How to use Bananagrams in Adult Speech Therapy!


Bananagrams is a word game where participants use letter tiles (similar to Scrabble) to spell and connect word sequences into huge crosswords.


Bananagrams is a fun and engaging option for targeting cognitive-communication skills in an individual or group session.  The idea is to use 144 letter tiles to form words that connect together like a crossword puzzle.  Again, just think of Scrabble without the board game. It travels easily and requires little set-up/ and few instructions. Throw in a few distractions (background noise for selective attention, verbal short term memory or spaced retrieval tasks with a timer, additional activities to shift/alternate attention) to increase the challenge.


Use Bananagrams to target cognitive-communication skills

#1) Reading Comprehension: Therapist uses letter tiles to arrange functional or personal words for patient to identify, spell or read

#2) Word Creation: Patient uses all letter tiles to spell as many words as he/she can within predetermined time limit

#3) Group Therapy: Participants use all letter tiles to spell as many words as he/she can (make it harder by narrowing it down to a category of words they are spelling) within predetermined time limit

#4) Sequencing: Patient uses letter tiles to sequence letters of the alphabet A-Z (I got this one from a co-worker!)

#5) Divergent Naming: Patient draws out predetermined # of letter tiles.  Generates words beginning with the letter within predetermined time limit



  • Sustained attention
  • Divergent Thinking/ Brainstorming


  • Social participation & Interaction
  • Letter Identification
  • Spelling
  • Word level reading comprehension
  • Word retrieval
  • Motor Speech Intelligibility Strategies




5 comments on “How to use Bananagrams in Adult Speech Therapy!

  1. dysphagiacafe

    Recently saw a program on how this game was invented. Pretty cool! Excellent Post

  2. Great ideas!!! I am new to adult treatment could you post an example of your Tx note template for cognitive Tx and dysphagia Tx. Thanks!!

  3. ozark speechie

    Mariela – I don’t really have a template of a daily therapy note for cognition or dysphagia – as these change depending on the patient’s goals. I usually just re-word the original short term goal and then add in the amount of assistance provided or % of accuracy.

  4. Your website is amazing…I keep coming back for new ideas. I currently have a pt who needs increased cognitive stimulation and social interaction (she is in an ALF), yet she is depressed and mostly lies in bed all day watching tv. How do you word a goal for increased social interaction so that it’s measurable and not rejected by Medicare? Pt has short-term memory deficit but is not motivated. I recently talked her into playing Scrabble with me and she seemed to enjoy it. How can I write a daily note for this…(I am also targeting attention). Increased social interaction would help her so much but I am not confident in building a goal around that. I’d appreciate any thoughts/help you can offer. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: