Using Jenga in Play Therapy

Using Jenga in Play Therapy

for rapport-building

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 below 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.)


To Play:

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!

Here’s an affiliate link above if you don’t already own this awesome game! 

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!

This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. Rachel

    Jenga is such a classic. Love it! Thanks for sharing lists too! ?

    1. Laura

      Rachel, you’re so welcome!

  2. Lynn Louise Wonders

    I use Jenga all the time in my play room! So good for so many reasons! Great article!

    1. Laura

      Thanks, Lynn!

  3. Rachel

    I liked the idea, but I couldn’t download the lists. It said to enter your email but there was no box for me to do so. Did anyone else have this issue?

    1. Laura

      Hi Rachel, I will go ahead and add you to the list to receive your downloadable content!

      1. Diana

        I had a box for the email but it had a red cross underneath it, even though it was my email address. I would love if I could have a copy of the lists.

    2. Jill E Catlin

      I had the same problem!!

      1. Laura

        Jill, thank you for bringing this to my attention. I have manually entered your email into the list. Please let me know if you have any more problems!

  4. Rose LaPiere

    love it, I am on the hunt for dollar store mini jenga

    1. Laura

      That is awesome!

  5. Kim Martinez

    I love this and have always used it for my first session with my clients.

    1. Laura

      Same here! Thank you, Kim!

  6. Qiana

    Hi I tried to enter my email to download the list but there is not a box to do so.

    1. Laura

      Hi Qiana, that’s strange! I went ahead and sent them to you. Please let me know if it’s still giving you any trouble.

  7. Richelle

    Hello! I love this idea 🙂
    I have signed up for the three free lists but have not received them yet..

  8. Alison Doyle

    Hello, I signed up for the Jenga Lists but have not yet received them. Is it possible to re-send them to me?
    Many thanks and kind regards,
    Alison Doyle

  9. Stephanie Yavion

    I am trying to sign up for the lists but it won’t accept my details

  10. Kaitlin

    How do I download the list? It gives me a red X?

  11. Vonchell Lewis

    I’ve used jenga before and it was a good way to break the ice with new younger clients. Such a great tool. I tried signing up for the download however there is a red X and it did not send to my email address.

Comments are closed.