The original Bananagrams game grew from a passionate love of games. As a family, we loved to play almost any word game that we could find, but they all had their flaws and we hankered after something a bit faster and more fluid.
We wanted a game that was competitive, but that the family could play together – ALL ages at the same time. It had to be portable, so that we could take it with us on our travels, with no superfluous pieces or packaging, and simple enough that we could play while waiting in a restaurants or hanging around in an airport.
After marathon sessions playing and experimenting with various permutations of word games and subjecting our extended family and friends to hours of testing, we finally came up with Bananagrams. The name came from Abe declaring, “This anagram game will drive you bananas!” – hence Bananagrams!
While reading this introduction into BananaGrams, Our Beginnings as they call it, I was struck by the familiarity between our family and the BananaGrams family. My husband and I have a passion for word games and used to (when we had more time) spend long hours playing them into the late nights. For our Anniversary last year I even purchased a very expensive collectors edition word game, that’s how much we favor them. It’s something new for my teen who is very avid at video games, but I always found that word games enhanced area’s at school he had difficulties in when he was younger (English / Spelling / Grammar). And as our youngest grows with the love of the Alphabet in his heart, I see a word weaver in the making! Here are the games we got to all enjoy together!
The original BananaGrams game is my favorite! Players race to create crossword grids with all of their tiles before anyone else, but there are also twists in the game in regards to how many tiles you can put back or collect. Plus! If you misspell something and shout Bananas! too soon you have to put back ALL your tiles. That ensures you are checking to make sure you spelled something correctly, good for teaching quick mental spelling words for teens as well as giving a slight edge to an already compulsive word game. Make sure to watch the video for complete instructions!
Appletters is really fun for both children and adults! The idea is to create a word ‘snake’ by beginning a word with the last letter of the previous word. The game ends when the first person runs out of tiles, which is obvious, but the fun part is that the game can go on and on and create this enormous snake of words on the table. We all got a big laugh out of the words being made up to keep going. You can get pretty creative!
Pairs in Pears is a bit more tricky and takes some pretty fast fingers. The Pear bag has four different tiles within: Solids, Stripes, Dots and Outlines. The idea is to make a pair of words from the same suit (as seen above). How many pairs you need depends on how many players there are, such as 2 people would take 52 tiles each and have to make 4 pairs. It sounds easy enough until you add more people and you have less tiles!
Zip-It is about speed. It is a 2 player game, each player gets 12 tiles and the first person to use all their tiles by making a crossword grid wins. This is the easiest game to take with you anywhere, there’s only 24 tiles in total so you don’t have to worry about a big clean up either. And I did realize something with Zip-It, my Toddler LOVES the letter cubes and we tend to practice spelling small words with it. It’s great for little beginners!
The last game we reviewed was Fruitominoes. They are just like regular dominoes except they use Fruit instead of Numbers! I am still learning how to play this one, I was never really good at the actual Dominoes game. Currently we have built houses, buildings, bridges and even matched the fruits! So they are a lot of fun even if you or your children haven’t quite grasped the actual game yet. Building Fruit Trains and knocking them all down is really entertaining with a toddler!
All the games from BananaGrams were tons of fun! I loved the time with my family, the challenges and of course the words we had great amusement in making. All of the games come easy to take with you for travel, you can open up and play them practically anywhere! Certainly something you want to consider as summer is approaching and vacations may be on the horizon! It’s a great way to unplug your family and have that precious time together without all the electronics, make sure to watch all the videos on how to play and check out the Store Locator to locate them near you!
You can purchase BananaGrams for $12-$17, just visit the Store Locator!