As you may recall, Eric and I really enjoyed playing "Giant Jenga" while we were in Denver a couple of weeks ago. I'm a big fan of regular Jenga, and it turns out the larger you make it, the more fun it is. I don't know of any bars in Milwaukee that have Giant Jenga, and I certainly wouldn't wait around to discover a place that has it, so Eric and I decided to make our own Giant Jenga to play in the backyard. It's so incredibly easy I don't know why we didn't think of doing this before!
What you'll need:
Eight 2x4s, measuring 8ft long
A saw (we used a circular, but a miter would be even better)
We bought eight untreated 2x4x8 boards from Home Depot in order to have enough wood for 19 rows.
Then, Eric took the boards and measured and marked off every 10.5" to cut.
Our neighbor, Andy, was kind enough to let us borrow his circular saw to cut our boards. So Eric got to work on that after measuring and marking.
Then, after all 57 boards were cut (19 rows of three 10.5" long boards), we sanded them down to smooth things out, then wiped each board down with a wet towel to clear away any sawdust and residue.
And that's it! Easiest project EVER. We finished (or, Eric did...) it in one short night after work.
And the total cost? About $16 just to buy the lumber.
I'd suggest, as you're playing, to keep a permanent market nearby so you can write down quotes, funny expressions or inside jokes on each of the boards. Whenever we've played Jenga at a bar, one of my favorite things is reading all the random (usually suggestive) things people have written all over the boards. When we played on Saturday, I (sadly) was the first-ever loser in our backyard giant Jenga. So Eric wrote "Rachel is the first loser: 6/16/2012." So now everyone will know how much of a loser I am in the years to come. How delightful.
If you're playing outside, find a sturdy table to take outdoors (one you wouldn't care if it got a little dinged up). We brought out on old coffee table that we keep in our basement. We also provided an old Brewers hard hat for head protection in case the boards topple over on you if you're bent over, pulling a board from the bottom row. That hard hat got used quite a few times on Saturday!
This game is perfect for just passing time on a beautiful day outside. It's cheap, fun, and everyone already knows how to play! Bonus points for the ability to hold a drink while maneuvering the boards.