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20 Best Thanksgiving Games for the Whole Family to Play

Kids and grown-ups alike can get into these exciting, easy-to-play Thanksgiving games.

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Make time for play on Turkey Day with these Thanksgiving games!

Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity for Thanksgiving traditions like 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—even after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade is over. So we’ve put together a list of Thanksgiving games perfect for before or after the main event (we mean dinner, of course!) to ensure that everyone has a great holiday. They’re great for the kiddos, but you don’t need to be a kid to enjoy them! Also, keep the fam engaged by firing off these bits of Thanksgiving trivia and Thanksgiving riddles!

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Thanksgiving Craft Materials 1Grace Luxton/rd.com

Family Feud

What you’ll need:

Too on the nose? Enjoy the fun kind of family feuding with this Thanksgiving twist on the hit game show! You can find holiday-themed polls to use on this tutorial from Play Party Plan. Write the category, the answers, and the number of votes each answer received on a sheet of poster board for each round, divide your fam into two teams, and tell one person from each team to come on down! Optional: Have a buzzer, just like the game, to indicate which person answered faster (or just have them smack the table, and watch closely!) You’ll need strips of construction paper to cover the answers until someone guesses them (using removable adhesive). The questions in Play Party Plan’s tutorial include fun ones like “Name one thing you eat on Thanksgiving” and “Name the best balloon character in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.”

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Find the bird

What you’ll need:

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 Thanksgiving crafts.

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Turkey treasure hunt

What you’ll need:

Have each child draw three (or more/fewer depending on how many kids are present) 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. Memorize these Thanksgiving quotes to share on the big day.

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Spin the wheel

What you’ll need:

Thanksgiving games are best when they get family members talking and sharing! For this fun, crafty game, cut out a circle of construction paper big enough to cover the center of a paper plate. With a writing utensil like a marker, draw evenly sized “sections” in the center of the plate and label them—things like “family,” “food,” “pets,” “school/work,” “friends”…any of these things to be thankful for make great sections. Cut a “slice,” the size of one of the sections, out of the circle of paper and fasten the circle of paper into the center of the paper plate, so that you can spin the circle.  (You can make the wheel beforehand or turn it into a craft time with your guests.) To play, take turns passing the plate and spinning the circle—whichever “section” is showing, the spinner must share a story, memory, or specific thing they’re thankful for related to that category! This is a great Thanksgiving game because you can customize it as much as you want.

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Pin the tail feather on the turkey

What you’ll need:

Either beforehand or with the crafty kiddos, draw a big picture of a turkey on the poster paper. Tape the picture to the wall at a height that can be reached by the children. Blindfold each child for their turn, turn them around three times, and let them try to place the tail feather in the right spot. Once they place 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. Whoever comes closest wins!

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Gone fishin’

What you’ll need:

Cut pieces of cardboard into various holiday shapes (turkeys, cornucopias, 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 after a certain amount of time (depending on how many shapes you have) wins.

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Turkey bowling

What you’ll need:

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!

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Gratitude dice game

What you’ll need:

Going around the table and saying what you’re thankful for is so last year! With this creative conversation starter, you take turns rolling two dice and looking at the corresponding chart (available on Etsy) to see the category of things to be thankful for you’ve got to come up with!

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“Traffic Yam” race

What you’ll need:

  • One yam or sweet potato for each person playing
  • Metal spoons
  • Painter’s tape (for course/finish line)
  • Timer, if playing one at a time

This Thanksgiving game idea from Play Party Plan is spud-tacular! If you’ve got some sweet potatoes and/or yams, it’s time to play with your food. Take the yams (before cooking them, of course!) and have the participants line up at a starting point. Either one at a a time and timed or (if you have more space and/or want maximum mayhem) all at once, have them roll their yams through a designated course or to a designated finish line. They’re only allowed to touch the yam with the spoon! Once everyone’s pooped out from these Thanksgiving games, put on one of the best Thanksgiving movies.

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Thanksgiving Craft Materials 10Grace Luxton/rd.com

Turkey tag

What you’ll need:

This is an easy game of freeze tag with a holiday twist. First, to create your turkey feathers, the children can paint the clothespins with whatever color they choose. Once they’re 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 shout freeze. Whoever can collect all of the turkey feathers is the winner.

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Thanksgiving Craft Materials 11Grace Luxton/rd.com

Thanksgiving Taboo

What you’ll need:

Thanks to the creativity of people (in this case PamsPartyPrintables) on Etsy, you can purchase Thanksgiving-themed Taboo cards! You can also make your own. If you’re not familiar with the game Taboo, players pair up and one person must describe the word on the card so that the other person guesses it. They can’t say any of the other three (or more) words on the card, below the main word. The problem? Those other words are the most obvious, easiest ways to describe the other word! (For instance: Get your partner to guess the word “gobble” without saying “sound,” “turkey,” or “eat.”) Each pair is trying to correctly guess as many words as possible within a time limit (think 45 to 90 seconds depending on how many cards you have and how many people are playing). To encompass the full raucousness of the classic game, make sure you have some kind of buzzer, squeaky toy, or another noise-making prop that someone in a separate pair can use to indicate when someone says one of the “taboo” words. That card then no longer counts and you have to move on to the next word.

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Thanksgiving memory game

What you’ll need:

Decide on the pictures of food you want to print, and make sure you have a double of each picture! However many varieties you print will determine how challenging the game is. Glue or tape the pictures on the face of each 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!

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Thanksgiving Craft Materials 13Grace Luxton/rd.com

Thanksgiving bingo

What you’ll need:

You can very easily holiday-ifiy (and kid-ifiy!) a basic game of Bingo for a great time with the whole family! Shop (or make) Thanksgiving-themed Bingo cards (or theme them to your family!) and dole them out. Or play a game of BoomBox Bingo—put Thanksgiving songs on a Bingo card, play the beginnings of them one at a time, and see who can “name that tune” and get Bingo first!

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Thanksgiving The Price Is Right

What you’ll need:

Bring this classic game show to your holiday home this Thanksgiving! Either purchase these pre-prepared cards of various Thanksgiving food items or make your own based on the Thanksgiving dishes your family has. Have everyone (except the judge/whoever prepped the game and knows the correct prices) fill out the card with their guesses of how much everything costs! Then have the judge read out the correct answers and break out the calculator to see whose prices were the right-est! This may be one of the fun Thanksgiving games for the whole family, but as opposed to the more kid-oriented activities, this one may favor the grown-ups who actually purchase Thanksgiving dinner foods.

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Feed the Turkey

What you’ll need:

Give new life to a discarded recyclable bottle (making sure it’s clean first, of course) with this fun game from Busy Toddler! Use construction paper and googly eyes to create a turkey face for it. Have the kiddos take turns picking up pom-poms with the tongs—one at a time, no cheating!—and dropping them into the turkey bottle. Give each kid a certain amount of time and see who can “feed” the turkey the most pom-poms! Either have someone count the pom-poms or dump them out and count them after each kid’s turn.

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“Turkey Leg” Wrap

What you’ll need:

This is a variation on the wrap-your-friends-in-toilet-paper game, but Thanksgiving-approved—and less messy and less wasteful! In this game from Kid-Friendly Things to Do, pair up and have one person be the “turkey leg” in each pair. Give each person enough burlap to wrap up their teammate and a chef’s hat and give them a ready, set, go! First team to cover their “turkey leg” in burlap and plop a chef’s hat on their head wins the challenge. (Or, if you’d rather buy less burlap, have pairs go one at a time, time them, and use the same bit of burlap and hat for every pair.) Kid-Friendly Things to Do recommends having the “turkey legs” wear long sleeves and pants to keep the burlap from itching. If you’re celebrating with your pals as well, here are some great Friendsgiving ideas to try.

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Bean Bag Toss

What you’ll need:

Who says Bean Bag Toss/Corn Hole is just a summer game? Pit your Thanksgiving celebrants against one another with a fall-themed bean bag toss. Want to really step up your Thanksgiving game…game? You can purchase this huge, delightfully decorated target board, with bean bags included, on Amazon. But, of course, you can make your own bean bag toss too with any household object that a bean bag could emphatically land in! Warm up those bean bag–throwing arms.

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Thanksgiving food matching game

What you’ll need:

This one’s great for the chefs and chefs-in-training of the bunch! Print out these game cards from Play Party Plan or make your own. On one side you’ll find popular Thanksgiving dishes; on the other, a list of ingredients. Have each player try to match the ingredient with the food item it’s crucial for and see who gets the most right! (Maybe they get the first helping of their favorite dish!)

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How much candy in the cornucopia?

What you’ll need:

Love them or hate them, those “guess how many things are in the jar!” challenges are often a staple of childhood. Try out a slightly easy, craftier version with this cool game from Julep. Follow their tutorial for making these beautiful cornucopias using cardstock, scissors, and glue. (They’d also make great Thanksgiving decorations!) You can make one for each guest if you so choose, but there needs to be a primary one for this guessing game. Fill it with pieces of candy, place it where everyone can see it, and have everyone write down their best guesses for how many are inside. Once the festivities are over, count ’em up and announce whose guess was closest!

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Thanksgiving Craft Materials 20Grace Luxton/rd.com

Turkey baster race

What you’ll need:

Don’t have enough spud-like food items to play the “Traffic Yam” game? Try this other hilarious race game that’ll have your guests speeding around your home in a mad dash to be quickest! For this one, have the players take turns using the turkey baster to puff air at a feather and move it through a “course” or to a designated finish line. Time each player and whoever finishes fastest wins! Next, in addition to playing Thanksgiving games, you’ll want to try one of these meaningful Thanksgiving traditions.

Meghan Jones
Meghan Jones is a Staff Writer for RD.com who has been writing since before she could write. She graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and has been writing for Reader's Digest since 2017. In spring 2017, her creative nonfiction piece "Anticipation" was published in Angles literary magazine. She is a proud Hufflepuff and member of Team Cap.

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