This is my new favorite game...and it's educational, too. It is a word game, but not like Scrabble. I do not like playing Scrabble. It is slow and I don't know all of those crazy words that one only learns in order to win Scrabble. Bananagrams, on the other hand, is a fun, fast-paced game that will challenge your vocabulary, but not force into memorizing a bunch of obscure words.*
The object of the game is to use all of your tiles to create your own crossword. Each time a player is able to use all of their tiles, each player draws another tile from the pile. This continues until all of the tiles are used. The first to finish their crossword without enough tiles for everyone to draw is the winner.
Family and friends introduced us to it on vacation and I'm hooked. You can play it for 5 mins or for hours...with 1 player or many. One of my favorite things about the game is that even when I don't win the round, I still feel very accomplished because of how many great words I've been able to include in my board. That's saying a lot since I'm an ultra-competitive type.
The boys already like playing around with the tiles, but D-Man could actually play the game. He would just use words that he knows. We'd pair him with an adult just to make him more competitive, or he could play solitaire (with my help). It would be a great exercise for him to figure out which words to make with his available tiles. Since there isn't any scoring, he wouldn't be penalized for only using small words or getting rid of letters that he can't use. The variations on this idea are endless. Maybe we'll try it out tomorrow.
*It worth knowing a few "q without a u" words in case you get an unusable q.