Two words. Backyard. Bananagrams! How awesome would it be to run around a backyard picking up letters and creating words? The answer: AWESOME! I couldn’t find a tutorial on how to create the letters, but I’m a smart girl and I have a smart husband. I originally picked up five pieces of white foam board at the dollar store because I wasn’t sure how much I needed. I was leaning toward making the letter tiles 8×8, but Charlie did some math in his head and all the numbers just went over my head.


Basically to avoid a ton of foam board waste, 6×6 tiles was more economical than 8×8 tiles. Not to mention, per my smart husband, I needed 10 pieces of foam board instead 25 to 50 pieces. I wanted to create nice tiles, but I didn’t want to spend a ton of money. With my handy dandy computer and very informative Wikipedia, I printed out the necessary letters onto normal copy paper. Armed with rulers, a marker, scissors, and an Exact-O knife, I cut 6×6 tiles from the foam board, pasted Mod Podge on one side, and stuck a letter on it.


For durability and maximum stickiness, I swept more Mod Podge over the top of the letter tile after the first coat dried and placed them outside in the sun for a few hours. The process was simple but time consuming and messy (thanks, Mod Podge!). When Charlie and I messed around with some of the final tiles, I thought the 6×6 tiles were too small and he thought they were too big. The more letters in play more playing area is needed — making play difficult, per Charlie.


I disagree. Yes, the playing area for one play will be a little big when stringing together and stacking long words, which probably requires a second person to become a letter runner. My sister and I played the game a few times once I completed the construction, and each time was really fun! The first game was played inside her house due to a breezy wind outside, but that’s OK. I spent part of the time on knees, moving letters around and crawling to the letter pile.


The second game was played outside in the backyard with two Golden Retrievers somewhat trained not to run away with a letter tile. Running from my word puzzle to the dumb deck holding the letter pile definitely made me sweat and gasp on a hot summer night. I had a fabulous time, but I had a little bit of trouble adjusting to the bigger tiles and sort of threw me off my game. I just needed a few minutes to recover and my mind started churning out great words. I didn’t the win the game — my sister was victorious — but I had fun and happy I made the game!

Categories: Jennifer Elliott

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