I received Bananagrams in exchange for this blog post. All opinions are my own.
Growing up, there were two things I could be certain of come Sunday afternoons. My mom would bake, and my parents would play Scrabble. That game seemed to take all day long. They had a dictionary, and they challenged words. It was a game that sat on our kitchen table through lunch and crept up to dinner.
When I got married, I thought we’d try Scrabble. From my observations, it seemed like a great afternoon game. It wasn’t. Maybe it was just that I had more to do than my parents, but I couldn’t take the downtime.
Then Bananagrams came along, and suddenly my children have taken my parent’s place, sitting at the kitchen table shuffling letter tiles!
With all tiles in the middle of the table, players take turns drawing tiles at random (the number of tiles is dependent on the number of players).
Someone screams, “Split!” and tiles are flipped, and there’s a scurry as everyone arranges their tiles into a Scrabble-like grid with words going vertically and horizontally. It’s a free for all, no taking turns, just people consumed by the tiles in front of them.
If a tile can’t be used, the player hollers, “Dump!” and returns the tile to the middle of the pile, and draws three new tiles to arrange in their grid.
Grids can be moved around as often as necessary to accommodate all the tiles.
When one player has used all their tiles, they shout, “Peel!” Then every player draws one new tile from the middle and must use it in the grid with the other tiles.
Gameplay ends when someone yells, “Peel!” and there are not enough tiles for every player to each take one. The players check the calling player’s grid to make sure it is composed of valid words. If a word is invalid, that’s a “rotten banana” score, and that player’s tiles all go back to the middle, and other players continue the game. If the words are valid, the player wins, and gameplay ends.
It’s a fast-paced game word lovers will enjoy!
My kiddos love it, and while their words are smaller and mostly their spelling words, they are becoming better spellers, and I can sit and play around and not feel like my afternoon is lost.