Life of a Southern Mom recently had the pleasure of working with Na2ure to review their Ani-gram-it board game for children. Na2ure is a company founded by an artist who believes children should have the opportunity to be inspired by science and nature. The games in this line allow for children to use what they already know about the world and explore new concepts and ideas through play.


Na2ure has both physical games (Ani-gram-it) and digital games that can be played on the iPad (Ferret). Both feature beautiful and stunning art that is actual photography of animals in nature. The games seek to help children understand the different components of animals and how this allows the animals to function in the world.

I received both the Ani-gram-it Board Game and Ani-gram it To Go, which is like a travel version of the game. First, let me tell you about the components of the board game and then we will go into actually playing the game.

When I removed the game from the box, I knew right away it was a high quality product. The board itself is extremely sturdy and has a nice weight to it that will not fold up on itself during game play. It is a two sided board, so depending on who is playing and how you want to play, you can select the side you’d like to use. The black side is bordered by photos of the different animal parts that are used to play the game. The gray side is bordered by colored text giving different point values to each card. Either side of the board can be used regardless of how you want to play.

anigramit black

anigramit gray

The most important component of the game is the tiles. Each tile is double sided, allowing play to occur using text, images, or a combination of both. When looking at the tiles, it is evident that a lot of time and care went into the selection of high quality, meaningful photographs. Each tile has a unique animal featured, showcasing a relevant trait of that animal. I was highly impressed with the images which make this such a visually stunning game. The text side of the tiles is color coded to represent different parts of the animals: how they move, how they interact with the world (see, hear, find), how they eat, how they look, and their skeletal structure (spine or spineless). Because every tile contains a meaningful photo of the part being used, even very young children or those with limited literacy skills (cognitive disabilities or English language learners) will be able to play.

anigramit tiles

The final component of the board game is the score sheet. This can be used for both competitive or cooperative play. Each tile has a value (default of 1 point if playing on the black side of the board or specified values when playing on the gray side). Points are accrued for each animal played. When playing competitively, each player could keep his/her own score sheet. When playing cooperatively, everyone could play on one sheet and try to reach a team high score. There is also an option to play with bonus points, which also has a field on the score sheet.

anigramit score sheet

As you can see, this game is beautiful and high quality, so I’m sure now you’re wondering, “How do you play?” I think the best comparison of this game is Scrabble. However, the major difference is what you build with your tiles. In Scrabble, words can be constructed and the meaning can change based on adding new letters. In Ani-gram-it, animals are constructed and the animal can change based on adding new features.

anigramit game play

Each player starts with 7 tiles which will be used to describe an animal. Let’s take the first one we played in our game as an example. Player 1 used these cards: limbs, limbs, tail, eyes, and whiskers. (We played that each “limbs” card counted as a pair (2) limbs). Player 1 indicated that he had created a cat. He got one point for each card and then a bonus point because one of the “limbs” cards actually pictured a cat’s legs. Player 2 then used the “eye” from the cat to make an animal going across. She played limbs, tail, thumbs, (eyes), and ears, stating that she had built a monkey. The third round became interesting when Player 1 added features on to the original cat and turned it into a bear by adding ears, teeth, and hair. However, the whiskers caused some discussion, which is what is great about this game! If you don’t know if a certain animal has a certain feature, you get to learn through discussion or looking up the information! If no one playing the game knows whether bears have whiskers, you can look it up! When children look up information based on their own questions and inquiry, they will have more ownership of the learning and will be more likely to remember it!

Using the same set of tiles, we flipped over all of the pieces to demonstrate what the game would look like if you were playing with the text only side. It was interesting seeing how this impacted game play. When playing with photos, we found that we were more inclined to try to build an animal that was pictured, while playing with text, we were more inclined to try to use cards from every category to build an animal. Challenge yourself by playing both ways, or even try a combination of both!

anigramit text

Now, what is the difference between the board game and the travel game? My favorite part of the travel game is the increased size of the cards. They will be less likely to get lost and the images are a little easier to see. The game can be played exactly the same way, just without the board.

anigramit size compare

Compare the size of the Board Game pieces on the left to the To Go pieces on the right.

However, you can also come up with your own variations with these cards. You could build an animal and have everyone think of a different animal that matches those features. You could play “What animal is this?” by putting down one card at a time until the other player has guessed your animal. You could play a matching game with pictures and text. How you play is really limited to the imagination of the players! If you grow tired of standard play, mix it up by setting parameters: all animals must be from the rainforest, animals must have spots or stripes, animals have to be from Disney movies, or any other rules you desire!

anigramit to go

What I love about this game is that it is both educational and entertaining all rolled into one beautiful artistic package. Whether you like the more structured setting of playing with a board and score sheet or the freedom to be more flexible with the To Go set, Ani-gram-it is sure to be a hit with inquisitive and eager-to-learn children of all ages. To get your Ani-gram-it game, head on over to Na2ure’s Website.

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