Jenga with a Twist

Two children playing jenga at Bright Horizons day care

This activity promotes development and learning by encouraging children to express, understand, and regulate emotions, and demonstrate an understanding of cause-and-effect.

Materials Needed:

  • Jenga game or small wood pieces that can be used to build
  • Painter’s tape or masking tape
  • Markers
  • List of questions or emotions

Participants: This activity is intended for adult/child interaction, and 2 or more participants/players.


  1. Place a piece of tape on one side of each of the Jenga or wooden pieces.
  2. Write a question or emotion on each piece of tape.
  3. Stack the Jenga pieces.
  4. Take turns taking a Jenga piece out of the structure; reading the word or activity on the piece that is pulled. Alternately: start by giving each player an equal amount of Jenga pieces, have them answer the question then place their piece down to build or create a structure together.
  5. Each player shares a time when they felt that emotion or completes the activity on the piece pulled. Suggested questions:
    1. What is something really good that happened today?
    2. Give another player a compliment.
    3. What is something that makes you frustrated?
    4. Show us what you do when you feel scared?
    5. Who can you talk to when you feel sad or lonely?
    6. Practice what to do when you feel anxious.
Bright Horizons
About the Author
Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
Two children playing jenga at Bright Horizons day care