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TOYDIRECTORY® | TDmonthly™ Magazine |
TDmonthly's Psychology Expert
Send Her Toys and She'll Tell You How They Play
By Beth Carroll
October 2006

Beth Carroll, Psy.D., is a professional psychologist who specializes in child intervention and development. She works with children in many capacities, including providing early intervention services to infants and toddlers and conducting play therapy and psycho-educational assessment with children and adolescents. She has also provided private childcare for families for more than 22 years. Her diverse experience working with children has enabled her to see firsthand how playing with toys can be one of the richest sources of learning and communication for kids. In the following review, Dr. Carroll shares her toy recommendations with TDmonthly Magazine.

Bananagrams by BANANAGRAMS
Category: Games
Age: 7 and up
Gender: Boys and Girls

First Impressions
Unlike Scrabble and other word games, Bananagrams does not require a board.  The game includes 144 letter tiles that fit into a compact banana-shaped cloth carrying case, which makes it perfect for travel.  The object of the game is to create as many words as possible from selected tiles.   All words need to be interconnected by a shared letter.  Once the tile pile is depleted, the player who is able to use all of his or her tiles first wins.
Developmental Stage
Word games build vocabulary, spelling and word-recognition skills.  Bananagrams also targets creativity, because the goal is to use every single tile — requiring players to deconstruct existing words to make letters available for other words.

Kids will go bananas for Bananagrams! I was also able to adapt this game for some of the younger children with whom I work; they had fun pulling individual letters out and identifying them. 

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