I come from a very competitive family. My siblings are the kind of family you’ll find yelling at the TV during a football game, turning every little challenge into a major competition, and ending our family game nights with an “in yo’ face” attitude.
But it’s all in love, I tell ya. 😉
Game nights with my kiddos look completely different, however. Our game nights usually last late into the night and end in laughter and silliness.
Most recently we’ve been having a game night every. single. night. after dinner.
Thanks to the incredibly kind people over at Bananagrams.com who sent us a “bunch” of FUN!!! All 3 of their fun word games!
My kids ripped open the box as soon as it arrived and instantly started bickering over which word game to play first.
We ultimately made the tough decision by using the “rock, paper, scissors” method. We started with Miss Manners’ choice of APPLETTERS.
The AppLetters Game
This game was just perfect for her and any other budding reader. Using the tiles in your stash, create a word that connects with either the “head” or “tail” end of the word worm. Unlike other word games, you can’t work off of just any word, so you ultimately only have 2 letters to work off of at a time.
Of course, coming up with words, using only select letters, is a challenge for any young child. I was really impressed with some of the words that Miss Manners came up with. She really had to think hard a few times and ended up figuring out a word that fit perfectly. I did have to help her a time or two but for the most part, she played on her own. She went from words like “but” and “can” to “time” and “each.” I was really impressed, considering her horrible attitude towards reading in general. Forming words is an awesome way to build her vocabulary and spelling skills.
APPLETTERS is for ages 5+ and can be purchased on Amazon for $16.89.
The BananaGrams Game
The following night, we chose the Bananagrams game.
This fast paced game left us in a frenzy. Racing against an avid reader like Miss Bookworm was no easy feat. She was quick and has quite the vocabulary. The game is simple to play, making it easy for everyone in our family, even Miss Manners to join in. Armed with a “bunch” of letters, the mission is to use all of your letter tiles before the other players. Use your hardest tiles (Q, X, Z, etc.) first so you don’t end up trying to squeeze them in towards the end. Don’t ask me how I know this little tip. 😉 I love that you don’t have to tally up scores at the end of the game. The winner is simply the player who uses all of their tiles first. By eliminating the “score count,” which typically takes just as long as the actual game, the game can be played in just a few minutes.
Of the 3 games we received, the Bananagrams game was my personal favorite.
The Bananagrams game is for ages 7+ and can be purchased on Amazon for only $14.99.
The last game we played was Pairs in Pears.
The Pairs in Pears Game
There are so many different games to play using these fun patterned tiles. The version we chose had us racing against each other to make 3 joint pairs of words using the tiles in our pile, using only the same pattern. It was so much fun! We played several rounds and each round, I saw a big improvement on my girls’ words.
This fast paced game was the fastest of the 3 games, although other versions may take longer. We could play a round of Pairs in Pears in just a few short minutes.
This game is perfect for our house. It builds spelling and reading skills for my girls but has other games geared towards toddlers and preschoolers, who are just beginning to learn their letters. We will definitely be using these tiles to teach Bear his letters!
Pairs in Pears is for ages 3+ and can be purchased here for only 9.99.
I wish I could give you some sort of negative outlook on these games, but I genuinely can’t. They are perfect.
Here are some of my favorite things about these game:
- They come in easy to store, grab-and-go sturdy cloth bags. I plan on rotating the games out of the glove compartment in my car. We will be taking these into restaurants, grandma’s house and anywhere else we will be “waiting” for more than 10 minutes.
- My kids LOVE these game. Seriously, love them. Like, scarf down dinner so they have time to play a quick round, kind of love.
- I love that each game offers alternative ways to play, so you’ll never get bored. While my favorite is the Bananagrams game, Miss Bookworm’s is Pairs in Pears and Miss Manners’ favorite is APPLETTERS. That just proves that they are all equally awesome! (FYI: Pairs in Pears is a reeeeeeeealllllly close second to Bananagrams game as my fave. Like a really, really close second.)
- I love that the games all reinforce important skills, like reading and spelling. I love that my kids are learning and they don’t even realize it. They literally are begging me to learn. Ha!
- I love that the game are affordable. I’ve spent WAY more money on games that promise fun and have only been disappointed. These games do not disappoint. And for the price, you can afford to send one to Grandma’s house for her to keep.
- I love that we can use the tiles for other things while homeschooling. Bored with writing your spelling words? Grab a bag of letters and see how long it takes you to correctly find and spell every single one of the words on your spelling list.
- I love that they help me create memories with my family. Cracking up at my husband’s sad attempt at creating his own word is something my kids will remember for years to come.
If you’re looking for a fun, fast game that challenges you just enough to keep it interesting, then these games are for you! They’re the perfect addition to any homeschool. The only problem is trying to decide which one is your favorite!
This post was originally published on October 28th 2015.