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Looking for fun Thanksgiving games to entertain the family while you prepare the turkey?
Or, after dinner activities to fill time and bring everyone together, while providing some laughs and banter?
In this guide we explain exactly how to play each of the Thanksgiving family games, provide handy examples, and recommend resources that allow you to do-it-yourself or items you can buy online for quick wins that free up your time to cater for the crowd.
To ensure that no attendee misses out, the following activities are suitable for big groups, however, if you are having a more intimate occasion, there are some that only need 2-3 players too.
We’ve included activities for kids and Thanksgiving adult games, and you can find more of the latter option in our Friendsgiving games guide.
Thanksgiving Games For Kids
The first of our fun Thanksgiving activities are aimed at kids, which means the adults can get on the tasks or their own party while the younger ones challenge each other for points!
Or, families can play too.
Most of the games can be adapted for adults only.
Thanksgiving Word Scramble
This is a perfect Thanksgiving game for the family, and kids ages 6 and up.
Printable pre-made games are available online, but it’s easy to DIY.
You’ll print out a sheet or paper with two columns.
In one column, write a list of Thanksgiving-related words with the letters scrambled.
Instead of “Thanksgiving” the word would look like “Tihagksngivn.”
Leave the other column blank for answers.
Alternatively, you could use this free word scramble maker.
Play a relaxed version of the game while everyone waits for dinner to be served, or amp up the competition by dividing everyone up by age and having similar-aged family members compete against one another to solve the puzzles the fastest.
Thanksgiving charades is a themed take on classic charades.
In a bowl, place folded strips of paper with Thanksgiving-centric words and phrases for contestants to pull from.
Divide your relatives into two teams.
One relative will choose a phrase and silently try to get their teammates to guess the written phrase, using only hand signals and actions.
Each team gets one minute to try and guess as many phrases as they can.
Alternate between teams and whichever team has guessed the most phrases correctly, wins.
Thanksgiving charade phrases may include:
- A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
- Addams Family Values
- Cranberry sauce
- Harvest Festival
- Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
- Pumpkin pie
- The Object of My Affection
- Turkey Games
Or check out a ready made game on Amazon.
Thanksgiving Day Games Emoji Pictionary
This is a Thanksgiving game for kids and adults alike.
You can DIY this game or find printables online.
If you do it yourself, convert a list of Thanksgiving-centric phrases into a series of emojis and place them into the left hand column, leaving space on the other side for the solved answer.
Don’t be afraid to get creative and add or subtract portions of emoji words to make them fit.
If you want the word to be “Roast” use the toast emoji, then add -T, +R, for instance.
Alternatively, just create a list covering themes such as movies, music, etc.
Print out a list and hand them out for everyone to work on while waiting for dinner.
Thanksgiving I Spy
Thanksgiving I Spy is perfect for kids, especially on road trips or sitting around the house.
Find something Thanksgiving-related within everyone’s range of vision and make that your target.
Start your sentence with “I spy…” and give a clue about what that object might be.
Let other players then try to guess what you’re looking at based solely on that clue.
This is a Thanksgiving twist on Concentration.
Using words or pictures, make a set of 48 cards where each card has a match- 2 turkeys, 2 pies, 2 pilgrim hats, for example.
Then place all the cards, shuffled, face down.
Flip two cards at a time.
If no match, the cards get turned back over.
If the cards match, they get removed from the deck and you’ve just made finding the rest of the matches that much easier.
The goal is to find the matches as quickly as possible.
For ease, purchase these Thanksgiving Memory Cards from Etsy.
In Thanksgiving Scattergories, you’ll come up with a list of Thanksgiving-adjacent topics for players to choose from.
Then, using a random letter generator, pick the letter for everyone to try and match to the topic.
For example, using the letter “T” try to think of as many pie flavors as possible.
Give everyone 3 minutes to write down as many answers as they can.
When time’s up, everyone shares their answers and gets points for thinking of answers that no one else did.
Playing for a line (up and down or diagonal) or house, bingo is a fun game for any occasion.
You can create the bingo cards yourself with three boxes along and three down, so nine boxes in total.
Then add a wide variety of Thanksgiving related terms in the boxes, however, cards cannot be the same or there is no winner.
Every player gets a different bingo card to mark off while the bingo caller shouts out random terms.
To make it more difficult, the caller can say the meaning or definition and the players have to guess the correct word that best fits it, then mark it off if they have it on their card.
Here’s an example of an American football bingo card that features in our football games guide.
Thanksgiving Mad Libs
Mad Libs is an entertaining yet educational game that challenges players to use their creative thinking skills.
The activity requires a paragraph about Thanksgiving with missing words represented by blank spaces.
You can provide a word bank for younger players, or the older ones can let their imaginations run wild with free reign.
You can make the Mad Libs paragraph yourself or buy online.
Thanksgiving Dice Game
If you’re looking for a sweet Thanksgiving game idea, it doesn’t get any kinder than this one.
You’ll use standard dice for each family member to roll.
Based on the numbers rolled, each family member must give an answer to whatever prompt is associated with that number.
For example, for one die, the prompts may be “Say something nice to” with each number corresponding to a person in the room (1 for the person on the right, 2 for the person on the left, so on).
Another prompt sheet might be “Give gratitude for” with each number corresponding to a realm of something you’d be grateful for.
Decide what topic you’d like everyone to focus on and how the numbers will correspond with answers.
Give each person multiple turns so that everyone gets a positive, kind word from at least one person in the room.
Turkey Cookie Contest
This fun Thanksgiving activity borrows from Christmas cookies.
Find a turkey shaped cookie cutter and bake a tray of sugar cookies so that everyone gets their own plain turkey.
Using frosting, sprinkles, and candy corn, have your relatives decorate their own turkeys.
For added fun, enter the turkeys into a beauty pageant- Losers get eaten first!
This is a Thanksgiving game for adults and teens.
You’ll need your smartphone for this game and a stack of prompts.
On each prompt card, write a theme for a photo that someone can say they’re thankful for.
Everyone takes a turn sharing a photo that best matches the prompt, explaining what they’re “thankphone” for.
Shake Your Tail Feathers
This funny Thanksgiving game will have the whole family laughing!
To play, you’ll need an emptied tissue box, preferably the rectangular ones with the long opening.
Cut out the plastic covering so that the cardboard has an open hole.
Lay the box so that the opening faces you.
Then, using a pencil or pair of scissors, poke a small hole through both sides of the back corners.
Pull a string through the smaller holes so that the box resembles a fanny pack.
When you have everyone together, have your contestants tie the string and box around their waists so that the box lies on their hips.
Stuff the boxes through the big opening with craft feathers.
Once the boxes are set up, have your family members try to shake their hips so that all the feathers fall out of the box.
The fastest to shake everything out, wins.
Tabletop Turkey Bounce
This turkey game can be kid-friendly or have a grown-up twist!
Assemble a set of plastic cups into a turkey shape.
Make sure there are a few cups for the body and a few cups deep for outstretched feathers.
Then, take a ping pong ball and try to bounce the ball into each cup until your turkey is no more.
For adults, turn it into a drinking game similar to fizz or beer pong with teams and drinks.
For kids, set up lanes next to one another so that it feels like an arcade game!
Stuff the Turkey
This fun Thanksgiving game is a festive take on cornhole.
You have two options- dress up your regular cornhole boards with feathers and paper beaks.
Or, you can do it without the regulation-size board.
For a DIY version of this game, you’ll take big, brown paper bags and twist the ends.
Be sure to leave a big opening in the center!
Then, you’ll shape sheets of white tissue paper so that they look like lightbulbs with long tails.
Tape the white pieces to the twisted ends of the brown paper bag so it looks like a cooked turkey with its legs in the air.
At a distance, toss bean bags, rolled plastic bags, or scrunched tissue paper to try and fill the turkey’s opening!
The most filled turkey wins!
Sneaky Turkey is a silly Thanksgiving game that takes little prep.
When everyone arrives, have a set of five clothespins for them.
On the back of the pins, write their names and place googly eyes on the front.
Let them decorate the front of the pins however they’d like.
After decorating, let your family members loose to place the pins on one another as sneakily as they can.
At the end of the night, whomever has the least amount of turkeys pinned on them, wins!
This Thanksgiving Day game will get everyone up active.
Break your relatives up into teams, with each team sending a representative for each round.
Each 60-second round has a special Thanksgiving twist, with the most successful team winning it all after three rounds.
Some ideas include a turkey baster race, using a turkey baster to push a feather as far as you can, a kernel run where contestants will fill a bowl with as many kernels as they can by taking a spoonful from the bag and running to the bowl, and the pumpkin stomp, where contestants will try to pop as many balloons as they can within the allotted time.
Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt
Ah, who doesn’t love a good old scavenger hunt to keep idle hands moving?
Make a list of items that individuals or teams have to find.
This can include names of tangible things such as a football shirt, or items identified by description such as something shiny.
Here is are some Thanksgiving scavenger hunt ideas:
- Corn Cob
- Family Photo
- Gravy Boat
- Thanksgiving Card
- Pie Slice
- Tablecloth with Fall Colors
- Thanksgiving Centerpiece
- Turkey Feather
- Wheat Stalk
Depending on where you’re planning to hold the celebration, get more ideas with our list of scavenger hunt games for adults.
Turkey Ring Toss
Either DIY a headband with a picture of turkey and a tube/stick to catch rings with and make rings out of card or purchase the inflatable Turkey Ring Toss game and watch your party attendees laugh their way through rounds of playing catch with their heads.
This is a great game to get people moving before or after dinner.
For this Thanksgiving game, a set of contestants will be given a Thanksgiving item to draw.
However, they must be blindfolded and cannot use their hands to draw the picture!
Whoever draws the best picture, wins!
This fun Thanksgiving game will put your engineering skills to the test!
Using straws, feathers, and paper, try to make the most aerodynamic turkey you can.
These turkeys must have beaks and frayed feathers- No paper airplane hacking here!
Once you’ve created your perfect turkey, either drop from a high height or toss them to see how fast or how far they go, respectively.
The winners are the ones who fall the slowest or fly the farthest!
For this game, you’ll only need orange balloons, blown up by mouth.
Set a goal at the other end of the room and have everyone in the house keep the balloon up in the air without using feet or hands.
Once you reach the goal, you win!
Thanksgiving Games For Adults
These Thanksgiving game ideas are specifically aimed at adults, and can be a little spicy.
Some also feature liquor to get the party started!
Kahoot is a virtual game where the buzzers are on everyone’s phones.
Have a gamemaster create a Kahoot with questions about Thanksgiving history, recipe ingredients, or personal memories.
During your gathering, the gamemaster will send an invite to sync up and play the game at the same time.
Kahoot rewards correct answers and quick answers, so the pressure is on!
Quiplash is another remote game which relies on speedy and funny answers.
Thanksgiving Trivia Questions
Split the group into teams and have a quizmaster call out questions related to the theme of Thanksgiving.
Rounds may include general knowledge, history, culture, sports, and food.
Once the rounds are complete the quizmaster takes in the answer sheets and marks them.
Team with the most points wins.
You can get creative with rounds, check out our unique ideas here.
Alternatively, just borrow our Thanksgiving trivia questions * which are five rounds with five questions in each, plus answers!
Try next: Fall Trivia Quiz.
Thanksgiving Would You Rather
Would You Rather is an easy game to play – all you need to do is ask players if they’d rather a choice of two things.
For example, would you rather drink spiked cider or fall flavored beer?
We’ve done the heavy lifting for you and created this list of Would You Rather fall questions* or you can check out our Clean Would You Rather Questions, Would You Rather Questions for Best Friends, and Would You Rather Questions for Couples.
Would You Rather is one of the more unique ideas for Thanksgiving games that players probably haven’t experienced before, and is best played with an adult beverage in hand.
You can add rules such as timed answers, no pointing, no laughing, and no uming.
Never Have I Ever – Thanksgiving Edition
If you want guests to spill some secrets or cringe a little, introduce the game of Never Have I Ever to your soiree.
There are many versions of the game, the one that requires the least amount of effort is where the host starts and players continue, clockwork to keep the round organized.
The host would say – never have I ever blacked out a family Thanksgiving, then all players would drink if they have or abstain if they’ve not.
Then player two would continue – never have I ever kissed a neighbor at a Thanksgiving party, and so on.
As with Would You Rather, rules can be applied.
Which of our games to play at Thanksgiving will you roll out this year? Tell us in the comments!
Did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know.