Hi, I’m Amy and I love to build things and share plans at Hertoolbelt! My kids love to play the traditional Jenga. I thought it would be fun to make a giant sized version for the yard with a ‘throw ‘n go’ option (I’m calling it Roll ‘n Go). The roll ‘n go version puts a fun twist on the game, and I kept it simple for my young kids. Each side of the dice (die) is a different color and there is a corresponding set of blocks in each color. They will roll and whatever color it lands on, they have to move a block of that color. You can totally play the traditional way too.
The traditional Jenga pieces are 1.5 cm thick, 2.5 cm wide and 7.5 cm long, making the jumbo jenga pieces couldn’t be simpler using 2×3 boards. A ‘2×3’ board that you buy is actually 1.5 inches thick, 2.5 inches wide and we can cut them 7.5 inches long…perfect!
I also made a carrying crate that doubles as the Jumbo Jenga stand, it has enough room for the 54 jumbo jenga pieces and dice. This is totally optional to make.
How to Make a DIY Jumbo Jenga Yard Game
- 5 – 2″ x 3″ x 8′ boards (actually measure 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ x 8′)
- 1 – 1″ x 8″ x 10′ board – optional carrying crate (actually measure 3/4″ x 7 1/4″ x 10′)
- scrap piece of 4″ x 4″ post – optional dice (actually measure 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″)
- 26 – 1 1/4″ wood screws – optional for carrying crate
- wood glue – optional for carrying crate
- 2 – drawer handles – optional for carrying crate
- paint/stain – optional
- paint brush – optional
- 54 – 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ x 7 1/2″ jenga block pieces cut from the 2×3 boards
- Optional carrying crate
- 4 – 3/4″ x 7 1/4″ x 19 3/4″
- 2 – 3/4″ x 7 1/4″ x 13″
- Optional dice
- 1 – 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ from a 4×4 post
Making the Jumbo Jenga pieces
Cut the 2×3 boards into 7 1/2″ long pieces, you should be able to get 12 – 7 1/2″ pieces from each 2×3 board. I used a miter saw and set up a stop block on the left side so I didn’t have to measure every piece.
Cut 54 jumbo jenga pieces. (Sometimes those kids toys can be useful :-) ).
Sand each block smooth. I used a belt sander for this part to make it faster, a regular hand sander will work too.
Paint or stain the jumbo jenga blocks if desired.
I used latex paint (ultra pure white, the real teal, pimento, paradise sky and cherries jubile). One issue with latex is that it dries in a day, but doesn’t cure for a few weeks. So the blocks want to stick to each other. You can coat them with a clear coat or wait until the paint has fully cured. (If you leave them natural wood you won’t have this issue.)
I had my helpers paint 9 jumbo jenga blocks in each color. One set of 9 blocks I left natural wood.
Making the Carrying Crate
Cut the 4 pieces of 1×8 to be 19 3/4″ long. Use a countersink bit (or a regular drill bit about the size of the screw shank) and drill holes for the screws as shown in the sketch. The holes should be about 3/8″ away from the side and evenly spaced.
Add a bead of wood glue along one of the sides of a ‘long side’ board. Use 1 1/4″ minimum to secure a ‘top/bottom’ board to the ‘long side’ board as shown.
Add a bead of wood glue to 2 sides of the ‘short side’ boards and attach it to the ‘long side’ and ‘top/bottom’ boards with 1 1/4″ screws. Attach another ‘top/bottom’ board right by the other ‘top/bottom’ board and secure it to the ‘short side’ board with 1 1/4″ screws.
Attach the last ‘long side’ board with wood glue and 1 1/4″ screws to the ‘short side’ and ‘top/bottom’ boards. If you want to add handles, add one to each side. I painted my handles teal.
Remove any excess squeeze out glue. After the glue has dried, sand the carrying crate smooth, especially the top/bottom where the jumbo jenga will be stacked to play the game.
Making the Dice
Cut a piece of 4×4 to a cube, 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″. Paint each of the 6 sides a different color (one side will stay natural wood.) After the paint has dried, lightly sand the edges to distress as desired.
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