The other day, I posted about Bananagrams and how I was waiting for the companion books and Pairs in Pears game to arrive. Well, they did, and I’ve already enjoyed several hours of word puzzle fun.
One of the reasons I decided to order Pairs in Pears was that Amazon’s Product Description was, “A fun way for children to develop memory and cognitive skills while learning alphabetical order, word construction, consonants, and vowels, vocabulary, rhyming, etc. Entire alphabet in each of 4 patterns (104 ivory-like tiles) Ages 5+.”
Banangrams is for ages seven and up. I am closer to up, so that was what I had put on my birthday list. My youngest son is actually seven, but is unable to play Bananagrams easily, due to a learning disability (sort of like dyslexia for the ears). As a result of his issues, he has difficulty rhyming and sounding out words. I hoped that Pairs in Pears might help him and be fun at the same time.
There are many ways to play, all of them simpler than Bananagrams. In each variation, the players split up the letter tiles and try to make crossword pairs, with three or more letters in each word. When my son and I sat down to play, I was pleased to see him enjoying himself, mastering words for once, rather than being frustrated by them.
As the game progressed, I noticed that being able to hold the tiles in his hands and move them around seemed to help him figure things out. Rather than commiting the letters to a page (and getting them “wrong”), he could manipulate them until they seemed right. When we were done, he wanted to play again.
School is out in a few weeks, but next week is his last visit with the reading tutor. He told me that they only write things down in her class, so we’ve decided to get her Pairs in Pears as a goodbye gift. Maybe my son can teach her a thing or two.