It is described as 'a word construction game for ages 6+, where players race to make pairs of connecting words in matching patterns.The game provides a great way for children to develop memory and cognitive skills while learning the alphabet, pattern recognition, vowels, vocabulary, rhyming and more.'
The game comes neatly packaged in a pear shaped cloth bag and contains 4 sets of alphabet tiles - all in different patterns. The tiles and the bag are well made and the tiles are really tactile and smooth - you can even feel the pattern difference.
There are two simple ways of playing the game both for 2-4 players. The first is to race to make pairs of connecting words in matching patterns (like the picture below). The words don't have to mean anything together they just have to share one letter and must be a minimum of 3 letters long. All the tiles are divided equally between the players and play starts immediately. The first person to make 4 pairs of words (if 2 people are playing - this is adjusted down to 3 pairs for 3 players and 2 pairs for 4 players as you have less tiles) shouts 'PAIRS' to win the game.
|pair of words in matching spotty pattern tiles|
The second way of playing is a scoring version which in some ways we found easier although the instructions recommend this method for age 7+ and the first method for age 5+. The tiles are divided equally among players as before and the aim is to make 6 pairs of words if there are 2 people playing. What makes this method easier is that the word pairs can use tiles with mixed patterns (as in the picture below) so you can use any of your tiles. My daughter found this easier as she had more letters to work with to find words and as a bonus if she did get the same pattern then she scored more points.
|pair of words in mixed patterned tiles|
As well as the two games the instructions also suggest ways of using the tiles for some educational fun with younger children from about age 5. The suggestions include making pairs of the same word in different patterns, making pairs of matching vowels and consonants, pairs of rhyming words and creating letter runs in alphabetical order. We did some of this too as she wasn't sure what vowels and consonants were so it has really helped her to learn that. Even my youngest has joined in with picking out the letters for her name as she is 4 and is just beginning to recognise letters and numbers.
All in all we've had lots of fun with Pairs in Pears and we'll definitely be continuing to play with it. It's a bit like scrabble but easier. It has got my daughter thinking about words and if we play the scoring version it also helps with her maths. I can also see my youngest using it more and more next year when she starts school - maybe not playing the games but just getting familiar with letters and spellings. In fact I wish we'd had it earlier as I can see lots of other uses for the tiles not just the games suggested (you could even make up adult versions of the game with wine involved I reckon!!) It would also be a great game to take on holiday as it would be easy to slip in to your hand luggage.
If you would like to see more there is a short, fun video on how to play Pairs in Pears on the Bananagrams site. A great game to buy for anyone aged from about 4 onwards. The RRP is £15.99 but you can currently get it on Amazon from about £10.99.
I was offered this product to review in conjunction with Fuelmyblog. I received this product free of charge but I have received no other payment for this review and any opinions or comments are entirely my own.