Friday, 20 July 2012

Fun with Fruitominoes and PAIRSinPEARS

Fruitominoes and PAIRSinPEARS are two fantastic fun games from Bananagrams which the whole family will enjoy playing. I had heard of Banangrams, the anagram game before, but had no idea that there were so many other games by the same company until I saw them all at Britmums Live. The origins behind Banangrams is an interesting one; it was created by three generations of the Nathanson family, spanning in age from seven to seventy five years who all share a passion for games. The family travel from their homes in the US and UK each summer to meet on the east coast of America where one of the things they have always enjoyed doing is playing word games. It was here they came up with the idea for Bananagrams, a word game that is portable and quick to set up and play. From this grew other games such as Fruitomineos, PAIRSinPEARS and Appletters.

Fruitomineos and PAIRSinPEARS
Fruitomineos and PAIRSinPEARS in their pouches
Fruitomineos is a different take on dominoes where instead of connecting dots, you connect Fruits. PAIRSinPEARS is a pair making game where you have to race against your opponent to make connected pairs of words in matching patterns. Both games come packed in a compact storage pouch which means they are easy to store and bring with you. I especially love the fact that PAIRSinPEARS pouch is shaped like a pear. The first thing that struck me about the pieces was the quality of them, they feel really nice to hold and look great, in particular the Fruitominoes with their bright colourful fruits.

Fruitomineos in play
Although Ben is too young yet to play the games properly he did enjoy making patterns and building towers with them. We played our own toddler-friendly version of Fruitominoes where he had to search for the matching fruits and patterns and join them up which has the added educational bonus of being great for counting and reinforcing the names of fruit. Similarly with PAIRSinPEARS, Ben had lots of fun finding all the letters and spelling his name and other words which is great for letter recognition and word building.

Playing the toddler version of PAIRSinPEARS
My husband and I had a go at playing both games and they proved to be a lot of fun, not to mention addictive racing to get the pairs of pears and matching fruits. It makes a nice change actually playing a proper game other than Words with Friends or Draw Something which we do virtually on our iPhones and it got me thinking how much I actually miss these kind of family games which don't require a games console or some other form of tech. The rules of Fruitominoes are the same as traditional Dominoes except instead of dots there are fruits. I have to say I much prefer the "fruity" version, the tiles with their colourful fruits bring a greater fun feel to the game. The full set of instructions on how to play can be found here and below is an instructional video. 

When you open the PAIRSinPEARS pouch you will find patterned lettered tiles which make up four alphabet sets. The aim of the game is to make as many connected pairs in matching suits as quickly possible. The rules of the game are pretty simple, a full set of instructions can be found here and below is an instructional video which shows you exactly how to play.

Fruitominoes is suitable for players aged 5+ with a RRP £14.99 and PAIRSinPEARS is aimed at ages 6+ with a RRP of £15.99. The Bananagrams’ family of games is available at a wide range of High Street toy and book stores or online. I can highly recommend these games, they are fantastic fun for all the family.

*Disclaimer: I received a set of Fruitominoes and Pairs In Pears for free in exchange for a review but this has in no way biased my opinion.


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