I had no idea how much fun Jenga could be with simple adaptations! This is a big game with counselors and therapists working with children, not only because it’s fun but also because it is really flexible. Many of the counselors I work with have written questions on Jenga blocks that clients answer as they work through the game. If you haven’t seen these types of questions before, you should go check out my list of Dynamic Jenga Questions!
I loved this idea and wanted to expand it so that it worked within a music therapy setting as well, so I created color-coded cards that go along with my Jenga set. I do have a multi-colored Jenga set, which I bought for the purpose of using various color-coded cards to support goals. There are two sets in this download, a classic set and a music set. After they are laminated, you can interchange them to support your clients needs as you see fit! Here is a quick preview:
POPULATION: Children, tweens and teens!
GOAL: Building rapport, facilitating emotional processing/discussions, improving attention span, following directives, etc.
- Set up the Jenga Set.
- Take turns with client(s). After each block is pulled, the player must answer/play the question from the prompt card.
- Use opportunities to engage in further discussions and/or create original song work with client. Can also use musical cards to engage in shared instrument playing as well depending on client needs.
- Whoever knocks over the tower loses!
KEY ELEMENT: The key element in this intervention is the type of prompts that are given within the cards. A lot of material can happen during the game-playing process, but musically the clients can use the prompts as a jumping off point for songwriting, improvisation, or instrument playing.
- Make this more difficult/challenging by putting a single sticker on one of the pieces. Let the clients know that there is one “special” block and whoever gets that block gets something of the therapists choice! For example, the special block may mean that person gets to choose the next activity, play whatever instrument they want, or have a dance party to their favorite song.
- Make this easier by only using ten cards that are geared towards your clients specific needs and work on those several times before moving on to more challenging material.
Shoot me an email or leave a comment below– I’d love to hear how you used these in your session!
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