Map Symbol Bingo (free download)

October 3, 2019

Here’s a fun little game to play as a family (or as a school class, scout group, or even a walker’s group) to help learn and test your knowledge of the Ordnance Survey map symbols.


One of the best skills to learn when exploring the outdoors is to easily relate what you see on the map with what is in front of you.

Yes, a compass is useful (at least in getting the map oriented the right way), but recognising the shapes of the hills and landmarks such as churches, and these days, radio masts or wind farms, can help you pinpoint where you are when your electronic gadgets are of no use.

Fortunately, in the UK, we have excellent maps thanks to the Ordnance Survey. A lot of their map symbols are self-explanatory (our 5-year-old did amazingly well)….but there are a few symbols that are not immediately easily recognisable.

Well, here’s a fun little game that will help your family learn some of those map symbols. It’s called Map Symbol Bingo.

How to play Map Symbol Bingo

If you are used to regular bingo, Map Symbol Bingo is very similar, but with a slight twist.

Instead of the caller reading out numbers, they read out map symbols. For example, ‘Telephone‘, ‘Radio Mast‘, or ‘Church with tower‘.

You can cut out the caller cards and place them in a hat or bag and pull them out at random.

Players have sheets with rows of map symbols.

If a symbol is called out that they recognise, they cross it off.

You can either play lines (when someone has crossed off an entire line), or you can play for a full house (when the whole sheet is crossed off).

Start Easy, Work to Advanced

An Entry Level players card

An Entry Level player’s card

We’ve created three levels of difficulty: Entry Level, Intermediate Level, and Advanced Level.

If you have young kids, start with the Entry Level caller sheet and player cards.

Are you finding that too easy? Cut out the Intermediate Level caller’s cards and add to the Entry Level caller’s cards, and switch to the Intermediate Level player’s cards. These have a mix of Entry-Level symbols plus a few more difficult ones.

Entry Level with Intermediate

Entry Level with Intermediate bingo cards

Are you experts? Try the Advanced Level and see how well you do. Careful, there are a few ones in there to catch you out 😉

Get the Map Symbol Bingo Cards

Fill in the form below so that we can email you the Map Symbol Bingo cards.

The Bingo Cards will be in a PDF file so that you can print them out. You will need a colour printer for the bingo cards as some map symbols only differ in colour.

Get Map Symbol Bingo

This is a great way to teach your kids map symbols.

Enter your name and address and we will send it to you.

You can unsubscribe at any time. We won't send you SPAM. Powered by ConvertKit

Please note, the map symbols © Ordnance Survey, and have been reproduced with their kind permission.

Taking the learning further

When your kids have learnt a few map symbols, why not see how they do with a real map.

You can print maps at home with OS Maps and see if your kids can spot the symbols they know. After that, why not tackle contour lines and teach them how to read a map.

Find the Map Symbols Game

Find the Map Symbols Game

Want more?

We have more map symbol resources in our Family Navigation course, including a quiz to test your map symbol knowledge.

Find Out More >

Get Map Symbol Bingo

This is a great way to teach your kids map symbols.

Enter your name and address and we will send it to you.

You can unsubscribe at any time. We won't send you SPAM. Powered by ConvertKit


Gav Grayston
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Gav Grayston Contributor

Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.

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  1. Your file for the map symbols bingo has not come to my inbox? Is this still available as a free download?

  2. My son is obsessed with drawing maps and I would to encourage the skill enabling him to read maps and follow them, are there any
    games or packs I can obtain to help them.

  3. os games please for my kids. Many thanks

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