Our little lady is really getting into her reading these days. She’s now well aware of her letters and has made amazing progress with her phonic sounds, blends and such like.
If E isn’t busy colouring pictures, writing letters on her blackboard or reading a book then she’s usually doing something literacy based which is why we were so delighted when we were recently sent the ‘My First Bananagrams‘ game to rate and review as part of the Bloggers Board Game Club.
Designed and developed by Asmodee Games ‘My First Bananagrams’ is suitable for 1-4 players ideally aged four years and over. This game uses lowercase letters and word-building combined letter tiles to help build children’s love for literacy through a range of wordplay and word games.
Differentiated/ Warmup Activities
There are three levels of ability within the ‘My First Bananagrams Game’. Children can begin using the tiles included within the game for simple activities such as spelling their name, ordering the alphabet, matching letters, sounding out letters, rhyming words and criss-cross (crossword style) placement of letters.
The Rules of Gameplay
Following this children can play the game which is fairly simple to set up and easy to understand. Players must begin by placing all eighty singer-letter tiles face down upon the table, these form ‘the bunch’. All players then take fifteen single-letter tiles.
To begin any player calls out ‘Split’ and everyone must simultaneously turn their tiles face up in a race to arrange said tiles into an intersecting word grid. Words should read left to right or top to bottom. At any point during the game players can shout “swap” and they may replace one of their tiles.
The aim of the game is simply to use all of your letter tiles within a connected word grid, players must then call out “bananas” to announce that they have completed the task. Players will then inspect each others word grids to check for spelling, if there are any errors other players may call out “spotted banana” and the game resumes, the first person to win is declared “top banana”.
To extend and advance game play, all players may take two combined letter tiles along with their fifteen single-letter tiles. The remaining combined-letter tiles may be added to ‘the bunch’. Due to their design, combined letter tiles may only be used horizontally but may be built upon vertically.
Giving The Game A Go
I was half expecting for this game to be similar to Scrabble in some way or other but it was a completely different game in terms of setup and gameplay. Whilst E and I enjoyed giving this game a go, it wasn’t really all that stimulating nor did it grab my little ladies attention for long. This surprised me as considering E’s love for all things educationally orientated I’d expected for her to be ecstatic to play a literacy focused game.
Purchasing and Pricing Information
There are a range of Bananagrams games available all of which differ in ability. ‘My First Bananagrams’ has a recommended retail price of £15.99 and can be purchased from a range of high-street and online stores including Amazon.
Our Final Thoughts
Whilst I can see the educational potential within this game, it didn’t seem to spark much interest with my daughter. The size and weight of this game makes for an ideal travel toy and we will be sure to add it to our ‘travel games collection’. Despite my daughters lack of enthusiasm towards this game, we will be sure to make good use of the tiles included for further literacy based activities within the future.
For further information upon the ‘My First Bananagrams’ Game or other Bananagrams based products visit www.asmodee.co.uk
Disclosure: We were sent the above product for the purpose of this post however all opinions are my own.