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How to Play License Plate Bingo

Games are essential to surviving the family car trip, and this one, perfect for younger kids, also helps them learn about our fifty, nifty United States.


  • Step 1: Distributing writing materials Distribute paper and pens or pencils to players.
  • Step 2: Write the alphabet Have them write the alphabet on their sheets.
  • Step 3: Cross off letters When someone finds a letter on the license plate of another car, he or she crosses it off.
  • Step 4: Say “bingo” The first person to find all 26 letters says 'bingo!' and wins the game.
  • TIP: To make it more challenging, have participants find the letters in the order of the alphabet—a, b, c, etc.
  • Step 5: Make grids Another variation calls for blank grids of 5 columns by 5 rows.
  • Step 6: Fill in grids Using a list of the 50 states, enter the names of 25 states chosen at random, one per square, on each game board so that each board has different states written in different spaces.
  • Step 7: Distribute the boards Distribute the boards to each player. Decide how you are playing. Can you score a bingo by filling a row horizontally, vertically, or diagonally—or are you playing 'full board'?
  • Step 8: Look for states Each player looks out for license plates from states that correspond to those on his or her board.
  • Step 9: Cross them off Every state spotted is called out. The players who have that state on their boards cross it off.
  • Step 10: Declare a winner The first one to complete a line or the full board wins the game.
  • FACT: Delaware was the first state to join the union in 1787, but Massachusetts issued the first license plates in 1903.

You Will Need

  • Two or more willing participants
  • Any kind of paper
  • Pens or pencils
  • Eagle eyes

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