Thanksgiving Games

Thanksgiving Games the Whole Family Can Enjoy

Thanksgiving really is a family reunion in disguise.  We come together on this occasion every year to break bread, reminisce, share stories, pose for pictures for the family album, celebrate traditions and enjoy the special moments of this ubiquitous holiday.   Thanksgiving provides the opportunity for families and friends in a wide spectrum of ages to come together in a festive setting to eat and connect.  The precise definition of a family reunion.

Thanksgiving is a unique opportunity to plan activities, preserve memories and take advantage of sometimes rare moments to learn about your family heritage and hear memorable stories over tasty food, good wine and high spirits.

A fun way to bring everyone together before and after the meal is to plan a few Thanksgiving games that can include the entire group.  Here are a few ideas to encourage conversation, add fun activities and perhaps stimulate some new family traditions.

Outdoor or Covered Area Thanksgiving Games

  1. Ping Pong is fun at any age. It is spirited competition with two players or doubles. It can stimulate frivolity and healthy rivalry when played in rounds.
  2. The Balloon game. Teams line up with blown up balloons between their thighs and try to get to a spot across the yard (or to another team member) without breaking or dropping the balloon. The winning team or individual gets a prize.
  3. Family Sports. Badminton, Volleyball, Basketball, Kick ball or even Croquet in the backyard depending on the weather and capacity of the back yard.
  4. Turkey Tag. One person is the “Turkey” who doesn’t want to be caught! Attach several feathers to their back and other guests try to tag the “Turkey” (and get a feather) in 2 minutes or less per chase. The trick is no one can use their hands to tag the turkey. The one with the most feathers wins.
  5. Jump Rope. Everyone who wants to participate can play. (And work off some calories at the same time.) The one with the most legal jumps, i.e. no misses, wins a prize.
  6. Talent Show. Willing participants get to display or perform their talent. Select specific criteria for the competition. Criteria could mean they were the most creative, funniest or unusual. Everyone performing and watching gets to vote on who was the best in the chosen category.

Indoor Thanksgiving Games with playing cards, board games or Word games:

  • Dictionary games. Must have a dictionary. When the meal is over, and everyone is literally “stuffed” gather the clan in the living room or other recreational room. Take turns as someone looks up an unusual (or unfamiliar) word in the dictionary. Each guest gives a version of what they think the word means. The winner is the one who comes the closest.
  • Pictionary. A popular card game where teams compete by choosing cards out of a deck of special Pictionary cards and tries to draw pictures without numbers or letters which suggest the word printed on the card. The teammates try to guess the word the drawing is intended to represent.
  • Thanksgiving Scramble Game. Someone says a word related to Thanksgiving and everyone tries to come up with as many words possible within the letters in that word. The winner with is the one with the most authentic words.
  • Apples to Apples. Guests pick from descriptive cards that they select and hold. East guest will say a word and the rest of the players with the descriptive cards offer their version of that description. The winner is chosen by the person who thinks he or she has the best description for their word.
  • Scavenger Hunt with pictures of an item related to Thanksgiving such as turkeys or a Corn of Plenty. (Great game to involve the kids). The host hides these pictures all around the house. Pictures can be cut out of magazines or drawn. The winner is the person/youngster who finds the most pictures.
  • Digital Hot Potato. Get out the camera. The first player sets the camera timer for the longest setting available and starts the countdown. He or she points the camera at themself for a couple of seconds, then passes it to the person on the left. Each guest does the same until the camera snaps a shot. The last person to avoid having their picture taken wins.

All these Thanksgiving games can be rewarded with a few simple prizes such as gift cards for the local Starbucks or Coffee Bean or other local hot ticket.

Prizes could also be related to Thanksgiving such as: being able to escape doing any dishes, first in the buffet line, first choice of dessert or getting special recognition during dinner. Of course, money is always appreciated too! These are just a few ideas to help make your Thanksgiving a memorable family tradition that guests will look forward to every year.
Thanksgiving games can be creative, fun and involve everyone. Now shouldn’t that be what family reunions are all about?

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