By Katie Trudeau
Mashed potatoes and stuffing? Check.
Pumpkin pie? Check.
You’ve no doubt spent hours planning the menu and cooking, but don’t forget to plan some fun games too! These fun games will help add to the festive spirit of the day.
Bonus: these games will also entertain kids while you finish up the final touches on your dinner.
Thanksgiving Day Parade Bingo
If you regularly watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade, this fun bingo game will elevate the fun. Simply print out a Bingo sheet and pass them out before the parade starts. Before the parade starts, have everyone fill out the bingo card. Examples include: Elf on the Shelf parade float, rockettes, someone wearing a winter hat, policeman, dancer, tuba, earmuffs, confetti, newscaster, and so on. Younger kids might want to use pictures instead of words so they can play easier.
When you see items listed on the box, put an X over that square. The first person who gets five X’s in a row will win.
Prizes for the winners can vary, but here are a few ideas:
- Board books
- Handmade coupons for “get out of Turkey Day dishes duty”
- Coloring books
Finish Your Plate Game
Thanksgiving dinner is well-known for being one of the largest and most decadent meals of the year, and while adults may not have problems finishing their plates, the littles ones among us may not be up for the task.
Instead of piling on real food (which a toddler may or may not fling across the room), play a “Finish Your Plate” game.
To play the game, use construction paper and cut out various foods including turkey legs, pie wedges, and rolls. Toddlers can pretend to fill up their plate and then devour their food. Not only is this fun, but it gives you a good teaching opportunity to talk about all the new foods a toddler may taste at Thanksgiving dinner.
Minute to Win It: Thanksgiving Edition
Minute to Win It was (and still is) a popular game show, and it’s one of the easiest to recreate in your living room. Simply create your own game, set the timer for one minute, and see who can complete the task in one minute.
Ideas for your own Minute to Win It games:
- Try to stack 10 mini pumpkins without any of them falling in less than 60 seconds.
- Using a fake feather, try to keep one feather in the air for 60 seconds by blowing on it. If it touches the floor, the game is over.
- Suction a piece of candy corn with the bottom of a straw and try to walk across the room without dropping the candy corn. (You can also use a small square of construction paper if you’d rather skip the candy.)
- Using a straw, try to blow one leaf (you can use construction paper leaf if you there are no more leaves on your trees) across the length of the room.
- Try to stack Cheerios on a pipe cleaner from end to end.
Create a trivia game that focuses on the main event: the turkey!
To make the game even more exciting, the trivia winner can earn a “get out of dishes” pass. Include fun turkey facts such as:
- The weight of the largest turkey ever recorded
- The name of the “gobbler” or wattle (FYI: It’s called a snood!)
- The average number of feathers on a wild turkey (about 6000!)
- The name Benjamin Franklin gave turkeys (The National Audubon Society says he called them the “Birds of Courage”)
- The type of vision turkeys have (They see in color)
- How fast they fly (Up to 60mph according to the National Audubon Society)
Tip: If you have a lot of little children present, consider making teams to play turkey trivia.
Turkey Feather Hunt
This game is great for the littlest members of your family. Consider this the “Easter Egg Hunt” of Thanksgiving. Hide colorful craft feathers around the house and let the kids hunt for the feathers.
You can keep hiding and playing the game for a few rounds too.
MadLibs are great with the middle school crowd, who get a kick out of the mismatched words. You can create your own MadLibs. If you already have a MadLibs book, you use it -- just choose Thanksgiving-themed words.
Charades is a tried-and-true party game, and it works perfectly on Thanksgiving Day too. To prep for charades, you’ll need:
- A mason jar
- Popsicle sticks
- Sharpie marker
Write various charade clues on the popsicle sticks and place them in the mason jar. When it’s your turn, pick one of the popsicle sticks and act out the clue. Your team should try and guess your clue.
A few themed clue ideas include:
- Eating dinner
- Bake pie
Using the same list as Charades, you can also play Pictionary. Assemble into teams and have your team guses your picture in less than two minutes.
Need more ideas? Try this list:
- Watching TV
- Parade Floats
What’s Your Favorite?
Do you play games on Thanksgiving? What is your favorite game?
Kathryn is a self-proclaimed book nerd who has a passion for natural parenting and writing. As a homeschooling mother of two, Kathryn understands the dynamics of a busy family life. She is the founder of the Cor Domum movement, a mission that guides families through life so that they can parent with joy. Read more at www.katietrudeau.com
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