Our latest favorite family game is Bananagrams! We love words so of course we also love word games and Bananagrams is the best.
Play is easy – the goal is to be the first player to use all of your letters in a word grid. Each player takes a certain number of tiles depending on how many players there are – more players means fewer tiles per players and a faster and more furious game!
As soon as any player calls out “SPLIT!” all the players turn their tiles face up and start working on their own individual crossword grid. Words may be played horizontally, vertically, read left to right or top to bottom. All players play at the same time so it’s a race to the finish!
There are plenty of letters to go around AND included in the game are 6 Wild Tiles, tiles that can be used as any letter but only one letter at a time.
When the first player has used up all his tiles he calls our “PEEL!” and takes a tile from the remaining pile. All other players must also take a tile and add it to their own grid. If you’re not fast, those PEEL tiles will add up and overwhelm you. At least that’s what happens to me! I get behind and have to work like crazy and think super fast to catch up.
There are some additional special rules, like if you have a tile you can’t or don’t want to use you can put it back in the pile BUT that player has to take three tiles in return and call out “DUMP!” It’s a risk, but sometimes it’s worth it…
Players keep playing and peeling until there are fewer tiles in the pile than players.
The first player to use all his tiles in a connected word grid calls out, “BANANAS!” and wins the round!
And when you’re all banana-ed out, all those cute little tiles go back into the banana pouch. We reserve this special job for our youngest player – he loves to play with the tiles in the pouch. I ask him to tell me some of the letters he picks up so it’s a great pre-reading game for the little ones as well. We use this game for part of our Language Arts study at least once a week to practice spelling, vocabulary, and quick thinking. It’s one of our favorite “school” games. After you’ve played the regular rules for a while there are 4 fun variations in the rule book that are all tons of fun too.
This game is perfect for traveling, taking to friends/family houses for parties, and at home play. So many fun possibilities to keep that brain thinking smart and quick! And it’s inexpensive. Find Bananagrams on Amazon (and lots of other places) for around $12.\
And here are the first 5 games in the series in case you missed them – Enjoy!