The tower falls down. You stack it back up and start again. Yawn!
You can only play Jenga so many times before that curious little architect inside your mind gets the best of you. With little wooden pieces shaped just like bricks, there’s got to be a load of different structures you can build with these things!?
What to build with Jenga blocks? It’s time to graduate from the standard stacking tower onto bigger and better things — because I’m about to show you sixteen incredibly cool things to build with Jenga blocks.
Scrap the instructions and get ready for the best Jenga blocks tips and tricks to take your stacking game to the next level!
Just one thing before we get started. Remember to respect the Jenga! Whatever you do, don’t be that guy (in the video below):
(P.S. I saved the best for last!)
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1. Jenga Aztec Mayan Pyramid
Pyramids are one of the first things that come to mind when you brainstorm block-building ideas. Lucky for you, Jenga pieces are the perfect shape to construct a rather realistic-looking three-dimensional Mexican pyramid — just like the ancient Mayan or Aztec people.
2. Jenga Stairway To Heaven
“There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold. And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.” (Led Zeppelin reference.) A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon making a two-dimensional staircase upwards into the sky step by step — with two or three supports to get you up to paradise.
3. Jenga Leaning Tower of Lire
Wait, not Pisa? That’s right — Lire. Who would’ve known that games like Jenga would become a lesson in physics!? Also known as the “block-stacking problem”, the challenge here is to make a “cliff-hanger” with your wooden blocks — at the edge of the table without falling over.
4. Functional Jenga Necklace Rack
It’s time to get crafty! With a little bit of paint and glue, you can turn your dusty old Jenga set into a functional and decorative DIY jewelry rack to hang on your wall. Low cost and high class — what’s not to love!?
5. Jenga White House
What would all those blockheads on Capitol Hill do without a place to litigate and filibuster? That’s one way to procrastinate on your poli-sci paper — by constructing a white house out of one or two sets of Jenga, complete with central-dome and the east-west-wings.
6. Jenga Chimpanzee
With its long, lanky arms, here’s an easy-to-build Jenga monkey (or person) that kids and adults can both go bananas about. Or to level-up your primate playtime, check out my picks for the best wooden monkey toys.
7. Funky Food Jenga
Make your next trip to the supermarket into an open-ended construction project! You can take any long fruit or vegetable from the produce section — like pickles or bananas — and stack it up just like a Jenga tower. But remember, most grocery stores have a “you break it, you buy it” policy!
8. Contemporary Jenga Statues
A Lot like the stairway to heaven we looked at before — by connecting Jenga pieces into a series of L-shapes, you can build up satisfying abstract structures that look like something you’d find at the Guggenheim art museum.
9. Round Jenga Castle Tower
Hear ye, hear ye! Defend your kingdom from dragons by erecting a medieval tower made out of Jenga blocks. As an enclosed medieval chamber, the big question is what will you keep inside the castle!?
10. Jenga Flower Vase
Transform any old Jenga set into a tasteful DIY wooden flower vase! Just glue Jenga pieces into squares, and stack them up in whatever arrangement you find most visually pleasing — simply delightful decor to place on your window sill or office desk.
11. Jenga Box Jenga Tower
Go meta by stacking entire sets of Jenga — in-box just like you would the pieces inside the box. But if you’re not the manager at your local Target, make sure you check for security cameras first.
12. Jenga Japanese Torii Gate
As a mindfulness buff myself, this is one of my favorite Jenga stacking ideas on the list! Japanese torii towers are usually found at the gate of a shrine to mark a transition from the normal to the sacred. A true moment of peace and a mindful Jenga exercise — and a project with a spectacular result.
13. Spell Words With Jenga
Here’s a fun activity to put together a short message, or for your child to spell out his or her name. Choose a short word so that 54 pieces is enough! Younger kids can start with simple words like “OK” or “HI”.
14. Real-Life Jenga Skyscraper
The skyscraper at 56 Leanord Street in New York City looks so much like a toy Jenga tower that they call it “The Jenga Tower”. Okay, okay — to build one of these, you’ll need to go spend a few years at M.I.T. to get your Masters of Architecture. But it just goes to show how a good childhood toy can lead to monumental career achievement.
15. Famous Jenga Buildings
One day, a father and founder of an awesome alternative board games company set out to prove that the world’s most iconic buildings can and should be recreated using just one Jenga set. The result? Nineteen amazingly realistic Jenga buildings — like the Eiffel Tower, U.S. Pentagon, and Stonehenge. For a novice “Jenga-tect”, this is something to aspire for!
16. Break The Jenga World Record
How many Jenga blocks can you stack onto a single vertically-placed Jenga block before it falls over? That’s exactly the challenge Jenga’s most hardcore fans aim to beat year after year. Who’s in the lead? As of July 2020, Arizona native Tai Star Valianti holds the world record at a staggering 485 blocks. And you can watch him do it!
Over to you!
There you have it — the ultimate list of fun, unique, and crazy things you can build with Jenga!
If you didn’t notice, Reddit is a goldmine for out-of-the-box Jenga ideas. For endless inspiration, I highly recommend the subreddits /r/jenga/, /r/menga/ and /r/mildlyinteresting/ — or check out this guy /u/kelvin214/ — who’s on track to be next year’s new world Jenga champion!
Go forward, my friends — and stack blocks to your heart’s content. I’d love to hear about all your unusual Jenga creations. Let me know in the comments below, and please do send a picture!
Header Image Credit: Wallpaper376