When I attended Britmums Live a few weeks ago I was introduced to Bananagrams. At first site I thought they were pretend fruits for the children to do role play with, then I thought they were cool pencil cases and then I gave up guessing and asked the question: “What is Bananagrams?”.
Bananagrams is the result of the Nathanson’s family’s obsession with word games. Three generations of the Nathanson family would get together every year for a family holiday on the east coast of America and would often enjoy playing word games together but found that they wanted something a bit different from a game. Because they were travelling from different parts of America and the UK they didn’t want to be carrying cumbersome boxes around, they wanted something small that could fit in their hand luggage to played in the airport lounge or whilst waiting for lunch, something that could be played in as little as 5 minutes or as long as they felt the need. Between them they created Bananagrams, “the Anagram game that will drive you bananas” and from there have gone on to create Zip It, Appletters, Pairs In Pears and Fruitominoes. Bananagrams originally launched at The Toy Fair in 2006 and has since gone on to become a family favourite the world over.
We were sent Bananagrams, Appletters and Pairs in Pears to review and they have been an instant hit with Hubby, Curly and myself. It has long been a tradition in our family that on a Wednesday night when Curly is over we have a ‘games’ hour before he goes to bed. It’s our way of ensuring that he gets some quality time with Hubby and I. Plus, we all like to play games so why not? I particularly like word games myself so I was really keen to have a go with these when they arrived.
We began with Banagrams and worked as quickly as we could to create our word grids before each other and Hubby thought he was very clever when he declared that he had won but Curly and I aren’t so daft. We took one look at his words and said “that’s not how you spell Sandal”. Hubby argued that he meant Sandal as in Sandalwood but again I said “that’s not how you spell it” so out came the Collins English Dictionary and low and behold, Hubby was wrong! Curly took great pride in pulling out letter tiles from Hubby’s grid to spell out “LOSER” to his Dad which isn’t great when you suffer from Competitive Dad Syndrome as Hubby does. Curly should actually have told Hubby he was a rotten banana and then Curly and I would have taken all of his tiles and continued the game against each other but they were too busy destroying each other’s word grids to listen to the rules of play!
Hubby puffed out his chest and tried to let his t-shirt speak for him – clearly the average bear isn’t that smart then!
Next we played Appletters which to start with we got a little confused by. With Appletters you need to form a word snake so when it’s your turn to play you have to form a word using the first or last letter of the snake to be the first or last letter of your word. For some reason we couldn’t seem to get our heads around forming a snake (I know it’s actually very simple but we were obviously tired – well that’s our excuse). Finally we got the hang of it and had lots of fun along the way, especially when I was able to shout out “how d’ya like them apples” to declare that I was indeed the winner.
Again, Curly tried to be clever by removing tiles to make up phrases to wind us up but we are bigger than that so we left a message for him . . .
He replied with . . .
and then Daddy decided enough was enough and did a big Daddy splash on Curly to show him who is boss!
Last night Hubby and Curly played Pairs in Pears together and both said that they really enjoyed this game, they found it quite easy because there was only the two of them playing so they had plenty of letters to choose from but they could see how the game would become more difficult with more players and less letters each.
I knew when I saw these games that they would be an instant hit for our family and I was right, we have a couple of holidays coming up in the next few months so I these will definitely be coming with us. Each game has different ways of playing so they are more than just one game and are such a handy size they fit perfectly in your bag or suitcase.