My First Bananagrams is a fun way to improve your child’s spelling
Rushdi has got to the age where he wants to try playing board games. We got sent a Monopoly and I thought we’d try it out learning all about money and buying things but, well, that was a shit show. Money flying everywhere, complaining when I had to pay him rent for a property he owned and also Daariya tried to eat everything. So I thought I’d try something a little more on his level: My First Bananagrams.
What is My First Banangrams?
It’s the kids version of the original Bananagrams. It’s a word game with the goal being to get your kids to intersect words with other words to make simple grids. Like a very simplified version of Scrabble. But it can also help your preschooler with letter recognition and your early reader to build words.
In your green banana bag, you get single tiles as well as double letter tiles. The tiles are good quality, durable plastic with bright coloured backgrounds. All the vowels are yellow and the consonants are either green, red, orange or blue.
How we’re using My First Bananagrams
Rushdi is not yet at the point where he can make up words from a bunch of tiles. But we’re working on sight words. So far he can recognise the words: a, the, see, look and at. So he’s able to read sentences like “See the cat” or “Look at the cat”.
At first I thought that he might just be memorising the sentences because they’re short and he’s memorised most of One Fish, Two Fish by Dr. Seuss so it’s not an impossible thought. But he’s constantly pointing and finding these words in every day things, other books and signs.
So we’ve been using Banagrams to spell these sight words, his name, our names and now we’re moving on to simple CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words like cat, dog, man, hut, bus etc.
What I love about this game is that it’s going to last for years as he levels up his spelling XP. And I like that it’s so versatile even at his level right now.
My First Bananagrams mini-games
In your green Banagrams bag, you’ll get a little booklet explaining the rules of game but also variations for younger players.
- Spell your name: This one is self explanatory but you can get them to try to spell family members names as well.
- ABC’s in order: Create the alphabet with the single letter tiles. For an extra challenge, pick 3 random tiles and put them in alphabetical order.
- Letter match: Place single letter tiles face up. Pick a letter and find it’s match.
- Sound it out: Pick a single letter tile. Think of words that start with that sound. Try to spell some of the words using tiles.
- Word families: Combine single letter consonants with the double letter tiles. Then pair vowels with the double-letter tiles.
- Rhyme time: Pick a double letter tile. Then try a bunch of consonants to make rhyming words.
- Vowel power: Use the ai, ea, ee, oo tiles. Add beginning and ending tiles to make four letter words.
- Diggity digraph: A digraph is a single sound, which is represented by two letters like sh, wh, ch, th. Try adding a letter at the beginning or end.
- Criss-cross: Try making a simple word grid. When creating words vertically, spell them out from top to bottom.
Click on the image below to download more free printable activities to play with My First Bananagrams:
My First Bananagrams is available from Learning Tools for R255.