How to run a beetle drive

beetle and dice

A beetle drive is a lively and sociable game, which involves rolling dice and drawing a beetle.

1

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 support. 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 authority.

2

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 at the school, 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.

3

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 lowest score?

4

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. 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 schools 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 and your school does not have a licence, you will need to submit a Temporary Event Notice (TEN). Allow at least 10 working days to obtain this.

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' template below.

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.


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 school, based on the guidance provided.