This nifty afternoon project provides outdoor fun all summer long—easy to play with roommates, kids or friends. The chalkboard paint offers the opportunity to write your own challenges for each game.

To Play: Official Jenga rules apply. However, we recommend splitting players into two teams; it keeps everyone invested in each person’s turn.

Remember to help Holland in the Georgetown University Energy Prize Competition by turning off your air and lights while you relax outdoors.



  • 54 pieces of 2×4 wood, cut to 10.5”

  • Sanding block (s)

  • 1 quart of chalkboard paint

  • Foam paintbrush(es)

  • Craft paper or an old drop cloth

  • Chalk paint pens or markers

Tip: Consider buying a wire or wicker basket to keep your jenga set in the car and pull it out with friends throughout the summer.


Step 1. Measure and cut your pieces of wood.

Tip: If you don’t want to cut your wood, DeLeeuw Lumber off of Lakewood can cut your purchase to your precise specifications.


Step 2. Save any remaining pieces of wood in case a block is extra rough and not usable.


Step 3. Sand each side of the wood, paying particular attention to corners and edges. Well-smoothed wood keeps the game from sticking and ensures you have a smooth surface for writing on the blocks with your chalkboard markers.

Tip: This step goes fast with an outdoor playlist and a couple friends.


Step 4. Wipe the end of your wood with a damp cloth so paint goes on smooth.


Step 5. Paint one end side of every jenga piece with chalkboard paint. For a smooth and easily erasable surface, apply 3-4 coats of paint. Leave wood out to dry.


Step 6. Write your challenges. You can write a challenge on every piece or scatter them throughout the game. Any time a player draws a challenge, they must complete that task in order to continue in the game. Erase and write new challenges to play different rounds with kids or adults. You can add energy saving challenges with your family or silly tasks like the ones below:

  • Truth or Dare

  • Do the Chicken Dance

  • Play next turn with your left hand

  • Play next turn on one leg

  • Skip next turn

  • Go again

  • Lip Sync Britney Spears

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