You can buy so many different versions of Jenga and other tumbling tower games, but to get what I wanted I made my own! Jenga Emotions is a game that we play in our house to explore feelings, also helping us to learn the Zones of Regulation.
You Will Need
- A tumbling tower or Jenga set
- coloured paper, scissors, ruler, craft knife/scalpel, pen, sanding block
- a list of the emotions that you would like included in your game
- tape or wood glue
- Divide your set into 4 equal groups. Most sets have 48 pieces, which makes 12 blocks per colour.
- Cut the coloured paper to fit your blocks. I found 6cm x 1cm works well to start.
- Write the feelings on the appropriate colour according to their zone.
- Trim the paper pieces to size.
- Either glue or tape the labels onto the blocks. If using tape, it will need to be trimmed precisely along the edges to allow for normal game play. I used a scalpel and a sanding block to ensure neat edges.
- Set up the game pieces in the normal array of 3 blocks per row, alternating direction in layers. Play!
A Few Notes
- For a neater finish, print the words onto the paper instead of writing.
- Some kids will prefer as many labels as possible to be showing during game play. This allows them to choose according to feeling instead of the normal strategy.
- We had less emotions than pieces for each colour, so I included the headings for each zone that we are discussing: STOP (red), CAUTION (yellow), RUNNING SLOW (blue) and GOOD TO GO (green).
You can play by:
- Simply reading the word and identifying the zone
- Acting out emotions/using facial expressions to demonstrate
- Giving definitions for the feelings
- giving a strategy to deal with that emotion (and move towards the green zone)
- discuss where in your body you feel that emotion, and describe what it feels like
- nominate another player to act out the emotion
All of these can move kids from naming emotions to recognising them to learning to regulate them and move towards the green zone. Have fun with it!
For a look at how we use this game in our house, be sure to check out this post.