Customize Jenga for Camp (or Family) Ice Breakers and Evaluation
Jenga as a Fun Learning Tool
Imagine you are a young person spending your first night at camp away from home. You and your camp team are trying to get to know one another. You've played some other icebreakers, but now it's time to wind down a bit. Jenga to the rescue!!
Or... you're a camp (or other program) leader and you want to get some feedback about how the event went. You could just ask them questions... boooo-ring! Or you could bust out your handy-dandy Jenga game with evaluation questions built right in!!
And it's perfect for family quality time to get talking right in your own home, on vacation, or in between sporting events!
On this page, I'll share lots of ideas for how to turn a plain old Jenga game (I found mine at a thrift store) into a great educational tool for camp, other programs, and your family. Pictures, lists, links, and more are yours to use. Just scroll down...
All photos on this page are my own.
Jenga - More Than Just a Bunch of Wooden Blocks
Jenga - a game of wooden blocks, strategy, and a steady hand - can be hours of fun on its own. It's definitely worth owning as an at home or travel game. If you add questions and healthy debate to the mix, it's a game with limitless possibilities. If you like my ideas for using Jenga in a variety of ways, click here to get your own game and start playing!
Icebreaker & Getting to Know You Questions
Quiet Down or Rainy Day Activity
It's so important in the first few hours of a program, especially a camp, to have every young person feeling included as part of the group. It sets the tone for your time together. The first night of camp is equally important in building bonds that can last through camp and beyond.
Icebreakers and get to know you games and activities play a key role in this. They get children talking, laughing, and learning about one another. They find things they have in common and start to feel more and more like part of the group.
Likewise, if it's a rainy day and they're trapped inside... or if you need to wind down a wild bunch with something relaxing and fun... or if you have a quiet bunch that needs to be engaged in ways other than physical activity... For these and other reasons, adapted Jenga is a great tool.
Tips for Using Jenga
* Do not use Jenga as one of your first icebreakers as these should be more active and exciting. It is ideal as a game for rainy days and quiet down activities, like at bedtime.
* Always give children the option to pass on a question or offer a piece of information about themselves other than what the question asked.
* In small groups, you may consider having every child answer a question that's chosen, or in large groups, only the child who chose it answers the question.
Get to Know You Questions for Your Jenga Blocks
- 50 Questions to Get to Know Someone
This list includes favorites, "if" questions, personal and personal history questions, plus a few more. It's a great starter list for your Jenga game.
- Get to Know U
Get to Know U has more than 500 possible questions. A lot of them are geared toward adults, so you may have to pick and choose for your Jenga game if you're planning (like me) to use it with children.
- Get to Know You Questions for Kids
This page is designed to help parents dig deeper to get to know their own children. There are some real gems in this list for Jenga as icebreaker game.
- Getting to Know You Questions for Kids
How do Speech Pathologists get to know the kids they work with? They ask questions of course. And I like these questions for my Jenga game.
Camp Talk Carabiner
I own this tool for camp and I've given it to my camp counselors to use. They like it because they don't have to think up questions - they're right there! And they don't have to ask all the questions. It's easy to pass to the campers so they can ask questions too.
I've even drawn some of my Jenga questions from this tool. A compact pack of questions that fit neatly on a carabiner with a built-in flashlight, this is a great tool for camp, long trips with the family, dinner table conversations and more.
I love that it's on the carabiner so the questions can be taken on the go and pulled out during any break in the action.
Do you like the idea of putting icebreaker questions on a Jenga block?
Do you like the idea of putting icebreaker questions on a Jenga block?
Choose Questions Wisely Being Sensitive to Such Things As:
* Differing family structures
* Physical ability
* Cultural differences
* Family income levels
* Gender and sexual identity
Specialized Jenga Games from Amazon - Including Truth or Dare Jenga
If you don't want to customize your own Jenga game, check out these fun specialized spins on the original Jenga concept!
Get Feedback with Questions Written on Jenga Blocks
54 Camp Evaluation Questions & Prompts
Okay, there are really only 27, and I repeat each question twice on the blocks. If you have a large enough group playing, the questions can get repeated, and the answers are likely to be different.
Notice that a few of the questions refer directly to camp, while most of them are phrased more generally so I can use this as an evaluation tool at a variety of programs. Depending on the program, I may just pick and choose which question blocks I use to build a shorter, more selective evaluation tower.
- What is one thing you learned here?
- What was your favorite thing about camp?
- Name one new friend you made here.
- What was your least favorite thing about camp?
- What is one thing the program leaders can do to make this better next year?
- What is one thing you can do to make camp better next year?
- Do you want to come again next year? Why or why not?
- What is one new thing you learned about someone else while you were here?
- Name one new thing you tried.
- What is one thing you are better at now than you were before you came?
- What was your favorite activity?
- What was your favorite food?
- Name one way you helped someone else.
- Name one way someone else helped you.
- What is one thing you are proud of yourself for?
- If you had one more day at camp, what would you do or do differently?
- Did you have fun here? Why or why not?
- What was your favorite game?
- What was your favorite campfire activity?
- If you could change one thing, what would it be?
- What do you wish you had brought that you did not have with you?
- What did you bring that you could have left at home?
- What did you bring that you could not have lived without?
- What was your favorite time of day? Why?
- What did you miss most from home while you were here?
- What was your least favorite food?
- What is something you wish you had learned here?
Icebreakers on One Side, Evaluation on the Other
I have tried and tried to get a volunteer to make me a life-size Jenga game for summer camp. Who knew that Flaghouse had already made one? Now if only my program could afford it...
This version of the traditional game is so great! I think every camp should get one.
Link Party Connections
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