Review: My First Bananagrams

Thursday, May 03, 2018

This month we have two different games as part of the board game club. The first one is My First Bananagrams. I actually have original Bananagrams and think it is a great game but haven't ever played it with children so was really pleased to see My First Bananagrams when it arrived. I think it is a great game for children to practice their English skills and was intrigued to see how well they got on with it. 

It is a great game and it comes in a handy little banana shaped bag which is perfect for travelling and playing on the go. As the game is aimed at small children, all of the letters are in lowercase, the vowels are all yellow and with some letters that are easily mixed up by children eg. b, d, p, q, the tiles are all different colours and are underlined so you can see which way up they go. There are 80 single letter tiles and then as an extra there are a number of combo-letter tiles (each with two letters) you can add in with combinations such as ai, ee, oo, at, ch.

To actually play it is quite simple. Turn over all of the tiles in the centre so you can't see the letters and each player takes 15 tiles. Once someone shouts 'split' everyone turns their tiles over and the aim is to use up all of the letters to make a connected word grid. At any time during the game you can swap and put one of your tiles back in exchange for a new one from the pile in the centre (the bunch). When you have used all of your letters shout 'BANANAS!' If all of your words are correct and not misspelled then you are the winner!

We played with all three children although I know Elsie is too young and wouldn't know how to play so she was on 'my team'. Gracie is in Year 2 so has a good grasp of English, spelling and reading and Zach is doing really well with his learning to read. We have played the game a fair few times now and they are getting better each time. I think it will take them a little while to be able to play competitively against each other because they are still getting to grasps with putting words together themselves using the letters and Zach is still needing help putting words together at times. I definitely think we will play this game a lot as I can see them learning so much each time we play. 

This is a game I would definitely recommend. If your children are older then you can go straight for Original Bananagrams or if they are younger, you can use the letter tiles for different pre-school activities. It is such a diverse game with so many ways to use them educationally.

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