Fun Games to Play with your Guests when Hosting Thanksgiving

Fun Games to Play with your Guests when Hosting ThanksgivingWhen your family gathers this Thanksgiving, take a radical step and turn off the television. Sure, you’ll hear grumbles about missing a football game, but the grumbles will be replaced with smiles when you try one or more of the following Thanksgiving game ideas.

Fun games for family at Thanksgiving with young children

While the cooks are busy in the kitchen, ask an adult or older child to help keep the younger kids occupied with one of these games:

1. Turkey bingo—Make your own bingo cards and spell “feast” across the top. Ask an older child to call out the numbers. For very young children, you can use clip art pictures of turkeys or pilgrims instead of numbers or letters in the squares.

2. Wall football—This Thanksgiving game idea is the same premise as “pin the tail.” Make goal posts out of poster board and attach to a wall and make 6-inch-sized footballs out of brown card stock. Use poster tacks to stick the footballs. You can also use a large photo or outline of a turkey, and turn the game into “pin the feather on the turkey.”

3. Turkey hunt—This Thanksgiving group idea works well outdoors or indoors. Find pictures of turkeys, and paste or draw the outlines on card stock. After each card has been hidden, award a prize to whoever finds the most. (For really young children, make sure the hiding spots aren’t too difficult.)

After-dinner Thanksgiving group ideas

Now that everyone’s belly is full, these Thanksgiving game ideas will help to keep all eyes open!

4. Tournament challenge—If weather permits, the best fun games for family at Thanksgiving are a physical activity. Outdoors, you can play horseshoes or badminton, but the idea can be applied to board or trivia games as well. Assign your guests to a team. After each team plays each other, keep track on a poster board drawn with brackets like a tournament. When a team wins, they move on to the next round. When a team loses, they can either go into a consolation round and play another loser or cheer on the other teams.

5. Word games—You can use a Thanksgiving theme or standardized word games. Make copies of the same word search game or crossword puzzles and give a prize to whoever finishes first.

6. Thanksgiving trivia—Assign a family member the research for this Thanksgiving group idea. Have them compile a list of quiz questions or find lists already created online. Questions can be simple for young children or more difficult for adults. Use American traditions, food or history as Thanksgiving-themed questions.

Meaningful Thanksgiving game idea

Remind your guests about the importance of Thanksgiving by giving them a sheet of paper when they arrive, and ask them to write down the one thing they have been most thankful for during the year. After dinner, read each one aloud and see if your guests can guess who wrote it.

- Diane Quinn


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