterns.  They’ll be happy that they won, but everyone else won’t be crushed as they get the same thing, just a minute or two later.  (I am a former teacher, and we can be downright devious when it comes to incentivizing competition without crushing the spirits of the folks who don’t end up first.)

Have a fun and safe holiday with your families, and remember, candy keeps for essentially forever so you don’t have to eat it all today.  (You can mentally imagine me wagging my finger.)

[Apologies to my regular readers, but I was getting a hundred search hits a day.  Back to your regularly scheduled content tomorrow.]