Bananagrams

Promoted Skills

Product Description

This game includes 144 letter tiles of the same size and shape. Players each receive the same number of letter tiles and must create their own crossword using all of their tiles and the tiles in the “bunch” before the other players. Players will shout “peel” and “dump” when they are out of tiles or need a swap. This game promotes word recognition and pre-literacy skills while inspiring laughter and socialization. 

Cognitive 4

Skills

  • Letter and word recognition and identification are targeted and simple spelling is encouraged when making crosswords.
  • Pre-literacy and literacy skills are practiced through playing Bananagrams.
  • Visual discrimination skills can be heightened as children differentiate between letters that look similar such as, O and Q or W and M. 

Play Ideas

  • Surprise bag! A caregiver can place the letter tiles to a word in the Bananagrams bag. The child must try unscrambling the tiles to make the surprise word. A caregiver can make this more challenging by placing multiple words in the bag for the child to unscramble.
  • To enhance memory and recall skills, a caregiver can place a few letter tiles on a table and let the child look for a minute. Have him cover his eyes while the caregiver removes one letter. What letter or letters were removed?
  • Sort the tiles into two piles: vowels and consonants.
  • A caregiver can spell words with the tiles and ask the child to copy the words making a mirror image of the tiles. 

Adaptation Ideas

  • Limit the number of tiles given to the child at one time. Gradually introduce more tiles as the child becomes familiar with Bananagrams.
  • Make a rule on how long the words in the individual crosswords can be to even the playing field. 

Physical 3

Skills

  • Trace over the letters on the tiles with one isolated finger. This encourages fine motor skills needed for life skills like brushing teeth.
  • Picking up the tiles from the table encourage pincer grasp, wrist rotation and arm movement, as well as encouraging balance and coordination.
  • Arm extension and motor planning are used as the child reaches for, grabs and places tiles during game play. 

Play Ideas

  • A caregiver can challenge the child to stand the tiles on their sides like dominoes.
  • A caregiver can count how many tiles the child can pick up and hold in one hand with a closed fist.
  • Play a matching game! A caregiver can select matching tiles and have the child place the pairs into the Bananagrams bag for fun clean up. 

Adaptation Ideas

  • Create a snake shape of play dough and stick the Bananagrams tiles into the play dough for the child to more easily and readily pick up during game play.
  • Place the “bunch” of tiles in the middle of the table on a lazy susan for easier accessibility.
  • Use a cookie sheet to place the “bunch” of tiles to move when instructed to “peel” or “dump”. 

Communicative 4

Skills

  • Letter recognition and identification are targeted and simple to more advanced spelling is encouraged during game play.
  • Verbal modeling can take place through the other players with their vocalizations during game play.
  • Memory skills are used as children remember the letters of the alphabet and the sounds they make. 

Play Ideas

  • A caregiver can practice making word ladders with the child. Word ladders involve choosing two words of the same length. He can move from one word to the other by changing one letter at a time, making sure that he is always creating an actual word. For example, the child can move from the word cold to the word warm in the following steps: COLD → CORD → CARD → WARD → WARM. Have the child read the words aloud as he creates the word ladder.
  • A caregiver and the child can make a mailbox out of a shoebox and pretend to mail the Bananagrams letters telling a story of where they will be going.
  • A caregiver can spell out words that rhyme and have the child read them out loud. 

Adaptation Ideas

  • Limit the number of tiles given to the child at one time. Gradually introduce more tiles and as the child becomes familiar with the game.
  • A caregiver can place only a few letters out at a time- such as all vowels, sounds being worked on in speech therapy or letters in the child’s name. Gradually increase the number as his ability and frustration levels permit. 

Developmental Processes Promoted

Additional Details

Approximate Price:
$14.99
Age Range:
7+
Directions:
Simple
Levels of Play:
Five or More Levels
Storability:
Easy
Washability:
Surface Wipe

AblePlay Rating

Bananagrams

Developmental Skill Rating (1-5)
Physical 3
Sensory 2
Communicative 3
Cognitive 4
Social/Emotional 4

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