We have owned Bananagrams for about 7 years now and it is probably one of our most played games. We enjoy it so much that we have bought it as a gift for numerous friends and family! When I first decided to buy it I was worried that my children would find it boring, but actually, they really love it and it has certainly helped their thinking and spelling skills.
If you have younger players who want to join in then consider teaming them up with an adult, they will soon get the hang of it and out spelling you in no time!
Place all the tiles face down in the middle of the table. Each player takes 21 tiles (depending on how many people are playing) and keeps them face down. When everyone is ready, the youngest player shouts ‘Split’ and everyone turns over the tiles and the game has begun. Start making as many words as you can (no names or abbreviations). The words must intersect with each other (see the picture above) and laid out horizontally or vertically. Everyone plays at the same time. When someone has used up all their tiles they shout ‘Peel’ and everyone must take a new tile from the pile in the middle. Once all the tiles have gone from the middle (or there are not enough for everyone to take one) the first one to use the last of their tiles is the winner. They must shout out ‘Bananas.’ All the other players then check the winner’s answers (clarifying with a dictionary if required). If any words are not correct or allowed then that player is a ‘Rotten Banana’ and the game resumes until the next player uses all of their tiles. The ‘Rotten Banana’ is out of the game and must return their tiles to the centre for other players to use. If at any point during the game you want to exchange a tile you must shout out ‘Dump’ and then return that tile to the centre of the table and pick 3 more tiles in it’s place.
There are variations to the game – for full instructions for Bananagrams, please download them here >>
What We Liked
- A fun and educational game that makes you think of words quickly.
- Everyone plays at the same time, no waiting around for your turn
- Suitable for all age ranges as words are not scored – so you can still win even if just using shorter and more common words
- The game is very transportable, making it ideal for travelling
- Simple rules
- Very durable tiles so great for little fingers
- You can think of variations to play if you want. For example, to make it a little more challenging you could play a round where only sports related words are allowed, or food etc
What We Didn’t Like
- There is nothing not to like – if I was reviewing this when I first bought it I would have said a little expensive, but it has since come down considerably in price so is excellent value for money.
An all round winner. Even if you don’t enjoy word games as much this one will win you over. A brilliant family game that we have never tired of.