Jenga Game

by Kathryn

This classic Jenga game is fun for all ages and works really well as an easy to use reward system for speech drills.

Number of Players: 2+

Ages: 6+

Target: Improves turn taking and is useful as a motivator when working on articulation or speech sounds.

There are not many non-Jenga game players out there but just in case you have not yet discovered this little box of fun, this is how it goes...

You use the stacking guide included in the box to stack the wooden blocks into a tower. You place three blocks on each level and criss cross the layers to give the tower added stability.

Then you take turns to take a block from somewhere on the tower and place it on the top, building higer and higher.

But guess what? With gaps appearing lower down in the tower it is not long before the structure just can't stand up anmore and it all comes crashing down. The aim of the game is to make sure you are not the player that causes the crash!

Younger children will need some help initially with strategy or you will spend all day building the tower back up again after they pull out the first couple of blocks from the same place but once they get the hang of it there are hours of fun to be had.

The latest version of the Jenga Game comes with a larger tub to scoop all the pieces in. That way you can be lazy and not have to reassemble the tower each time you pack away. I really need to get that version as the original that came in a plastic tube is hard to fit pieces into when you are in a hurry!

The game pieces are very hardwearing and stand up to being chewed, stepped on, dropped and thrown (although I don't recommend any of these if you can help it!). Also try not to lose any of the pices as although the game will still work, there is a reason they selected that exact number of pices for maximum game play value.

The original jenga is made from unpainted hardwood blocks but there are many imitations by other brands and many special edition versions. I have even seen versions where the blocks are color coded and branded according to your favorite sports team. These boxed sets make a great gift. Shop around as the price varies hugely. One of the best value versions I have seen is here with free delivery.

Using the Jenga Game in Speech Therapy

This game is a must have if you are looking for simple motivators for speech and articulation work. When I have kids work on speech drills I want to liven it up for them without distracting them from the task at hand and the Jenga game does just that.

I always like to use regular games whenever possible in my Speech Therapy Practice. I think it helps kids to feel less singled out, it's cheaper because you probably already have the game and when it is one of the most popular kids games on the market, you know it has to be fun to play!

Have your kids take a turn of the game whenever they successfully complete a speech exercise. Keep the exercises short (such as one repetition of a word) so they get plenty of turns but keep the pace quick so you get through the number of repetitions you need to achieve in a session of home practice.

Now you know all there is to know about the game – you are ready to play. Have fun!
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Top Talking Tips...

Sing Nursery Rhymes and Action Songs

Traditional songs and rhymes have hand actions that let your child join in and take a turn, even before they can sing the words.

This helps to work on listening, attention, imitation and turntaking, all important skills for Speech and Language development!