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  • DIY Games and Charades

    JENGA Tower – Creative Gift Ideas for 5 Occasions and 3 Game Variations

    As a child, I loved playing with the Jenga tower when I visited other kids. Yet when I grew older and received it as a gift, I soon realised that the game was far too easy for a sober adult. I was just about to pass it on to someone younger when I heard about a brand new use of the Jenga tower. That’s how I came up with 5 ideas for Jenga tower personalisation and 3 game variations.

    1. Jenga tower as a whip-round gift


    Imagine a durable wedding guest book. One without fingerprints on the margins or pages torn by curious children; a book that will be viewed much more often than on every anniversary. Can you already guess what I’m driving at?

    At a certain wedding in the North of Poland, the newlyweds scattered Jenga blocks on a table and asked their guests to write their wishes on them. The relatives and friends didn’t need to fill an entire blank page, and the newlyweds acquired a lasting keepsake. I can imagine them now not only playing Jenga, but also constructing fancy towers, while saying: ‘Put grandpa on the top!’ or ‘Support the right side with Auntie Marge’. They could also read the wishes and guess who wrote them.

    In this particular case, it was the recipients who came up with this creative idea, but I believe a Jenga tower may also be used as a whip-round gift from a greater number of guests. It may be a perfect gift for a round birthday (as well as the 54th birthday since that’s the number of blocks in the box). On the one side you may write your name and surname, and on the opposite side, your wishes. If you fail to collect wishes from 54 guests, don’t despair. You may always decide to give a bonus point for pulling out a block with a writing on it [see: 3 game variations below].

    2. Jenga tower with body parts


    A Jenga tower with body parts inscribed on it is a perfect gift idea for a wedding or an anniversary. In the romantic variation, after you pull out a block, you should kiss the other player on the indicated body part. When children join the game, the Jenga tower becomes an educational toy, with points awarded only after touching the relevant body part. You may also try to build the whole body from them. If you think you won’t be able to think of 54 parts, look in the anatomical atlas and get carried away!


    3. Jenga tower with tasks


    This is another splendid idea for couples to be given by a third person or one of the spouses. The tasks may be serious or humorous, e.g. ‘Do the dinner’, ‘Do the dishes’, ‘Hop on one leg 15 times’. Think of some pleasant things, too, eg. ‘Receive a kiss on the nose’. All of the instructions should be short and have imperative form. Also here some of the blocks may be left blank.


    4. Jenga tower for a hen party


    This is a variation of a ‘truth or dare’ game with questions or instructions written on the blocks. The participants should pull out the blocks from the Jenga tower one by one, read the words and follow the instructions or try to answer the question. Points may be awarded only for correct answers or for every attempt. Here are some examples of what you may write:



    Compose a rhyme about Her, Compose a song about Her, Dance a wedding dance, Provide 10 synonyms of ‘husband’, Provide 10 synonyms of ‘wife’, Play the Wedding March, Whistle the Wedding March, Tell a marriage-related joke, Provide a recipe for a dish for a husband



    Where did they meet?, Date of engagement?, Place of engagement?, Honeymoon?, How many kids are planned?, Who was the first to say ‘I love you’?, Her first boyfriend?, Her/His favourite poem?, Her/His favourite song?, Her/His favourite actor?, Her/His favourite music band?, Her/His favourite movie?, Her/His favourite book?, Her/His favourite school subject?, Her/His favourite sport?, Her/His shoe number?, Her/Their biggest dream?


    You may decide that the instructions should be followed by all participants, and when a question is pulled out, the bride tells about the groom, and the remaining girls about the bride.


    It is advisable to differentiate the blocks by using two different colours. This way the newlyweds will later be able to play Jenga using the A game variation [see: 3 game variations below].


    5. Jenga tower for birthday


    Jenga tower may also be personalised just like tea bags or Merci bars. Depending on the age or interest of the recipient, they may include:

    – best wishes,

    – wise quotes,

    – poetry lines,

    – song lyrics (of multiple songs or a single one that may be put in order),

    – names of football players (of one team or up to 5 different ones),

    – funny riddles and puzzles (with a question on one side, and the answer on the opposite side).


    I believe that after reading this post you will come up with many more ways to personalise a Jenga tower. Please, share your ideas in the comments below!


    Now, I am going to present 3 game variations to be used with a personalised Jenga tower:


    Jenga tower – 3 game variations


    A – A Jenga tower with words in 2 colours

    In this variation for 2 players or 2 teams, points are awarded only for pulling out a block in the team’s colour. If all of the blocks have writing on them, the team’s turn ends when it pulls out the opponent’s colour. If some blocks are blank, only 1 block per turn is pulled out. Blocks in the team’s colour provide 1 point, blank blocks – 0 points, and blocks in the opponent’s colour give 1 point to the opposite team. If younger children are involved, I suggest to award them points regardless of the colour.


    B – A Jenga tower with partially personalised blocks

    The rules are similar to variation A: points are awarded only for a block with writing on it. The difference is that no colour division is applied, and hence there are no teams, and any number of players is allowed.


    C – A Jenga tower with writing on both sides of the blocks

    In this variation points are awarded when the player guesses correctly what is written on the opposite side of the block. If it is a riddle, you have to guess the answer; if the blocks contain wishes or quotes, you have to guess their author. Such blocks may serve to play not only classic Jenga but also other types of riddles and puzzles.


    Feel free to come up with your own rules, and don’t forget to share your ideas in the comments below!


    My advice:

    Original Jenga with 54 pieces is available e.g. on Amazon, where you may also find a cheaper tower with only 48 blocks.

    – You may also find ready truth or dare/ party / sexy Jenga towers. Most of them, however, are intended for players aged 18+, which means that not everyone will find them enjoyable. If you would rather rely on your own taste and sense of humour than that of the Jenga tower’s producer, you should personalise your blocks on your own.

    * The links to the Jenga towers are so-called affiliate links. If you click on one of them and purchase the game, I will receive a commission. Your price will remain the same, and I will be happy to know that you liked my recommendation. If you also think that a future bride, the newlyweds or the birthday child will enjoy a personalised Jenga tower, I would be grateful if you used these links.

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