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My First Bananagrams

(Bananagrams $14.99)

Designed for younger kids and packed in a green fabric banana shaped bag, this is a wonderfully playful learning tool for beginners. The set includes 80 single letter tiles, plus combo letter tiles such as sh, wh, ea, th, an, ee and more. Use them for making word families, blends, and vowel combos. These larger than usual Bananagram tiles are all lower case and have colorful backgrounds. It’s not one game, but many suggested ways to use the tiles with preschoolers and early school age children. For preschoolers they suggest matching letters, sorting them by color, spelling their names, and alphabetical order, which by the way, is a very tall order for preschoolers, who may be able to sing the alphabet, but not yet recognize and name all the letters. Save the alphabetical order games for early school years, along with the games of making word families, rhyming words, and simple crossword grids. A totally age-appropriate game to start them on the path to word play. 4-7

SNAP: Introduce this letter game by spelling your child's name. Mix the letters up and put them back in order together. Play a sorting game, sort the tiles by color or another time sort by matching letters. Make long trains of the same letters. Which train is longer? Count the matching letters in each train. Are there more e's than t's, for example? On another day sort the letters with rounded shapes from the ones with stick shapes. Noticing these differences introduce children to the idea of looking at details, rather than seeing a bunch of letters. All these games allow your child to become familiar with the letters and master the names of the letters in an entertaining way. Start with just a few letters not the whole alphabet at once. This set is especially useful since there are duplicates of many letters in contrast to the usual alphabet sets that have ony one of each letter.

Ages: Preschoolers, Early School

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award 2016

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