Backyard Jenga

As you have probably figured out from past posts, I like to recycle and repurpose household items. A few weeks back I made a lofted bed for our youngest daughter. I ended up with several leftover scraps of 2×4 lumber. I also had more pieces left from previous projects. Needless to say, I had a pile of 2x4s that were taking up space in my garage. My scrap wood shelf was full already, so there was no room for them.

As I stacked them in a pile in the corner of the garage I realized they would make a great game of outdoor Jenga. The traditional version of the game uses 54 pieces to create the tower. 18 rows of three pieces. I chose to make our game with a few less pieces. I used 42, or 14 rows high. I was afraid it would be too tall by the end of the game and our youngest daughter may get hurt by the falling tower.

cut length

Each of the pieces was cut to 10.5″ in length. This length made for a clean square tower when the rows alternated direction. To cut all the pieces I simply made a stop on my chop saw and ran the 2×4 project scraps up against it to get the correct length without measuring each piece. I did not have quite enough scraps to make all pieces. But I was close. I cut up 2 extra 2×4 studs I had in the wood pile to finish out our game set. A quick sanding of the cut edges to smooth out any sharp edges and the game was ready to try out.

Setup is a piece of cake. Even our youngest daughter can help stack the pieces.

kid stack

Playing the game is even more fun outside, and the larger pieces are easier for small kids to work with.

fun for all ages

The tower gets tall in a hurry.

game stack

But it eventually falls like the regular sized game.

fall down

Now we have one more yard game to add to our collection. Ladder golf, bean bag and ring toss, bocce ball. The list goes on and on. Now we can add Jenga to it.


What is your favorite yard game? Let us know in a comment or email!