Games & Play / Singing Together

Song Guide Based on “BINGO”

Explore math while singing and moving to the music.


Activity Summary

This song is not only about letters, but also addition and subtraction patterns, too.

Song Lyrics

There was a farmer (who) had a dog, and Bingo was his name-o.
B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O
And Bingo was his name-o.
There was a farmer… (clap)-I-N-G-0 (3 times)
(clap)-(clap)-N-G-O (3 times)
(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-G-O (3 times)
(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-O (3 times)
(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-(clap) (3 times)
And Bingo was his name-o.

Listen to the song on YouTube.

About the Math

Patterns change in predictable ways. From this song, your child can recognize:

Subtraction patterns.

  • B-I-N-G-O is spelled out three times in the first verse. In each verse after that, the first spoken letter is removed. The pattern subtracts one letter with each verse.

Addition patterns.

  • In each verse, as the first letter is removed, one clap is added. Bingo is about subtracting and adding at the same time!

Math Sing and Play

Sing the song with your child until they know it. Then try these games:

  • Reverse the pattern by starting the claps at the end instead of at the beginning: “B-I-N-G-(clap)” instead of “(clap)-I-N-G-O.”
  • Replace the claps with a different sound or movement. Encourage your family to suggest ideas. For example, “(stomp)-I-N-G-O” or “beep-I-N-G-O.”
  • Count the claps. After each verse, stop and say, “We clapped two times last time. How many times will we clap next?” This can help your child see that the number of claps is increasing by one.

Activity After the Song

You can keep the learning going with pattern projects, like making paper chains.

From the longer side of the paper, cut strips that are about 1 inch wide. Join the ends of one strip together with glue or scissors to make one link. Keep adding links to the chain. As you do, make different kinds of patterns.

  • Copy the pattern in the song. For example, make a chain using one color (red) for the letters and another color (blue) for the claps. First, create a chain of red, red, red, red, red for B-I-N-G-O, then blue, red, red, red, red for (clap)-I-N-G-O, and so on. You can even write the letters BINGO on the red strips and draw a hand (to signify clapping) on the blue strips.
  • Make a pattern with your child’s name. Write the letters of their name on different-colored strips. Make a chain that repeats the letters of their name.
  • Make other patterns that repeat. For example, make a simple pattern that repeats: red, blue, red, blue, red, blue.
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