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What better time to have a little fun than when the whole gang is there to enjoy it?
Entertaining is all about bringing people together — around the table, in the kitchen, even on a boat. With the holidays just weeks away, we’re heading into prime entertaining season. Between Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s, there are tons of opportunities to enjoy the company of friends and family.
While we know that any holiday celebration can easily turn into two separate events, with the adults table and the kids table, let’s remember to be a family and spend time together. With that in mind, there are a plethora of games and activities that family members of all ages can take part in. From making hand turkeys to writing thank you cards, everyone can participate.
So before you decide how you’re cooking the bird (personally, I’m deep-frying mine) or how many pies will be on offer, sit down and plan out a few games to play that will keep the whole family from falling asleep after eating too much.
Start a New Tradition with Thanksgiving Party Games for All Ages
Last week we shared some great Thanksgiving party games for kids to help keep little ones from being underfoot while you’re making the big meal. This week, we want to get the whole family involved with Thanksgiving party games for all ages! We hope you’re inspired to start a new tradition this year!
Thanksgiving is one of the most exciting times of the year for most families…the kids are excited about the coming Christmas season and the adults are reminiscing about the wonderful joys of family and friends. All of this happens over a scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner that is almost sure to put at least half of the group to sleep afterwards. You need to have some fun, Thanksgiving party games to get the party back up and running!
Here are some awesome party games that will keep the kids active and keep the men away from the after-dinner football and nap.
20 Thanksgiving Day Games for the Whole Family
It’s almost Thanksgiving — the classic American holiday that brings families together for sharing and eating (and more eating). But the day’s festivities don’t have to be all about food. Encourage your fellow family members to get their bodies and brains moving after the big feast with a couple of these fun games.
- Rip It Up. The game is to tear a sheet of construction paper into a turkey shape. The challenge is to do so while holding the piece of construction paper behind your back and with a time limit — a minute is usually a good amount. Before you start, choose someone to be the judge, and the winner is the person with the most recognizable shape.
- Blowing Leaves. Split your guests into teams for this relay race. Each team needs to blow a leaf from one point to another with a straw. Play until everyone has a turn. The first team to finish wins.
- Mini Pumpkin Hunt. For kids and adults, hide mini pumpkins throughout the house or yard. The goal of the game is to be the person who finds the most mini pumpkins. At the end, it may be a challenge just to carry them. You can use a timer to set a time limit or play a song and the game ends when the song is over.
- What’s Missing? On a tray, place 20 Thanksgiving-related items such as candy corn, miniature boats, pilgrims and turkeys. Have participants look at the tray carefully for 30 seconds then close their eyes. While their eyes are closed, remove one object. Have them reopen their eyes and ask what item is missing. It’s a version of the Concentration Game.
- Pumpkin Roll. This one gets everyone moving and could help burn off those extra calories from the big dinner. You need two large pumpkins and maybe a couple of spares if one breaks. Pumpkins are not smooth balls, so they do not roll in a straight line. They tend to roll all over the place, which means ample space is needed for this game. Racers line up and use their hands to move the pumpkin to the finish line. If you have many players, then make it a relay race.
- Feather Toss. Tape a weight to the end of a feather. For the weight, use a flat blunt nail to give stability to the feather. Mark the floor and place a basket a few feet away. Have participants take turns tossing the feathers into the basket. Keep score to determine the winning player.
- Turkey Tag. If the weather permits, try a Thanksgiving version of flag tag to shake off the sluggishness often felt after a Thanksgiving meal. Each player wears three clothespins on their clothing. Participants run around trying to remove clothespins from competitors. This is an activity that combines the need to get moving with a healthy dose of competition.
Easy potluck planning! SAMPLE
- Guess Who is Thankful. As guests arrive, have them each write down on a piece of paper what they are thankful for, then have them fold up the note and place in a basket. After everyone’s arrival, have one person read the notes out loud as others guess who wrote it.
- Toss and Tell. Participants sit in a circle. The first person starts by tossing a small turkey stuffed animal or a football to someone else and asks a question. For example, who do you think will win today’s football games or what are you thankful for today? This game is good for multi-generations to get interactive with each other.
- For Thanksgiving Dinner I Had. This fun memory game might have your guests all tongue-tied! The first person starts by saying For Thanksgiving dinner I had then adds something they actually ate, such as turkey. The second person has to repeat the first person’s sentence adding another food item at the end. The game continues around the circle. If a player makes a mistake, they are out. The person who can perfectly recite the Thanksgiving menu is the winner.
- Pumpkin Toss. Create a ring toss by lining up three large pumpkins. Mark a throwing line on the floor or ground with tape, then have players toss hula-hoops to ring a pumpkin. You could also use embroidery hoops to ring pumpkins stems. Give each player three tries before going to the next competitor. The prize for the winner could be that they don’t have to help with the dishes!
- Thanksgiving Trivia. Research fun facts about Thanksgiving, and quiz participants. Some samples: “Where was the first Thanksgiving dinner held?” “How many turkeys are sold annually for Thanksgiving?” “What is the average size of a family’s turkey?” Write facts on note cards. It’s likely the guessers will not know the exact answers for some questions, but award the points to the one person who comes closest to guessing correctly. Consider awarding prizes.
- Where is Mr. Turkey? Hide a turkey stuffed animal inside or outside depending on the weather. Give clues by gobbling like turkeys. If hunters are not close, then gobble very quietly. As the hunters get closer, then gobble louder until Mr. Turkey is found. If you have little ones, this makes for a fun scavenger hunt to get them in the Thanksgiving spirit.
Organize all of your fun activities with a sign up! SAMPLE
- Thanksgiving Twister. Turn this classic game into a Thanksgiving theme by replacing the colored dots with Thanksgiving symbols. Secure pictures completely with tape to prevent ripping. Twister is a great way to get your guests up and moving!
- Pin the Feather on the Turkey. It’s the Thanksgiving version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey. You need a blindfold and a cutout feather for each participant, a roll of tape and a large drawing of a turkey. Have each participant write their name on a feather, so everyone will know where their feather landed. Hang the turkey picture on a suitable surface, blindfold the first player, give a few spins, and let the fun begin!
- Thanksgiving Word Mash Up. This is a great game to get your family to put on their thinking caps. Give everyone a piece of paper with the words “Happy Thanksgiving” written on the top or write it on a clipboard to pass around the table. The goal here is to come up with as many different words as you can, just using the letters from “Happy Thanksgiving.” Keep at it until no one can think of another word.
- Be Grateful From A to Z. A family member begins by saying something he or she is grateful for that starts with the letter A. The next person gives a grateful thanks starting with the letter B. Go around until your family gets to the letter Z. It’s a fun game especially with younger kids who are still mastering the alphabet.
- Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt. Hide Thanksgiving-themed trinkets around a room, the house or the backyard. If you don’t have any, then simply print Thanksgiving pictures from your computer. Set a time limit and the person who finds the most items is the winner.
- Have a Board Game Tournament. Dust off those board games and put them to good use for a little friendly competition. Play a round, and the winner advances to the next round until the year’s family board game champion has been decided.
- Share Your Love. Gather the group and have every person share what they love about the family. Have family members start by saying, “I love my family because….” It’s a good way to express feelings, encourage positivity and share love.
Remember to keep the mood light and fun. Thanksgiving might have a reputation for only being about eating turkey and watching football, but what really matters is getting together as a family and making memories.
Sara Kendall is a freelance writer and mom of two daughters.
15 Awesome Thanksgiving Games for the Whole Family
- &ndash I love love love Taboo. It makes both the describer and the guesser think in a new way which is so good for your brains. Basically, the describer has to get the guesser to guess a certain word without saying any of the taboo words on the card. This one isn&rsquot good for a non-reader (although you can get around that by reading the words in secret to her), but it is awesome if everyone reads well.
- Thanksgiving memory &ndash This is the classic memory game we&rsquove all played but with a Thanksgiving twist. The game pieces are beautiful wood slices, and each one has a Thanksgiving picture on it, like a turkey, a gravy boat, or a fall leaf. Great for non-readers and readers to play together. &ndash I love bunco, and this beautiful set of cards is perfect for after your Thanksgiving meal. If you&rsquore going to play by the real rules, you&rsquoll need 12 people, but if you don&rsquot mind adjusting them, you can play with as few as two. My kids and I play bunco sometimes just for fun. If you&rsquove never played before (you are missing out), all you do is try to roll the number that corresponds to the round. So during the first round, everyone tries to roll a 1. Then during the second round, everyone tries to roll a 2. The person or team with the most of the given number wins the round. Don&rsquot forget to buy some dice to play with.
- DIY Thanksgiving escape room &ndash Escape rooms are all the rage with the tween and teen set these days (and even many adults), so set up your own with this kit. Of course, there&rsquos not an actual room to escape from, but the idea is the same. You have a series of puzzles to solve in order to &ldquoescape&rdquo the game. There&rsquos usually a time limit too. Kids and adults will love doing this one together. I am thinking about using it this year for my crew. &ndash This is another fun game for non-readers and readers together. Basically, you roll a die, and when you get a certain number, you get to add a game piece to your card. Whoever gets her card filled up first is the winner. As you can see in the photo, M&Ms or Skittles make fun game pieces for this one.
- Pin the Tail Feather on the Turkey &ndash This is just like Pin the Tail on the Donkey except with a turkey. It would be fun for both kids and adults. Don&rsquot forget a sleeping mask to cover the player&rsquos eyes. &ndash I once attended a turkey bowling game where they used real bowling pins and real frozen turkeys. It was a mess, and I felt like they were wasting food that could have gone to the homeless or a food pantry. My own hangups aside, the people who were playing had a great time. This particular turkey bowling game is a lot more conscience-friendly in my opinion. All you have to do is make some turkeys out of plastic cups and paper, and use a tennis ball to knock them over.
- For Thanksgiving dinner, I had&hellip &ndash This is a very simple game, and you don&rsquot even need any supplies. You go around the table and say what you had for dinner, but there&rsquos a catch. You have to say what everyone said before you. So the first person says, &ldquoFor Thanksgiving dinner, I had stuffing.&rdquo and then the next person says, &ldquoFor Thanksgiving dinner, I had stuffing and turkey.&rdquo and the next person repeats the first two things and adds her own. It keeps going on until someone forgets something, and then you start over.
- This year, I&rsquom thankful for&hellip &ndash Similar to the Thanksgiving dinner game above, this one is a word game. You go around the table and each person says something that begins with a certain letter of the alphabet. The first person says, &ldquoThis year, I&rsquom thankful for (A-word).&rdquo The next person says, &ldquoThis year, I&rsquom thankful for (A-word) and (B-word).&rdquo The next person adds a C-word, and you go around until someone misses something. &ndash Mad Libs are fun for everyone, and even non-readers can play along. Basically, what you do is to write down a bunch of words in a certain order. The instructions will say, noun, adjective, proper name, etc. Then after you have your list, you will go back and fill in your words in blanks in a story. It&rsquos super fun and always makes a riotously silly story, and that&rsquos the point. This one is a free printable.
- Guess How Many &ndash All you have to do for this one is fill a jar with candies and provide slips of paper for the guests to guess how many candies are in the jar. My crowd gets mathematical with this and tries to estimate how many are in one row and how many rows there are in the jar, and it gets quite heated, but that makes it even more fun. The only downside is that you have to actually count all the candies as you put them into the jar. I would get a jar at the thrift store since typically, the winner gets to take the jar home. &ndash These games use a simple word list to provide hours of entertainment. All you have to do for charades is act out the word without talking. For Pictionary, you draw the idea without letters or talking. The link has a free list of words if you need some help. &ndash We recently went to a tea party at a local tea room, and it was amazing. Beyond the food though, one of the things that made it amazing was the huge stack of Would You Rather? cards in a pretty box on the table. We got through the entire stack in the time it took us to eat our five course meal and drink all our tea.
- Thanksgiving pumpkin hunt &ndash This is basically an Easter egg hunt but with mini pumpkins. I know you don&rsquot need one more thing to do before dinner, so hide the pumpkins the night before. Hide them all over the house (or wherever you&rsquove cleaned up and readied for company) and challenge your guests to find them. Give an extra slice of pie to whomever can find the most.
- Play a board game &ndash I have written extensive lists of my favorite board games for families with non-readers, with preschoolers, and with tweens and teens. Here are some of my favorites:
These are all wholesome family games, but they have an older audience than the ones below, either because of math skills, reading skills, or strategy needed.
All the games in this list can be played by non-readers but are fun for the whole family.
These games are definitely aimed toward a younger audience, but I have played and enjoyed them with my own daughters.
With even a few of these games in your pocket (or your closet), you are sure to have lots to entertain your crowd before, during, and after Thanksgiving dinner.
I don&rsquot have any statistics or anything, but I know from personal experience that games provide an easy way to visit with family and enjoy each others&rsquo company without awkward silences or &ldquoum, okay&rdquo moments. You won&rsquot regret playing games with your family this year at Thanksgiving.
19 Family Thanksgiving Games That Have Nothing to Do With Football
They're a great way to pass the time between courses.
The best part of Thanksgiving&mdashbesides the delicious feast&mdashis getting to spend lots of time with loved ones. And you know what they say: The family that games together, sticks together. or something like that. Whether you're trying to keep bored kids occupied while everyone's preparing the meal or you just want a fun way to give thanks for the year with your family, these Thanksgiving games will keep the festivities going all night long, or until the tryptophan kicks in. Whichever comes first.
From festive takes on classic games to some of the most creative ways to celebrate Turkey Day you'll ever see (turkey bowling, anyone?), the whole family is sure to enjoy these games&mdashwhich you can buy or DIY. Little ones will be entertained for hours playing Pin The Feather On The Turkey and a Thanksgiving memory matching game. From a Thanksgiving Mad Libs to a family-friendly Would You Rather game, there are plenty of games for the entire family, too. And, in the spirit of the holiday, we also included games that'll get you thinking about what you're thankful for. Game night definitely just got a holiday makeover.
A little construction paper and painter's tape can go a long way when it comes to entertaining kids on Thanksgiving. All you have to do is cut out the shapes to make a turkey and a bunch of feathers, then you'll play it just like a rousing game of pin the tail on the donkey&mdashexcept that it's more like tape the tailfeather on the turkey.
All you need to make this game work is the printable cards, M&Ms, and a set of two dice. Each color M&M coordinates with a number on the card, and the kids take turns rolling both dice to find out which colors they get. Each time they get a new color, they decide where to place it on their turkey until they fill up all the spots, and the first one to fill their card wins. Oh, and if you roll doubles, you get to eat one as you play.
This kit comes with an adorable knit turkey and some paper feathers. To participate, everyone writes down something they're thankful for on the feather, and adds it to the turkey. Whether you play this throughout the month or on Thanksgiving itself, it gets everyone thinking about gratitude. Even better, it's a game that gives back&mdashfor each Turkey on the Table sold, 10 meals will be provided to people in need, thanks to a partnership with Feeding America.
Keep the kids entertained with these Thanksgiving-themed printable search games. The game comes with different levels (easy, medium, and hard) so younger and older kids can play, while the adults have a glass of after-dinner wine.
This memory game incorporates your Thanksgiving feast and can be played while everyone is eating. The first person starts by saying "For Thanksgiving dinner I had turkey," and then each subsequent player adds a food and repeats the entire reel of dishes said prior to his or her turn. Each person who can't remember the full list is out. But don't concentrate too hard&mdashyou wouldn't want the stuffing to get cold.
Mad Libs are a great Thanksgiving game because they can pass the time while you wait for dinner, or you can even play while you eat and the whole family can participate. Have everyone take turns calling out words until the entire sheet is filled, then read what is sure to be a funny (and at least somewhat festive) story aloud.
30 Best Thanksgiving Games to Play with the Family This November
After lots of Thanksgiving menu prep work, Thanksgiving is finally here. But while you're finishing up the turkey recipe and whipping up your famous pecan pie recipe, your kids are bound to get a little restless&mdashwhich is why we put together this handy list of best Thanksgiving games to keep the kids busy. With options ranging from handwritten Mad Libs to a simple "pumpkin toss" and even a fun turkey bowling game, both little ones and adults will want to get in on the fun. But it's the hostess who'll be most pleased with our selections: Each and every one of the games we've rounded up here is low on mess and easy to clean up.
Still, with all the other excitement surrounding this hectic holiday, why should you take time out of the day to play a fun Thanksgiving game for kids? Well, Thanksgiving family games are an excellent way to bond with your children and encourage them to stay active. What's more, Thanksgiving crafts for kids like "Pin the Feather on the Turkey" will keep them out of the kitchen&mdashand out of your hair for a bit. But most importantly, these games will give your youngest guests something to smile and laugh about as they make memories they'll cherish for years to come. And in the end, that's what Thanksgiving is really about.
Paint 32 squares on a large (roughly 30-inch) wood board with burnt orange craft paint. Use mini white and orange pumpkins as game pieces.
Let guests spin to unveil six slices of life (Family, Friends, Travel, Home, Pets, Work), each of which is intended to conjure a memory for which they&rsquore grateful. To make, segment the center of a paper plate into six sections write prompts in each. Cut a smaller round from colorful craft paper remove one &ldquoslice&rdquo for category window. Attach wheel to plate with a gold brad. Attach jute rope to rim with hot-glue. Add stenciled letters. (For Thanksgiving, try &ldquoLattice Give Thanks. &rdquo.)
This Family Feud game will find out who knows the holiday best! The tutorial includes questions and answers to make putting together this Thanksgiving game even easier.
Get the tutorial at Play Party Plan.
Keep your toddler busy while you get cooking in the kitchen with this easy-to-make and even easier-to-play pom-pom game.
Get the tutorial at Busy Toddler.
Everyone can take part in this classic game with a Thanksgiving twist. It even comes with free printables, so all you have to do is play!
Get the tutorial at Play Party Plan.
Challenge the kids to a scavenger hunt to gather photos of family members and holiday-themed items throughout the day with tricky clues.
Get the tutorial at Party Game Ideas.
You might even get the teenagers involved in this game! Print out a checklist for everyone with a phone, and they'll earn points for selfies, social media posts, memes, and more.
Race each other by taking a yam (or a sweet potato) and seeing who can roll it to the finish line first. It's a lot harder than it sounds!
Get the tutorial at Play Party Plan.
Since Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reflect on what you're most grateful for, this gratitude game is right on theme. This twist on pick-up sticks can be recreated with your choosing of each category.
Get the tutorial at Teach Beside Me.
To play around the dinner table once everything is cleared, or to pass the time on your annual road trip to Grandma's, this game poses a series of questions, such as, "Would you rather spend Thanksgiving weekend without football or without shopping?" You'll leave knowing your family better than ever before.
Get the tutorial at Mom of 6.
This printable word scramble will keep the kids (and maybe Uncle Ed!) busy while you finish up in the kitchen.
Thanksgiving Activities for at the Table
When we thinking of Thanksgiving day, we often focus so much on what we eat at the table. But what about what happens around the table? You brought your family together for this occasion, so now it is time to make the most of it! It doesn’t take a lot of effort to include some thoughtful but simple Thanksgiving Activities to your dinner. These activities can bring laughter, conversation, and, of course, the focus on gratitude that your family will remember. Here are a few of our favorite Thanksgiving activities that you can do together at dinner.
- Gratitude Tree – Draw a large tree on butcher paper and fill it in with the things you are grateful for.
- Coloring Tablecloth – Get those busy fingers coloring their own table decor. This tablecloth provides places for the kiddos to color as well as some fun Thanksgiving games and activities.
- Engineer Print Tablecloth to Color – Engineer prints are a super inexpensive way to create a DIY giant coloring sheet for the little kid’s table.
- Table Spinner – This is a little ‘spin’ on the game Spin the bottle. Spin the arrow to take turns answering questions.
- Thanksgiving Conversation Starters – Get the conversation focussed on the meaning of Thanksgiving with these unique Thanksgiving conversation starters. Our favorite tradition.
- Would You Rather? – These unique questions offer a fun game and lots of conversation for the Thanksgiving table.
- M&M Gratitude Game – A fun way to share what you are grateful for this year.
- Thanksgiving Jokes – For a fun time, pull out some of these Thanksgiving jokes and embrace all of the laughter around the table.
- Thankful Basket – In this activity, guests write something they are grateful for in advance and place it in a basket or how cute is this cornucopia? At the table, pass the basket around and have people randomly choose a paper to read aloud. Then, everyone tries to guess who wrote that paper.
- Conversation Cards and Tasks – In addition to really unique questions to spark conversation, these printables include funny tasks for your family and friends to complete.
These DIY Outdoor Games Are Fun for the Whole Family
From scavenger hunts to backyard bowling, these activities will keep you and your loved ones entertained all summer long.
Summer is known as the season for spending time outdoors, and few pastimes are more fun than a backyard game the whole family can play (COVID-guidelines permitting). "Playing backyard games together as a family takes us back to simpler times before technology became our go-to source of entertainment," explains crafter Jackie Currie of Happy Hooligans. "Being outdoors with the family, laughing, collaborating, communicating, and cheering each other on strengthens family bonds and helps to create standout memories that everyone will treasure years from now."
Of course, the only thing better than a rousing game is one that you can make yourself. "Making your own games is a wonderful idea because you can truly tailor them to your liking while adding elements of your personal style, too," says Andrea Cammarata of The Cottage Market. "And in most cases, DIY-ing an outdoor family game is also very budget friendly."
Curious about what kinds of family-friendly outdoor games you can assemble at home this summer? We asked a few crafty parents to share their ideas and here&aposs what they had to say.
Outdoor Thanksgiving Party Games
These are the Thanksgiving games for families like my own that like to get outdoors after a big meal. These would be perfect for right before or right after the annual family football game!
You could also play a Thanksgiving version of any of these popular outdoor games if nothing on this list fits the bill!
Try out one of these three fun turkey hunt games with variations for kids, teens, and adults! The find the turkey again and again looks like so much fun!
Thanksgiving Object Search
Get your family outside looking for Thanksgiving themed items in this Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt from The Taylor House. Even better if you print the Thanksgiving themed activity out on brown paper bags to collect their items!
A Thanksgiving spin on an old classic, Turkey Tag from Let&rsquos Get Together will have players trying to tag one another with turkeys!
Practice Shooting Turkeys in this hilarious game from A Girl And a Glue Gun that consists of Nerf guns and homemade turkeys to shoot in your very own backyard!
Another Nerf Gun games that kids and adults will both love, Flying Turkey from Frugal Fun 4 Boys will for sure keep you on target this Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving Bean Bag Toss
See who can score the most points as you toss a bean bag into this Thanksgiving bean bag game. It&rsquos a fun way to get people outdoors without a lot of planning or setup!