Bingo with a Kick!

TALES BLOG /Bingo with a Kick

Pop quiz! What do you get when you add together Bingo + Therapy Teams + Zoom?



With Hand in Paw in-person visits still on "paws" indefinitely due to COVID-19, volunteers and staff have worked together to adapt our Animal-Assisted Therapy programming into safe and effective virtual visit formats. One of the fun and cool ways Therapy Teams are bringing joy and stress-relief to children and adults alike during virtual visits is by playing Hand in Paw Bingo!  

What is Hand in Paw Bingo?

During HIP Bingo sessions, a Therapy Team and Program Partner hop onto a Zoom call and then stream the call over a TV or projector to small groups of people. The players get a custom Hand in Paw Bingo scorecard that features our therapy animals as well as pet-related objects. The Therapy Team then leads the Bingo game by using blown up versions of the Bingo scorecard images which can be easily viewed on the Zoom call. As the Therapy Team calls out the images, participants will cover up the corresponding image on their scorecard using a slip of paper. Whichever players get 5  in a row on their HIP scorecard wins!



Do HIP Program Partners find this activity meaningful?

Hand in Paw recently partnered with The Exceptional Foundation for a virtual Bingo session with Therapy Team Stephanie & Olive. Here's what Del Wright, Volunteer Coordinator, had to say about the experience:

"Bingo was great!  Stephanie and Olive did a great job interacting with the participants given the limitations of being virtual. Our participants love Bingo and this was ‘Bingo with a kick’.  Every card that Stephanie help up was an opportunity to talk about different dog breeds (or things related to dogs).

Obviously our participants would rather be able to pet the dogs but, just shy of that, they really enjoyed seeing Olive on the TV screen.  After it was over I talked with the staff and they said it was a heated game of Bingo (which is a great thing!). Overall it was an excellent activity that we hope to do again! "


What do HIP Therapy Teams think of this new & safe way of visiting?

Pre-COVID-19, Stephanie and Olive would visit The Exceptional Foundation in person once a month. Here are her thoughts about this virtual Animal-Assisted Activity:

"I really enjoyed playing virtual Bingo with the participants at The Exceptional Foundation!  A lot of the people we played with used to visit with me and Olive in person and I think they enjoyed getting to catch up and hearing about what kind of adventures Olive has been on recently.

I've missed seeing them so much that I think that made Bingo even more fun. It's kind of surreal seeing so many faces on the screen and not being able to actually be there with them, but hearing their excitement to see Olive wave "hi" to them made it so fun.  We played virtual Bingo with around 90 people, and to be honest, I'm a little jealous I couldn't be there playing for prizes with them. 

Obviously this kind of visit is totally different from our normal visits.  I know that Olive and I personally miss the hands-on contact we had before and the one-on-one time with the participants. But Bingo really brings a lot of enjoyment for everyone. The game usually lasts about 40-45 minutes and is always a fun, intense time while everyone searches for their squares and hopes to have a BINGO.  To bring a little of the old normal to the game I dropped off new pictures of Olive for everyone to have along with the Bingo prizes. I mean who doesn't love a good Bingo game with prizes?!  "


Thanks to donors, volunteers, and supporters like YOU, Hand in Paw is able to continually adapt to this "new normal" each and every day! Thank you!