Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Review - My First Bananagrams

My First Bananagrams is a brand new game in the Bananagrams family, aimed at ages 4+, and specially designed for little ones that are just starting on their reading and writing journey. The case is green to show that it's for little ones that are starting to ripen their vocabulary, but the letters are still contained in a handy, distinctive, banana shaped pouch. The set contains a mixture of colourful lower case letter tiles. There are 80 single letter tiles and 13 combo-letter tiles which contain two letters that make a single sound, for example vowel teams like ai and ea, word families like an and et and digraphs like ch and sh.

My First Bananagrams contents

The game comes with instructions for the basic game which can be played by 1-4 players. Using just the single letter tiles, each player draws 15 tiles, with the object of being the first to use all your letters in a connected word grid without a spelling mistake, proper noun or abbreviation. The grid can be rearranged as you go along, and you can swap tiles if you can't use them. For an advanced game, the combo-letter tiles can also be included.

My First Bananagrams game

When children are finding this game too easy then they are ready to try the original Bananagrams game. But if this game seems a little too advanced for those that are only just learning their letters, with a bit of imagination you can come up with lots of different ways to use the letter tiles. There is a handy booklet included with the game which contains ten curriculum based mini-games to give you some ideas.

The mini games are divided into three sections - preschooler, early reader and reader - and I found these really helpful, perfect for little ones that aren't quite up to playing the full game. For younger children you can begin by matching letter pairs and spelling their own name and those of friends and family, before moving on to games with rhyming words or a matching memory game. Mia's favourite game was to use the combo-letter tiles and then add beginning and ending letter tiles to make words, and even though Harry is a confident reader already, he still had fun joining in and playing around with different words.

My First Bananagrams review

The letter tiles are chunky and easy to read. Letters that can be confused if the tiles are upside down, such as p and d, have a clear underlining so you know that you've got it the right way up, and vowels are yellow to distinguish them. I was surprised with how well Mia got on with the game - sometimes I underestimate how much she has learned in her first year of school! We were able to play as a family and she didn't need much help at all, it was great to find a game that we can play together, and of course there was plenty of learning going on too.

Playing My First Bananagrams

Amazon link is affiliate. My First Banagrams costs £14.99. I received a set in exchange for this review.

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