I’m astounded by how many people I talk to who have no idea what Bananagrams is. And yet, as soon as we bring out the game (or Appletters which is the game we have), everyone gets really excited about it, kids and adults. I was excited to receive My First Bananagrams for review. While the other games are great, N really needs to work on his lower case letters, and get those off pat, and the My First Bananagrams gives children the opportunity to play with the letters they first learn.
If you’ve not come across Bananagrams before, it’s a letter game, stored inside a fruit case. In the case of My First Bananagrams, it’s a green banana rather than the yellow of the original game. Inside are lots of letter tiles perfect for playing a variety of suggested games…or in our case, your own.
The tiles in the My First game are different – not only being lower case, but also including some double letters. Vowels are in yellow. It’s aimed at age 4+ so perfect for those just starting out on their reading journey.
The set also comes with game ideas. Yes ideas, not one game and they’re curriculum based designed to become more challenging as children gain vocabulary skills. To be honest, we just play whatever game we fancy because at the moment I just want N to find letters and words fun.
One day, N’s 7 year old cousin came to play and straight away was into the pack wanting to know what it was. Before I could suggest them play one of the games, he had suggested his own word game. Simply to make the best words they could. We ended up with them writing names with the letters they picked out and then describing words with what was left. Toffee Tommy had them in hysterics, although realising N had forgotten how to spell his own name over the summer brought me back down to earth with a bump!
I’ve also had the tiles out to try and help N with his writing and putting letters together to make words for his holiday scrapbook. Anything that can bring letters to life in a more practical way is good for N, so we’ll likely use them a lot for his reading and writing rather than playing games.
The games suggested include mini games for preschoolers, early readers and readers, ranging from matching letters, rhyming words, sounding out, and criss cross words. It’s a good way to keep children’s interest by prompting different ideas of activities to do depending on their interest and level.
What I like about My First Bananagrams is having the zip up bag to keep all the pieces together. That’s necessary especially when I have to track them down around the house to find where N’s played with them as bales or sheep nuts with his farm vehicles. We took it on holiday with us and it kept everything tidy in one place when not in use.
I think any game that introduces children to letters and makes them feel as though they’re not all that scary and hard, has to be a good thing. And when they can get the whole family excited about playing games together that’s also a bonus.
You can buy My First Bananagrams from Amazon for around £14.99. I know I’ll be picking some up for birthday and Christmas gifts.
Disclosure: I was My First Bananagrams for the purpose of review. All words and opinions are my own.