Thursday 15 September 2016

My First BANANAGRAMS review

As Bug loves learning new words to read and write the new game in the BANANAGRAMS family - My First BANANAGRAMS - is a game he has relished trying out.

Designed to help children that are just starting out on their reading and writing journey My First BANANAGRAMS is an early-learners version of the original BANANAGRAMS gaime aimed at children aged 4+ years.

My First BANANAGRAMS comes in a bright green, banana shaped zippable pouch that is not only fun and appealing for little ones but also very handy for keeping the set safely contained when not in use or or taking the game over to friends and family.

The set consists of a mixture of lower case letter tiles - 80 single letter tiles and 13 combo-letters. The combo-letters contain 2 letters joined together that make a single sound, for example word families such as an, digraphs such as ch, and vowel teams such as ea.

The letter tiles are chunky and easy to read. With the set containing letters in different colours they are also a colourful set, for example vowels are yellow so children can learn to distinguish them from other letters. To help children distinguish between letters that can look the same as other letters when upside down, such as m and w, the tiles have a line under the letters to show the right way up.

To help children play the game it comes with a set of instructions. The basic game is designed to be played by 1-4 players. Players use the single letter tiles, with each player using 15 tiles. The aim of the game is to the first to use all of your letters in a connected word grid without making a spelling mistake or using a proper noun or abbreviation. As the game progresses players can rearrange the grid and can swap tiles if they cannot be used. For advanced game play the combo-letter tiles can be introduced to the game.

For children who find the game a little too hard yet or are looking to play a different game the booklet offers game suggestions and contains 10 curriculum based mini-games. Helpfully the mini-games are divided into 3 sections - preschooler, early reader and reader. The division of the games is very helpful to know what games are best suited for children of varying age and reading ability.

Even though Bug is a very confident and able reader he had lots of fun with all the mini-games including spelling names and completing the alphabet. He especially loved the matching memory game and creating connected words.

Children who master this game and want more of a challenge can progress to trying the original BANANAGRAMS game.

In spite of being a competent reader already Bug has enjoyed playing the game which hones his reading skills and it is an enjoyable game to play as a family that is educational too. As Jelly Bean gets older I am sure it is a game that will benefit him when the time comes for him to develop his vocabulary and literacy skills and it will be a game that he can play with his older brother.

My First BANANAGRAMS is great for making learning fun and helping young children ripen their reading and writing skills. It is available at major retailers such as Amazon and is priced around £14.99. 

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