10 of the Best Thanksgiving Games for Kids
Because Thanksgiving should be fun for everyone, including the kids.
Make time for play on Turkey Day!
Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity for gathering as a family, enjoying a football game, catching up on relatives’ doings, and, of course, sharing a great meal. But don’t forget that the little ones need their own age-appropriate activities to feel part of this festive fun. So we’ve put together a list of Thanksgiving games and crafts perfect for before or after the main event (we mean dinner, of course!) to ensure that everyone has a great holiday. Memorize these 20 funny Thanksgiving quotes to share on the big day.
Paper bag turkeys
What you’ll need: Paper grocery bags, newspapers, construction paper in a variety of colors, child-safe scissors, child-safe glue. Have each child stuff a bag with newspapers to form the main body of the turkey. To make the head and neck, and features, let children cut out the shapes from construction paper and glue on.
Find the bird
What you’ll need: A paper turkey or a stuffed animal, a blindfold. To start one of your new favorite Thanksgiving games, blindfold one child, then hide the paper turkey or stuffed animal somewhere in the room. With the blindfold removed, the child must search for the prized bird. The other children watching shiver from the “cold” when the hunter is far away from the turkey, and fan themselves as the hunter gets “warmer.” Allow each child to get a turn as the hunter. If your kids prefer crafts to Thanksgiving games, try out these fun Turkey Day–themed crafts.
Turkey treasure hunt
What you’ll need: Index cards, crayons. Have each child draw three pictures of turkeys on large index cards. Hide the cards throughout the house. Give the kids 15 minutes to find as many turkeys as they can. The one who finds the most wins.
Pin the tail feather on the turkey
What you’ll need: Sheet of poster paper, markers, adhesive tape, fake feather, blindfold. Tape a homemade picture of a turkey to the wall at a height that can be reached by the children. Blindfold each child for his turn, turn him around three times, and let him try to place the tail feather in the right spot. Once he places the feather on the poster, tape it onto that spot. It’s one of the many Thanksgiving games that’ll get the kids out of their chairs and laughing around the house. The child who comes closest wins. These 11 Thanksgiving “facts” aren’t actually true.
What you’ll need: Cardboard, metal paper clips, an empty bucket, a broom, string. Cut pieces of cardboard into various holiday shapes (turkeys, Pilgrim hats, leaves) and attach a metal paper clip to each one. Put them all into a large empty bucket. Have the children fish for shapes using a broom with a string tied around the handle and a magnet on the end of the string. The kid who collects the most shapes wins.
What you’ll need: Brown plastic cups, colorful construction paper, googly eyes, hot glue, small ball or miniature pumpkin. Create turkey bowling pins out of the plastic cups by hot gluing the googly eyes and creating a decorative feather out of the construction paper. You can stack the cups in a pyramid shape or go for the traditional bowling pin structure. If you are feeling super creative and have any leftover mini pumpkins from Halloween, your child could use one as the bowling ball. Whoever knocks down the most pins after a few rounds wins! Teach your kids the 50 reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving.
What you’ll need: Craft feathers, clothespins, child-safe paint, child-safe glue. This is an easy game of freeze tag with a holiday twist. First, to create your turkey feathers your children can paint the clothespins with whatever color they choose. Once dry, glue the craft feathers onto the end of the clothespins and let them dry. In order to play the game, the kids will pin two to three pins on the ends of their coats and the person in charge will yell for the turkeys to run. Every now and then the person will then shout freeze. Whoever can collect all of the turkey feathers is the winner.
Corn on the cob, Cheerio style
What you’ll need: yellow and green construction paper, child-safe glue, Cheerio flavor of your choosing. To make the process a little easier, you can prep the construction paper corn on the cob by cutting out ears of corn and its leaves prior to the actual activity. Once the ears and leaves are cut out, you can staple, tape or glue them together. Then the kids can get decorating, and munching! Simply glue the Cheerios on the corn and those will represent the kernels. This easy craft is also a yummy one and will keep them entertained. After you occupy the kids with these Thanksgiving games, here are more tips for staying sane while hosting Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving memory game
What you’ll need: paper plates, tape or glue, pictures of Thanksgiving food. Decide on the pictures of food you want to print, and make sure you have double of each picture! However many varieties you print will determine how challenging the game is. Then, glue or tape the pictures on the face of the paper plate. You will flip the plates over so no picture can be seen. The kids will each take turns trying to match the pictures of food. If the first player flips over two plates and they match, they’ll go again. If not, the next player will be up. Whoever has the most matches wins!
What you’ll need: colorful construction paper, child-safe glue, child-safe markers. Create tree trunks and branches by cutting out the shapes from brown construction paper and cut out leaves with whatever colors you choose! Your child can then write whatever they are thankful for on the leaves and glue them to the branches. This will leave you with a memorable craft that is thoughtful and comes from the heart. Next, in addition to playing Thanksgiving games, you’ll want to steal one of these 9 meaningful Thanksgiving traditions.