I have to admit what everyone in my family already knows: I love words and word games. When my kids were small, I taught them how to play Scrabble and Boggle. They learned cheerfully. As they grew, however, I gradually suspected that they were playing the game just to please me. Playing any board games together is a great way to promote family togetherness. But sometimes it becomes important to spark a little life into an old theme. Lots of new games have been created to slip in beside some of the old faithfuls to enrich your family's literacy experience.
If you are like me and want your children to enrich their lives with words and puzzles, you may be interested to know that great as the game of Scrabble is, you don't have to stop there. More word games are introduced each year for the word lovers among us. Many of these word games will be great aids for children learning how to read. But these word games are not just for children. Adults and teens will enjoy playing these word games, too.
Banana-grams was given awards in 2009 as best game of the year. Since then the creators of Banana-grams, along with master puzzle maker Joe Edley, have come up with several books which take the Banana-gram theme and expand on it.
The beauty of Banana-grams is its portability. The tiles -- similar to those you would find in a Scrabble game -- are zipped into their own banana-shaped case that you can tuck into a back pack or a purse and take along with you on your travels. If you would prefer a book instead of the tiles, now you can choose from several Banana-grams books, each with original word puzzles to challenge your word skills. The puzzles are grouped by their level of difficulty by the number of bananas in the top right corner of each page. Easy word puzzles have one banana, more challenging puzzles have two or three bananas, and the most challenging word puzzles have four bananas. These banana designations are a fun way to determine whether each puzzle fits your mood. Truth is, sometimes we may be in the mood for a quick puzzle and would be more likely to choose a one banana. Even these one banana word puzzles are worth doing by expert word fashioners on occasions when they have limited time or energy to invest in the activity.