Make the holidays meaningful for your family with this free printable random acts of kindness Bingo game! It’s a simple way to get everyone involved in giving thanks and spreading love…any time of year!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November of 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated with new printables for you!
It’s November! Despite the fact that the days are growing shorter and colder, November is one of my favorite months of the year. It’s my birthday month (wahoo!), and I’m a serious fan of Thanksgiving.
Poor Thanksgiving. Smushed between the much flashier holidays of Halloween and Christmas, Thanksgiving often gets overlooked. But, really, Thanksgiving has so much going for it.
It’s not commercial. There’s no stress about buying things. It’s just about being with family, giving thanks for all the good in the world, and eating really good food. (Never skimp on the really good food.) It’s all the best parts of holiday fun without all the stressful craziness other nearby holidays seem to have in spades.
Thanksgiving is also a valuable opportunity to teach our kids about gratitude and to get them in the spirit of giving before all the “getting” of Christmas begins.
For this reason, I like to start talking about Thanksgiving at the beginning of November and make gratitude a part of our family discussions all month long.
For many years, my kids and I have made a gratitude wreath or a gratitude tree each year where we write one thing we are grateful for each day on a leaf until Thanksgiving day. It has been a great way for me to talk to my three sons about all of our blessings.
Then a few years ago, I read a quote by William Arthur Ward that got me thinking that maybe we could do more:
He said, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
Talking about the things we are grateful for is a good first step, but gratitude becomes even more profound when we express it through our actions.
After some late-night brainstorming about how I could add more “giving” to our Thanksgiving, I came up with the idea of combining random acts of kindness with the game Bingo!
It’s a simple printable Thanksgiving activity designed to help families engage in simple acts of kindness throughout the month of November.
Want to join the fun? Keep reading for all the details about how you can use this activity!
“Big Thanks” Bingo
Big Thanks Bingo is a downloadable bingo card featuring a grid of fun and fulfilling challenges that families can tackle together or kids can complete independently. These challenges encompass a range of activities that spread kindness and gratitude throughout the month of November (or any time of year). They challenges I included were inspired by this list of 100 ideas as well as some of our own thoughts.
There are two versions of the card to choose from:
The Family Version
In the family version of Big Thanks Bingo, you’ll find challenges designed for the whole family to enjoy together. Here are some examples:
- Pick up trash at a local park.
- Donate non-perishable food items to a local food bank.
- Pay for the drive-thru order behind you.
- Make a treat for neighbors
- Write thank-you notes to teachers or other essential workers.
These challenges encourage families to bond while making a positive impact in their community. It’s a fantastic way to spend quality time together while spreading the spirit of Thanksgiving.
The Kids’ Version
The kids’ version of Big Thanks Bingo offers challenges that kids can tackle independently, promoting selflessness and empathy. Some of the challenges overlap between the two cards, but the kids version is specifically designed for kids to do without needing to ask parents for help. Here are some examples:
- Share a toy with a sibling.
- Hold the door open for someone.
- Help set the table for Thanksgiving dinner.
- Make a card for someone.
- Share a treat.
- Include someone who is feeling left out.
These challenges empower kids to take the initiative in expressing gratitude and kindness in their own unique ways. It’s an excellent opportunity for parents to teach their children valuable lessons about compassion and giving.
If you’re ready to jump in, you can print your own “Big Thanks” Random Acts of Kindness Bingo game by clicking the button below:
Note: There is also a blank Bingo card in the set so you can create your own challenges if you prefer.
How to Get Started
To get started with Big Thanks Bingo, follow these simple steps:
- Download the set of printable bingo cards by clicking the button above.
- Print out enough copies for everyone participating.
- Encourage family members, both young and old, to choose and complete challenges throughout the month of November. Mark off the completed challenges on the bingo card as you do them.
- Celebrate your achievements as a family or individually and share your experiences on social media to inspire others.
If you’re doing this challenge together as a family, consider choosing one (not so) random act of kindness to complete each day. Each time you get bingo, you could celebrate with a simple, fun family activity. The ultimate goal is to get “blackout” by Thanksgiving.
Here is a complete list of the random acts of kindness on the cards:
- Draw pictures and send them to loved ones.
- Leave bookmarks in your favorite books at the library. (printable here)
- Host a play date for friends.
- Make a card or gift for your teacher. (printable here.)
- Pass out stickers to kids waiting in line.
- Do a secret act of service for a family member.
- Give high fives and say thank you to someone (the bus driver would be a great choice!).
- Donate food to the food bank.
- Donate old clothes and toys.
- Let someone go ahead of you in line.
- Make a homemade gift for someone. Include this cute gift tag.
- Feed the birds.
- Hold the door open for someone.
- Make a thank you sign for sanitation workers.
- Pay for the drive-through order behind you.
- Write a thank you note to the mail carrier and place it in your mail box.
- Leave an inspiring note/quote for someone.
- Write encouraging chalk messages on the sidewalk for neighbors.
- Send a post card to family or friends that live far away.
- Leave a quarter in a candy machine.
- Smile and say hello to everyone you see for a whole day.
- Pick up trash around the neighborhood, school, or a park nearby.
- Make playdough to give to a friend.
- Take treats to a neighbor.
If you want a cute card to go with any of your acts, I love THIS ONE from Inspiration Made Simple.
One last thing: If you don’t get around to doing this for Thanksgiving, never fear. It also works wonderfully as a challenge for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or really any time of year!
As Aesop said, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
Want more Thanksgiving ideas? Try these: