Bananagrams Game

by Nicola
(Texas, USA)

The Bananagrams Game is great fun for school aged children and is ideal for training vocabulary building and phonological awareness.

Number of Players: 1 – 8

Ages: 7+

Target : Teaches vocabulary and the letter tiles can be used for writing any word in the English language. Great for teaching kids cognitive and language skills.

Bananagrams is an entertaining learning game to use in Speech Therapy. In this game children are rewarded for speed and flexibility when making their own crosswords. No pencil, paper or board is required, which makes it easy to take this game with you anywhere.

There are no special tiles or tiles with letters with special points like in scrabble. All tiles are worth the same. You can pull apart your crossword, start from scratch or exchange letters. The winner is the player who used all of his/her letter tiles first.

The Banagrams Game contains 144 letter tiles. To play the game, the letter tiles are put on the table facing down. Each player draws an equal amount number of tiles, depending on how many players participate in the game. For example, two to four players receive 21 tiles each. Five to six players get 15 tiles each.

The game starts as soon as all players have drawn their tiles and the first person calls out: “Split!”. That’s when the players turn over their tiles and start creating words.

The words must connect to each other like in a crossword puzzle. Players can rearrange their letters and words as often as they like. They can even take out letters they already placed, add them somewhere else and add another letter to the old word, as long as the old as well as the new word still make sense.

If a letter is drawn that can’t be placed, the player may exchange this letter with three new ones. The next player who uses up all his/her letters first, calls out: “Peel!” and all players need to draw one more letter tile.

The person who uses up all his/her letters first exclaims: “Bananas!”. The other players then examine all the words of this player for legality ( if that word can be found in a dictionary). If all the words check out, the player is declared the winner.

Using the Bananagrams Game in Speech Therapy

Vocabulary Development and Spelling

The Bananagrams game encourages children to build and put together words quickly and correctly. It is an entertaining and educational game for any child, even a beginning speller.

The game comes in a small, soft, flexible case, is portable and fits in a purse, backpack or the glove compartment of your car. It is a game you can play anywhere anytime, which makes it very appealing, especially of you are a Speech Therapist who makes house calls or teaches at various schools. As parent you’ll appreciate that you can work with your child on vocabulary building, articulation and imitation at home and on the go.

The age guide given on the box says 7+, however younger children with basic spelling skills will enjoy this game as well. You can reduce the amounts of letter tiles you work with or make it less competitive by taking the time element out and simply enjoying putting words together no matter how long it takes. You can also give bonus points, for example, for the longest or most creative word.

Reading and Phonological Awareness

The Bananagrams game invites children to spell, read and sound out the words they have just created. They are also encouraged to read and check the other players words. Thus, this game enables children to practice and self-correct their own reading and writing, and add to their vocabulary by learning from their fellow players.

Now you know all there is to know about the game – you are ready to play. Have fun!
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Top Talking Tips...

Sing Nursery Rhymes and Action Songs

Traditional songs and rhymes have hand actions that let your child join in and take a turn, even before they can sing the words.

This helps to work on listening, attention, imitation and turntaking, all important skills for Speech and Language development!