Bananagrams Review

2-8 Players | Age 7+ | 15 Minutes Playing Time


One great way to help children with certain aspects of their education is through playing games. They can learn through play whilst having lots of fun and not even know that they are learning something and increasing their knowledge. One such game that is fun and educational is Bananagrams, a word game that helps children with words and spelling. Not only do they get to play a fun game with friends and family, but they can also improve their spelling, learn new words and even learn the meaning of words by discussing words that have been created. And it is not just a game for the children, it is just as much fun for adults to play as well.

If you have ever played Scrabble, then Bananagrams is very similar in the fact that you create word grids – there just isn’t a board to play on and no point scoring, the winner (or rather Top Banana) is the first to get rid of all their letter tiles.

Bananagrams comes fully contained in its own very distinctive container – a bright yellow banana shaped zip-up pouch. The pouch is made from good quality material and well put together yellow cotton and contains 144 letter tiles.

Bananagrams is a game for 2-8 players aged 7-107, with a playing time of around 15-20 minutes. There are several ways of playing including instructions for a single player Banana Solitaire version.

Playing the game is easy and lots of fun. All 144 tiles (the Bunch) are placed face down in the centre of the table. Depending on how many people are playing dictates how many tiles each player takes (2-4 players = 21 tiles each, 5-6 players = 15 tiles each and 7-8 players = 11 tiles each). One of the players then shouts “SPLIT” and everyone simultaneously turns their tiles over and starts to play, racing to create their own word grid to get rid of all their letter tiles. Words must read left to right horizontally, or top to bottom vertically. The grid can be rearranged at any time, and as many times as you like.

That could be considered too easy, so there is a catch – every time a player plays their last tile, they need to shout “PEEL” and all players have to take another tile from the bunch. If you find yourself stuck, you can shout ‘dump’ and place one of your tiles, face down in the bunch. The catch is that you then have to take three tiles from the bunch, making your task of getting rid of all of your tiles even harder!

Play continues until there are less tiles left in the bunch than there are number of people playing, then the first player to use up all their tiles in their word grid and shouts “BANANAS” wins, subject to the other players scrutinising the word grid to make sure words are spelt correctly and are indeed proper words.

Any misspelled words, abbreviations or proper nouns cannot be accepted and then other players shout out “ROTTEN BANANA” which puts that player out of the game. Their tiles are then returned face down to the bunch and play continues.

Overall, Bananagrams is a fantastic game, we have all loved playing it. It is a brilliantly simple game and is more quick-paced and frantic than I would have expected from a letter tiles game and, for me, much better than Scrabble.

We played it as a family, the kids vs kids, and adults vs adults and to be honest it does work best where players are of similar abilities, so kids vs kids rather than kids vs adults – vocabulary and spelling are going to be miles apart between a 10 year old and a 50 year old.

The instructions also have rules for three alternative ways to play:

  • Banana Smoothie, a slower game for when you are in no mood to rush – it has no peeling or dumping.
  • Banana Café, has dumping but no peeling.
  • Banana Solitaire, a relaxing game to play alone.

The quality of all the letter tiles is excellent, we particularly liked that the letters were etched into the tiles rather than just printed on top, making them far more durable with more longevity as the letters won’t wear away so easily.

Bananagrams is a fun and enjoyable game for either children or adults. It is an excellent educational tool dressed up as a fun game (the banana pouch is certainly an attention grabber). The banana theme makes the game very engaging for children and adds another element of fun to a great game. The pouch itself makes the game ideal for taking anywhere, although you will need a decent sized table or playing surface to play it.

A fun way for children to learn new words, practice spelling and develop language skills.

Rating: 5/5

RRP: £14.99

For more information, visit Available to buy from Amazon here.

DISCLOSURE: All thoughts and opinions are our own. This review uses an affiliate link which we may receive a small commission from if you purchase through the link.


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