Reviewed for Fifth Grade, 2007

If Scrabble's point system and competitiveness gets your little wordsmith down, this funky anagram game is the perfect alternative. Simple and portable, all you need is a flat surface and this set of ceramic tiles which comes in a banana-shaped canvas case. Players take tiles from the "bunch" which are laid face down on the table. Then, each person works on her own individual crossword, rearranging the letters to form as many words as possible. When a player uses up all her tiles, she shouts "PEEL" and takes another from the bunch. All players must also peel at the same time, so rather than competing, everyone is using up the tiles from the collective bunch. When all the letters are gone, the first player with no letters left wins the game. This game promotes vocabulary and spelling skills in a flexible, relaxing environment. (Bananagrams, $17.99)