Thanksgiving is a time for food, family, and fun. When you and your clan are gathered together to celebrate the season of thanks, work in some games to keep everyone happy and busy before the turkey hits the table.
Thanksgiving Family Games to Work the Brain
These Thanksgiving games will work the brain while the continuous snacks and meal courses work the growing mid-section. Everyone at your gathering will stay occupied and mentally sharp with these fun Thanksgiving games.
Checkers is a simple game that people of all ages can understand and enjoy. Instead of x’s and o’s, use tiny pumpkins painted white and black. Painted acorns can also replace pumpkins.
Thanksgiving Word Mash-Up
Write or print the words "Thanksgiving Dinner" at the top of a page. Guests at your Thanksgiving party have to use the letters in this phrase to make as many words as they possibly can. The winner is the person who creates the most words out of the given phrase.
For Thanksgiving Dinner I Had…
This game requires everyone to have sharp memories ready to roll. The first person says, "For dinner I had…" and they name a Thanksgiving food item. The next person says, "For Thanksgiving dinner I had… and then they name the item listed before them and add their item to the list. The last person has the lofty task of remembering all the items in order that came before theirs!
Thanksgiving Trivia War
Gather up a ton of Thanksgiving-centric trivia questions and have a trivia war. See who knows the most about this festive holiday and traditional Thanksgiving meals. Make this task super easy by using these Thanksgiving trivia printables.
Everybody can channel their inner artist here and help decorate for the Thanksgiving feast. Print out pretty fall-inspired placemats and have colored pencils readily available. Pass materials out to everyone while they are watching the big football game, asking them to decorate their placement. When placemats are complete, your Thanksgiving tablescape will be beautiful and unique. These additional printable Thanksgiving placemats include games, coloring activities and festive touches.
Thanksgiving Family Feud
A game of Family Feud makes any holiday more fun. This version of Family Feud has a Thanksgiving focus. See which team of family members knows their Thanksgiving facts to a tee.
The Thanksgiving Puzzle Off
Snag a few fall-themed puzzles at your local dollar store or general retailer. Break your party into teams, assigning each team a puzzle. Start a timer and see who can complete their puzzle the fastest.
Thanksgiving Family Games That Give Everyone a Good Laugh
No holiday is complete without some good laughs. These Thanksgiving family games are guaranteed to bring chuckles to everyone at the gathering.
Everyone loves a good game of charades. This activity provides plenty of giggles and a bit of movement on a day normally reserved for food, food, and then more food. Unlike a typical round of charades, Thanksgiving charades center around acting out words and phrases like turkey, baking, setting the table, parade, and football.
The Turkey Waddle
If the weather permits, head outside for your family’s Annual Turkey Waddle. Every person needs a blown-up balloon to participate in this race. Line up at the starting line. Place a balloon in between your thighs and waddle as fast as you can over to the finish line. Everyone will be cracking up watching loved ones try to get to the finish line first.
The Great Yam Roll Race
This is pretty simple but will require some space to play, so reserve it for a Thanksgiving spent in decent weather or a cleared-out basement. Those playing must roll a yam across the floor; and the fastest rolling yam that crosses the finish line takes the winning spot. You can play this individually or in teams, relay race style. If you have strong players, outdoor space, and a few large pumpkins, turn this game into the pumpkin roll race. You can determine how players make the yam roll: no hands, using only their noses, pushing the yam using only a toothpick, or whatever spin you’d like.
Would You Rather
Would you Rather is a game of questions. Pose questions to players like:
- Would you rather watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade or the big football game?
- Would you rather give up mashed potatoes or rolls?
- Would you rather eat pumpkin pie or pecan pie?
Turkey Leg Race
Buy a couple rolls of burlap at your local craft store. Form teams of two at your Thanksgiving feast. One person will be the chef, and the other will be the turkey leg. The chef must completely wrap their partner (the turkey leg) up in burlap, from ankles to shoulders. They then spin their turkey around ten times. The person who is the turkey leg must hop from a starting line to a finish line to determine the winner of the game.
Pin the Stem on the Pumpkin
Cut out a large pumpkin made of paper, as well as several stems. Players get blindfolded and spun around until they are good and dizzy. They then need to try to pin the stem onto the pumpkin. The stem closest to the spot where it would normally go is the winner.
Tackle the Turkeys Hunt
Print out tons of tiny turkeys and hide them all over the house. Get creative with where you tuck them away. Think of spaces like underneath chairs, behind plants, and in kitchen cupboards. Everyone goes turkey hunting! The person who finds ten turkeys first is the winner.
Who doesn’t enjoy a family game of Pictionary? This version is all about the fall season. Have contestants try to draw turkeys, pumpkin pies, football players, parade floats, and cornucopias. It will quickly become evident that not everyone in the family is an artist, making this game a pretty comical one.
Thanksgiving Family Games That Will Give You All the Feels
‘Tis the season to give thanks and love your kin. These Thanksgiving games bring thankfulness and gratitude to the table and put them right next to the potatoes and the bird.
A Game of Gratitude
When guests arrive at your Thanksgiving dinner, have them write down what they are thankful for on a slip of paper. They then place the slips of paper into a fall-decorated jar. During your holiday meal, read all the responses aloud, focusing on gratitude. Try having one person read the slips of paper aloud, and everyone can guess who wrote what.
Guess the Family Member Game
Before everyone arrives at your meal, have them write up a paragraph about themselves. Participants should choose to write about things that might be lesser-known facts. At your Thanksgiving meal, every paragraph card gets read, and guests need to guess who the card belongs to. You’ll learn some new stuff about your family members, and be grateful for all of these amazing humans that you are blessed to be connected to.
The Dice of Gratefulness
You can go around the table and say what you are grateful for, or you can play the Dice of Gratefulness and take your thanks to a whole other level. One person rolls the dice and gets a number one through six. Each number designates something to say about the person to the roller’s left. A one on the dice might instruct the roller to compliment the person to their left. A rolled two could mean tell a funny story about the person to the left of the roller. A three could tell the roller to say something the person to the left helped them with. Each number has a different instruction.
The Alphabet Game
Everyone has likely played the alphabet game a time or two. The players go around in a circle naming items from a category, starting with the letter A, and moving through every letter of the alphabet. In this version, the category is either fall or Thanksgiving, and people have to think of things they are thankful for related to those topics, that start with the letter of the alphabet they are given. Examples might be:
- A – All of my family members
- B – Best pumpkin pie on the planet
- C- Cousins to play with
- D – Dinner as beautiful as this
- E – Everyone seated here
- F – Football
Other Great Games to Work Into Thanksgiving
These fun family games are way better options than lying around and watching football!
Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are easy activities for families to partake in over the Thanksgiving holiday. Give everyone a list of things that they have to find. Items might include:
- Something with the word "Thanks" or "Thankful"
- Something orange
- Something brown
- Something with a pumpkin on it
- A turkey baster
- a pie plate
Anything fall or Thanksgiving-related can make it onto the scavenger hunt list. If weather permits, extend the hunt outdoors and include items like leaves, acorns, pinecones, and more.
Bingo is a classic game that fits just about any gathering you can think of. This version is all about the fall and the turkey.
Thanksgiving I Spy
Thanksgiving I Spy is a game that everyone gathered around your table will be able to play. Whether you are young or old, the concept of I Spy is simple enough for everyone to follow. Play I Spy along with a cup of coffee and a piece of pumpkin pie. This will be a nice, relaxing end to a fun-filled day.
Guess the Candy Corn
Fill a vase with candy corn candies. Everyone who attends your Thanksgiving feast gets a chance to guess the number of candy corns in the container. The person who guesses correctly, or closest to the actual number, either wins a bottle of wine or a freshly baked pie.
Family Photo Match
A game of Thanksgiving Photo Match will keep the kids occupied as the adults put the big holiday meal together. Children are given a list of clues to search for. Every clue pertains to a guest and something that they are doing or wearing. Examples might be things like:
- Find a person eating a piece of pie.
- Find the person wearing the most fall colors.
- Find a person napping.
- Find a person watching television.
Kids should take a picture of the person featured doing each activity. If you have several kids at your Thanksgiving gathering, then pair them into teams to complete this fun challenge.
Name That Spice
Fall is a season for the senses. In small containers, place different herbs and spices that are commonly used during autumn. Think pumpkin spice, nutmeg, sage, poultry rub, cloves, rosemary, and cinnamon. See who can correctly guess the most spices and herbs by scent alone.
Ugly Outfit Contest
Everyone has at least heard of the Christmas Ugly sweater party, but there is no reason you can’t have a Thanksgiving version of this fun activity. The options here might be limited, so participants will have to be extra crafty and creative. Who can pull together a shockingly bad fall ensemble?
Keep Your Family Connected and Festive
Gathering together during Thanksgiving is the perfect time to work on active connection and engagement. One way to do that is by playing games. Make sure everyone attending your Thanksgiving is full of food and fun with these simple and entertaining activities.