Step-by-step: beetle drive
'Beetle' is quite a simple game of rolling dice and
drawing a beetle, but when you run it as a beetle 'drive' you add
in the element of moving tables after each game. It makes for a
lively and sociable event!
- Agree a date and book your venue. Put up posters, place
leaflets in book bags and ask teachers to tell the children about
your beetle drive in assembly to drum up excitement! Check the
capacity of your venue, and design and print your tickets. If you
are also having a raffle or tombola on the night, start asking
local businesses for prize donations and sponsorship. Ascertain how
many volunteers you will need and put out an appeal for help. Make
sure your team knows the rules so they can explain what a beetle
drive is to anyone who hasn't done one before. Check you have
someone who is prepared to go on the microphone as compere! If you
plan to run a bar, apply for a licence from your local
- Start selling tickets. Send a letter home with a tear-off slip
asking parents to include payment and state the number of tickets
required. Appoint a team of volunteers to sell tickets face-to-face
on the school gate, too. Keep people up-to-date with reminders
about the cut-off date for ticket sales or let them know if you are
close to selling out.
- Decide if you are going to allow younger children to play with
their parents as a pair (little ones might not like moving around
by themselves). Make sure you have all the pencils (one per player)
and dice (one per table) you need. Draw a plan of your tables so
you know which way round everyone has to move. Photocopy plenty of
scorecards (one per player plus spares!) Purchase or book
refreshments. Decide how many games you want to run before and
after refreshments and when to draw the raffle (if running one).
Buy prizes - will you also have a 'wooden spoon' prize for the
- Set up the tables and chairs, put scorecards, templates, dice
and pencils on the tables. Once everyone has arrived, explain the
rules - it's fun to give the children a few practice runs at
shouting out 'BEETLE!' as loud as they can. Leave time at the end
for adding up scores and sorting through the sheets to find the
winner. It can get a bit chaotic with everyone moving tables, but
that adds to the fun! Present the prizes, draw the raffle, count
your takings and announce the amount raised.
Tips and advice for running a beetle drive
- Timings: Start your beetle drive early - it always takes longer
than you think! Each game will probably take around 10 minutes, but
leave extra time for moving around and for refreshments, drawing
the raffle and prize-giving.
- Ticket prices: Most PTAs charge around £2.50 per ticket for
children and £5 per ticket for adults, to include food. Decide
whether you are running your beetle drive as a way of encouraging
families to socialise, or as a fundraiser. Ascertain costs and
price tickets accordingly.
- Licensing: If you plan to serve alcohol at an event held on
unlicensed premises (i.e. your school), you will need to submit a
Temporary Event Notice (TEN). Allow at least 10 working days to
obtain this. Read our guide to TEN
- Boost profits: Consider including food in the ticket price.
Keep things simple by ordering fish and chips or pizza to be
delivered for your interval. Ask players to pre-order food when
buying their ticket to prevent any wastage. Run a raffle, seeking
prize donations from local attractions, restaurants, etc. Seek a
sponsor for each round from local businesses.
- Equipment: This is a low-cost event to run. Make sure everyone
has a pencil and a die and provide players with a score sheet, a
set of the rules and a template showing what number they need to
throw for each body part. Download a score sheet and a 'beetle'
- Rules: Number your tables and have two to four players per
table. The youngest player rolls the die first, then play continues
in a clockwise direction, with players throwing the dice in turn
and drawing body parts of the beetle depending on the number they
have thrown. There are a total of 14 body parts to draw. You
must draw the body before anything else, so you can't start until
you throw a six. You must throw a five to draw a head before
you can draw the eyes and antennae.
- Throw a six to draw the body,
- Throw a five to draw the head,
- Throw a four to draw the wings,
- Throw a three to draw each leg,
- Throw a two to draw an antennae,
- Throw a one to draw an eye.
The first player from all the tables
to draw a complete beetle shouts 'BEETLE!' and scores the maximum
14 points for that round. Everyone else counts up how many body
parts they have drawn, and scores one point per body part. The
person with the highest score per round from each table moves up a
table, e.g. if the winner is on table one, they move up to table
two. The person with the fewest points in each round moves down a
table, e.g. if they are on table six, they move down to table five.
If your top table is number 12 make sure they know they move up to
table one and table one moves down to table 12. At the end of
the beetle drive, the winner is the person who has scored the most
points from all the games added together. If there is a tie, the
players with the same number of points roll a die - the highest
number wins. NOTE: Remind players that it doesn't matter what
their beetles look like! Go through the rules clearly before you
start and ask if anyone has questions.
Download a print-friendly PDF version of our
step-by-step guide to running a beetle drive.
Download a PDF beetle drive score sheet.
Download a template of the drawn beetle, with the
Download a template of the drawn snowman, with the
Download a PDF snowman drive score sheet.
Beetle drive success story
Gail Bradshaw, PTA chair, Academy Primary School, County
Down (418 pupils): 'We have held a very successful
beetle drive for the last few years, setting up the assembly hall
in rows, with two desks facing each other in a square. This allowed
four people, or two teams to sit to play a game. Team members
sat beside each other, with one team moving anticlockwise at the
end of each game along the rows. Our caller sat on a platform at
the front of the hall. We managed to fit in six rows of six
squares, giving us a capacity of 144 people. Some parents and
children paired up in teams, but older children were a bit more
confident to play together without adult help. The event was
fairly straightforward to organise: each player needed a beetle
card, divided up into games or rounds with cumulative total column.
They also needed a pencil to draw their beetle, and each table
required a die and a cup to throw it from. We gave plenty of
spot prizes after each game. There were also two overall prizes for
the highest scores and two wooden spoons for the lowest. We played
12 games. After the eighth round, we took a break so children
and parents could indulge in light refreshments. We served tea or
coffee and a traybake (kindly donated by members of the PTA) for
the adults, and juice and a traybake for the children. The cost of
this is covered with the entry fee of £2, but we asked for extra
donations, too, to boost profits. All in all, we made £250.'
The above is intended as guidance only. We
recommend that you contact the relevant organisations with specific
reference to insurance, legal, health and safety and child
protection requirements. Community Inspired Ltd cannot be held
responsible for any decisions or actions taken by a PTA based on
the guidance provided.
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