Using Jenga in Play Therapy
Why use Jenga?
Jenga is a popular rapport-building game in Play Therapy. Jenga can be used with ages 6 and up. In therapy, Jenga can be great for clients that don’t feel comfortable talking or are maybe anxious about coming to therapy.
Continue reading to find out how to sign up and receive THREE free lists of questions provided to you to start using Jenga in therapy sessions today!
What you need:
- Jenga Blocks
- Sharpies (assorted colors optional)
- Paper and Pen for lists
Using the sharpies, number your Jenga blocks (on each end) from 1-45. There are 54 Jenga pieces, so there will be 9 blank blocks.
To use Jenga by emotion, color the blocks in 5 sets of 9 to represent 5 different emotions in total (unless you don’t want to use blanks- then you’d have 6 emotions).
Example: 9 blocks are red to symbolize anger, 9 blocks are blue to symbolize sad, etc. This could be a fun alternative to answering questions, and could provide more open-ended opportunities (ex: “You pulled a red block, tell me about a time you were angry” or “tell me about something that makes you angry,” etc.)
Take turns choosing one block at a time and answering the corresponding questions. After the question is answered, place the block on top of the tower. Continue until the tower falls.
Using blank blocks
Blank blocks allow the child the ability to come up with his or her own question to ask the therapist. Take note of what the child is asking, or if the child has a hard time coming up with a question. Say to the child, she/he can ask anything they want to! Examples could be, “What’s your favorite food?” “What’s the last song you heard?” “Where do you like to go on vacation?” etc.!
Numbering the blocks
Numbering the Jenga blocks allows the therapist the ability to use new lists of questions depending on the situation. Lists can be created by subject, age group, and stages in therapy. For example, a Termination List might include questions like, “Fill in the blank: One thing I learned from therapy is ___”.
Color-coding the blocks (optional)
By numbering the blocks in sets of colors, the therapist (or child) can assign each color an emotion and state a time he/she felt the emotion of the color block chosen. It’s also a way to provide a new response if the question on the list has already been answered.
Get Your Free Lists!
For lists to get you started, please fill out your information here and I will send you the THREE free lists I use most often in therapy! Lists include: Basic Rapport Building, Self-esteem, and Teens!
Have you created your own yet?
If you’ve created your own Jenga lists and would like to share them to help other therapists, please comment below or send me an email at [email protected] I’d love to hear from you!