Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Spring 2011 Games
Ages: 7 & Up
Manufacturer: Bananagrams
Price: $14.95

Bananagrams' Zip-It, the "twenty second crossword race you can play any place," is a unique combination of a crossword puzzle and classic word jumble games such as Scrabble and Boggle. The game includes twenty-four letter cubes, a bonus "Weords" Dictionary of weird words and a re-usable canvas carrying case that also serves as a scoreboard. Two players each get twelve randomly selected letter cubes which they use to create crossword-style configurations of words. The player to use all of his/her cubes correctly wins the round and moves his/her zipper one spot on the carrying case/scoreboard.

The "Weords" Dictionary includes words with no vowels, words that end in the letter "q," words that end in the letter "u," words with "q" but no "u," words that end in the letter "x," palindromes/semi-palindromes and much, much more. Players not only use their own vocabulary, but learn new terms from this dictionary as well as their opponents. The game is entertaining and educational as it is, but if players want to increase the difficulty, they can limit the types or categories of words permitted. The game stands out with its entertainment and educational value as well as its versatility and portability.

Sharon Heuscher   ©2011 Parents' Choice
Sharon holds B.A.s in English Literature and Ancient Studies as well as a B.S. in Psychology. She is currently a masters-level trainee in Clinical Psychology specializing in neurodegenerative diseases. For the past thirteen years, Sharon has focused primarily on raising, educating, and nurturing her five children who range in age from three to thirteen.

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