Hello! My name's Dennis and I've had the pleasure of working for KANYC for a little over a year now. Today, We'll be taking a look at Bananagrams.
Bananagrams is one of my favorite games we offer. It's so much more than a fun family game! I personally have used it as an educational tool in the past to promote literacy and vocabulary with children from ages 8-16 to great success. I truly can't recommend it enough.
Let's talk rules.
You're gonna take all the letter tiles out and place them in the middle face down in the center of your play surface. This is the Bunch. Distribute tiles among players keeping them face down.
-2-4 Players take 21 tiles each
-5-6 Players take 15 tiles each
-7-8 Players take 11 tiles each
Getting started: Once tiles have been distributed evenly, any player can call out "Split!" to initiate play. Every player will then simultaneously flip their tiles up and begin to arrange letters in a intersecting grid with words reading from left to right or top to bottom.
Once you've used your last tile from your portion in your grid, you need to call out "Peel!" Then everyone including the person who called it takes an extra tile from the Bunch. You can also call out "Dump!" and return a letter to the Bunch and exchange it for 3 more letters. This doesn't change anything for others playing but make sure you hold people accountable for taking tiles.
When the bunch is lower than number of players, the first person to use all their letters and call out “Bananas!” wins that hand and is declared "The Top Banana".
Other players now check their grid. If a misspelled word, proper noun, acronym or other unacceptable word is found, the other players call out “ROTTEN BANANA!” and that player is out of the game. Their letters are returned to the BUNCH face down. Play resumes for the other players until one of them calls out “BANANAS!”
It's a simple game to pick up but offers hours of fun while sharpening vocabulary. Perfect for families with age gaps between children or those hoping to improve their English or literacy. Portability is truly the cherry on top with this game making it ideal for trips.