A fun stacking game that can be played by anyone of any age and requires a minimum amount of skill.
Jenga is a tumble tower game that involves removing wooden blocks one by one from a tower construction and placing them on top of the tower. The aim is to keep the tower in place without it falling down. It’s a simple but clever little game.
Jenga consists of 54 rectangular wooden blocks which are stacked into a sturdy tall tower. The game can be played by any amount of people, including on your own.
As the blocks are removed from the solid tower and placed on top, the tower naturally becomes more and more unstable.
If the tower collapses during your turn, you lose!
The game is set up by building a tower 18 storeys high, each storey made up of 3 wooden blocks. Alternate storeys have their blocks sideways to the ones above and below them.
Most games have a loading tray included making the tower easy and quick to construct.
Play starts with the first player removing only one block from the tower (it can be from anywhere, as long as it’s not from the top).
You can only use one hand to remove a block. Either push, wiggle or pull a block carefully out of the tower and once it’s safely in your hand, place it on the top any way you wish (do it carefully!).
Play continues with each player taking turns to remove a block and place it on top. The game is over when the tower falls down – and whoever’s go it was when it collapsed loses the game.
Watch our video and you’ll be up-and-running in less than five minutes.
Jenga is great practice for eye-hand coordination, balance, patience and logical thinking
Prices range between £10 - £20 for the standard game. There are cheaper options, but be sure to read the reviews first. I found one for less than £4 but it gave wrong sizes (it’s a miniature version) and the reviews are certainly not glowing!
Jenga was invented by Leslie Scott, a British game designer. It was launched at the London Toy Fair in 1983.
The name jenga comes from kujenga which is a Swahili word that means ‘to build’.
The V&A Museum of Childhood has exhibited one of the original Jengas since 1982.
It is estimated that over 80 million Jenga games have been sold worldwide – that’s a lot of wooden blocks!
Other stacking games are available, although they don’t use the name Jenga. They are typically called tumbling towers or wooden block tower game. If you want the real deal, make sure you purchase from Hasbro, who market Jenga.
There are also lots of versions of the wooden stacking game. Brightly-coloured ones with cute animals on the edges – ideal for younger children. There is also a number tumble tower with dice. We have reviewed both these items below.
In addition, you can get giant Jenga for outdoor use – just watch out the tower doesn’t fall on top of you!
This is the most usual size for the game – dimensions are 4.4 x 15.9 x 20.3 cm.
Comes with 56 wooden blocks – a spare two if you happen the lose them under the sofa!
Classic Jenga from its marketer, Hasbro, ensuring good quality.
Many manufacturers make almost identical, well-constructed games.
The one we bought and demonstrated in the video was manufactured by Hasbro.
A colourful, animal-themed version, ideally suited for young children.
Comes with dice and cards for two variations of the classic game.
Roll the dice and whatever animal it lands on, you have to remove a block of the same animal.
Likewise, pick an animal card and remove a block with the same animal.
Takes away the thought process of which block to choose, but is a great introduction to the game for younger minds.
A numbered version. Each block has a different number on its end.
Comes with 51 blocks and 4 dice.
Numbers help children learn recognition and sequencing.
Cotton bag to store the wooden blocks when not in use.
Made to a high quality finish, which is what you’d expect from Jaques’ products.
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