My First Bananagrams Review

We love a good game and so do the kids. Board games, role playing games, card games and word games are all regularly played in our house. Rarely a day goes by where we don’t play a good game. We are fortunate enough to be members of the Asmodee Blogger Board Game Club and this month we are featuring My First Bananagrams.

What is Bananagrams?

You may have heard of or played the ‘grown up’ version of Bananagrams. Bananagrams is a fast paced word game that resembles a solo version of Scrabble, only without the board, bonus squares, and letter values that equal points. You can read more on the original Bananagrams game here.

My First Bananagrams uses lowercase letters and word building, combo letter tiles to help nurture your child’s love for wordplay and word games.  There are lots of ways to play My First Bananagrams so lay can be child-led and fun… all of the time!

What’s Different In the Kids Version?

There are a few differences between the original Bananagrams and the kids version, My First Bananagrams. Firstly the tiles are larger, colourful and there is a mix of single letter tiles and combo letter tiles. Each tile features a lower case letter or letters, and has a baseline between each letter. This helps small children who often find it hard to figure out which way up a letter goes- eg: p & b.

The game packaging is slightly different too. The original game is in a yellow bag, but the kids version is in a green bag. Quite clever really, as a young banana is green!

The original Bananagrams letters (top) and the My First Bananagrams letters (bottom)

How To Play

You can play My First Bananagrams in the same way that you would play the original Bananagrams, or there are lots of simple mini-games to play. I also let my kids decide for themselves how they would like to play. The My First Bananagrams game is very similar to the original game, but a little simpler and quicker.

The game is played with 1-4 players. Set all 80 single-letter tiles face down in the center of the table. This is the BUNCH. All players then take 15 tiles each.

A player shouts SPLIT and everyone turns their 15 tiles over. They then race to arrange their letters to make words (avoiding spelling mistakes, proper nouns or abbreviations) in an intersecting word grid. Words must read left to right horizontally or top to bottom vertically.

You can rearrange your gird at any time during the round and as often as you like. At anytime during the game, players can shout SWAP and put one of their tiles back (facedown in the bunch), but they must swap it for another tile. In the original version, 1 tile is swapped for 3.

The winner is the person who has used all of their tiles to make a word grid. They shout BANANAS. Play stops and the grid is inspected for mistakes. If someone shouts SPOTTED BANANA play resumes for all players this gives the player a chance to fix their grid. Until… BANANAS is called again 🙂

If that game is too hard, don’t worry. There are plenty of other ways to play Bananagrams. The leaflet included in the game gives some great alternative games you can enjoy.

My First Bananagrams For Preschoolers

Spell your name- Preschoolers can find the letters that they recognise to try and spell their own name.

A-Z – Line up all of the letters from A-Z or find the matching letters when all are laid out face-up on a table.

Matching Pairs- My 3 year old loves playing ‘matching pairs’ with the letter tiles.

Find the *** coloured tiles- Let your child find the red tile (for example), and the let them know the letters that they have found.

My First Bananagrams For Early Readers and Readers

Sound it out- Pick a single letter tile. Think of words that begin with that sound. You could even have a go at spelling it too!

Word families- Choose a combo-letter tile and find a consonant or vowel to make a word.

Rhyme Time- Pick a combo-letter tile and use the consonants to make rhyming words.

Vowel power- Use the ai, ea,ee,oo tiles. Add begging and ending consonants to make 4 letter words.

Diggity Digraph- A digraph is a single sound comprised of 2 letters. For example; sh, wh, ch, th. Try adding letters to the beginning of these sounds to make words.

Final Thoughts

I LOVE the original Bananagrams game, and now I also love My First Bananagrams. The child’s version is just as awesome as the grown-up version.  A simple game, that can be played in so many different ways. It’s great for the whole family and makes learning through play super fun too.

The packaging is a lovely cotton back that zips closed. It’s perfect for taking on family holidays too. Last year we took Bananagrams on our caravaning holiday. It fit perfectly into our suitcase, and was a great game for passing time in between activities and rain showers! I shall definitely be packing My First Bananagrams in our suitcase for our next holiday.

A super game that is a firm favourite of ours. t’s been in the house just under a week and has been played with non-stop by my 6,4 and 3 year old girls.

Where to buy

My First Bananagrams is available on Amazon for £15.99

*My First Bananagrams was gifted to us as members of the Asmodee Blogger Board Game Club in exchange for this post. All words and opinions are my own. *

Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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