Jenga towers

Jenga is all about building your child's logical reasoning skills as a budding mathematician and engineer. When playing this game, their brain is constantly having to work out how new objects are built and how the structure changes when game pieces are added or removed. 

A bit of trivia: the tallest reported Jenga stack was 40 rows high, but most games don't make it past 30. Can yours?

30 minutes

7-8

04 March 2021

Things you need

  • Jenga set
 
 
 

The challenge

Get your child to challenge their friends or the family to a game of Jenga and put their ability to work out how 3D objects come together to the test. 

To play (well), you’ll need to understand how the integrity of a structure changes when you add and remove blocks and how you can use maths to trap your opponent into collapsing the tower.

 
 
 

The conversation

During the game, ask your child these questions to support their understanding:
  • "Which piece are you thinking of removing? Why?"
  • "If I take out this piece, what do you think will happen?"
  • "Is there a better piece I could take out and can you describe where it is to me?"
  • "When we played, were there certain moves that made the tower more wobbly or more stable? Why?"
 
 
 

The career

Structural engineers solve problems like these everyday, so if your child has a knack for Jenga, they might be a future bridge or tower builder.

Alternatively, visual merchandisers, stylists and even chefs work to the same principle. If you've ever seen a beautifully constructed shop window or impressively stacked dessert, similar mathematical skills would have been used in their construction.

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