Wednesday, September 1, 2010

B-I-N-G-O Baskets

There was a class
who had to make
a basket for the game night,
B-I-N-G-O!

Seriously, the school year is in full swing and so starts the school wide social/fundraising events. Some schools host auctions and each class is responsible for a basket, our school hosts BINGO night. It's a great event and families really enjoy it together! At our school each class is responsible for donating a themed basket that will be awarded to a lucky BINGO winner. They try to keep the value of the baskets the same - usually around $15. The PTA assigns a gender so that they don't end up with 50 Hannah Montana baskets. Below is a picture of the basket I did a few years ago. It was a reading/writing basket theme for a 1st grade boy.
Here is a Fancy Nancy basket I did for a Kindergarten girl theme:

I tend to stick with academic themed baskets because, well, it's in my DNA. But there are TONS of different themed baskets at our event. Below are just some of the themes I've seen over the past few years:
  1. Reading/Writing Basket- I usually pick up a few books for the gender/age I've been assigned and then I ask parents to send in anything that's reading/writing related, children magazine subscriptions, such as pencils, book marks, timer, notepads, stickers, you get the picture.
  2. Water Basket - Right now there are tons of summer items on clearance but it's still so hot outside. Ask parents to send in any items related to summer or water activities like water guns, floats, beach ball, slip-n-slide, sprinkler, etc.
  3. Craft Basket - This would include small craft kits (you can usually find some in the dollar section at Target or Micheal's) , paper, stamps, stickers, glue, coloring books, patterned scissors, crayons, markers.
  4. Art Basket - Pick up a small canvas, paint brushes, paint, and a book about how to paint or famous artists.
  5. Movie Night Basket - Pick up a popular children's movie (or a blockbuster card or movie theater tickets) and ask parents to send in a popcorn, candy, a popcorn bucket/container to display it in and anything related to that movie (like books, stickers, pencils, t-shirts).
  6. Drive Through Basket - Ask parents to send in $5 gift cards to local fast food restaurants.
  7. I-Scream/ You Scream/Ice Cream Basket - Pick up a coupon book or a small gift card to Bruster's, get a cute sundae set or small bowls, an ice cream scoop, toppings, sprinkles, cones etc.
  8. Snow Cone Basket - Pick up an inexpensive snow cone machine or kit and ask parents too send in syrups, snow cone cups, silly straws, etc.
  9. Game Basket- You can ask each child to send in a small inexpensive game, there are lots of card games under $5, board games, hand held games, domino's, jacks, etc.
  10. Picture Perfect - Get a disposable camera and then a small scrapbook, stickers, paper,and other items to crop the photos and fill the scrapbook.
  11. FAME Basket - This would be a basket centered around a certain character (like Hannah Montana, Spiderman), famous person (a musician, sports icon) or a show (Phineas & Ferb, Transformers). Parents would just send in anything that has to do with that character or show - notebooks, pencils, t-shirts, posters, DVD's, CD's, games, etc.
  12. Science Basket - Ask parents to send in anything science related including books, experiment kits, magnifying glass, microscope, telescope, etc. - you could take this a step further and specify a certain science theme Astronomy, Chemistry, Geology, Biology.
  13. Gardening Basket - You could include a child gardening book, gloves, spade, rake, shovel, terracotta pots, seeds, etc.
  14. Cooking Basket - Include a children's cookbook, apron, measuring spoons, measuring cups, rolling pin, etc.
  15. Backyard-Again Basket - You can include sidewalk chalk, jump rope, kickball, really anything for the backyard or outside.
  16. Travel Basket - This would include a travel pillow, travel games, a lap pad and anything else kids might use in the car.
  17. Accessories Basket - You could include hair bows, head bands, jewelry, SILLY BANDZ.
  18. Sports Basket - You can choose a specific sport such as baseball, football, basketball and ask parents to send in any item related to that sport, like trading cards, water bottle, a book about that sport, any of the equipment from that sport, stickers, pencils, etc.
  19. Team Basket - Choose a specific team, like a college team, a high school team or a professional team and ask parents to send in anything that is that team theme related, shirts, pictures, magnets, notepads, stickers, etc.
  20. Music Basket - Ask parents to send in items related to music, books, inexpensive instruments (like recorder, harmonica, tamborine), lessons if you know someone that could give lessons.
  21. Sewing Basket - A book about sewing, a sewing kit, fabric, thread, needles, sewing box, etc.
  22. Knitting Basket - A book about knitting or a kit, yarn, knitting needles, etc.
  23. Camp Basket - Pick up a child's tent and ask parents to send in items related to camping, a smore's set, campfire skewers, flashlight, bug spray, etc.
  24. Puzzle Basket - Ask parents to send in all kinds of puzzles, including piece puzzles, word puzzles, word searches, suduko, etc.
  25. Animal Basket - You could include tickets to the local petting zoo, books about animals, animal SILLY BANDZ, sticks, etc.

Below is the letter that I send out each year to get the parents on board. Feel free to cut and paste and edit it for your use, any of the words in italics should be replaced with your class specific information!

BINGO Basket Letter

Each year the SCHOOL NAME hosts a BINGO Night. This year’s BINGO Night will be held on DATE. It’s a great event for the children and helps raise money for our school. Each class is responsible for drinks and for putting together a themed basket that is then awarded as a prize to a BINGO winner.

Our class will provide two 12 packs of SODA and a THEME basket for a GENDER. Please send in a small item appropriate for this basket – some ideas might be LIST ITEMS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE IN THE BASKET! You may also choose to send in a small money contribution in lieu of an item for the basket. All items for the basket must be received by DUE DATE. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact your room mom, YOUR NAME, by e-mail at YOUR E-MAIL or by phone YOUR PHONE NUMBER.

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