The paint brush icon represents creativity. For content about raising a creative child, look for this icon.

8 Great Thanksgiving Day Games That Are Almost as Good as the Food!

Highlights 4Cs

Curious, Creative, Caring, and Confident™
The light bulb icon represents curiosity. For content about raising a curious child, look for this icon.
The paint brush icon represents creativity. For content about raising a creative child, look for this icon.
The holding hands icon represents caring. For content about raising a caring child, look for this icon.
The thumbs up icon represents confidence. For content about raising a confident child, look for this icon.
Rightsize the kids’ playbook now with these easy and fun ideas.
grandfather and granddaughter playing game at Thanksgiving table
Add memory-making games to your T-Day plans and celebrate the feast with a twist!
1. Name of the Game: Thanksgiving Bingo

Play: Indoors—the first game of the day

For: Ages three to six

Gamers: Two or more

You need: A medium-size bowl filled with holiday-themed images. (Pick up a few packs of festive stickers, or find images online or in magazines.) Also, one 5 x 5-inch DIY white poster board Bingo card for each child. Each card should contain the same images as those in the bowl. Each card should display 9 Bingo boxes in all, with 3 Bingo boxes in each row.

How to Play: The same way you play real Bingo.

Game ends when: One player completes a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal row and yells Bingo!

2. Name of the game: Tepee Topple

Play: During appetizers—or next up after Bingo

For: Ages two to six

Gamers: Two or more

You need: A paper-towel cardboard tube with about one-third cut off; pencils, chopsticks, or wooden skewers

How to Play: Place a handful of pencils or skewers inside a cardboard tube that sits vertically on a floor or table. Pencils should stick out from the top and form a tepee. Kids take turns removing pencils—one at a time.

Game ends when: The tepee topples. Let kids play again.

3. Name of the game: Thankerchief

Play: At the table, just before you eat

For: All ages

Gamers: The more the merrier.

You need: A handkerchief or bandanna…and thoughtful players

How to Play: Kids pass the Thankerchief around the table and chant:

Thankerchief, thankerchief, around you go,
Where you’ll stop, nobody knows.
But when you do, someone must say,
What they are thankful for on this day. 

The person holding the Thankerchief when the song ends shares one thing he is thankful for, and the game continues.

Game ends when: Everyone’s had a turn. 

4. Name of the game: Pilgrim Pictionary

Play: Between courses

For: Historians and artists of all ages

Gamers: Two or more. Could also play in teams.

You need: Paper, pencils, Popsicle sticks, a permanent marker, and a Mason jar or cup.

How to play: Adults and kids take turns taking Popsicle sticks out of the jar and sketching a picture to match the word or words that have been written in marker ahead of time. Players earn points if they correctly identify the picture the artist draws.

Game ends when: Everyone’s had a turn and the points are tallied.

5. Name of game: Turkey-Feather Tag

Play: Outdoors after dinner

For ages: Four to eight

Gamers: Four or more

What you need: Wooden clothespins, colored feathers, and glue. Make turkey feathers ahead of time; simply glue feathers onto the wooden clothespins and you’re good to go.

How to Play: Attach turkey-feather clothespins to the tops kids are wearing. To start: Have kids unclip each other’s turkey feather clothespins without the feathers falling off.

Game ends when: Only one player remains with his feather attached.

6. Name of game: Turkey-Waddle Relay

For ages: Four to six, or kids of any age

Play: Outdoors after dinner

Gamers: Four or more. An even number works best so you can divide into teams.

You need: Two balloons to start, plus backups

How to Play: Designate a starting point on your lawn, and a “half-way” or turn-around point at an age-appropriate distance. Give one player from each team a balloon, to place between his legs, and at the sound of “go,” waddle to the halfway point and back and pass the balloon to another player.

Game ends:  When one team completes the relay first.

7. Name of game: Pumpkin-Patch Piñatas

For ages: Three to six

Play: Indoors or outside after dinner

Gamers: Any number

You need: Large orange balloons* stuffed with wrapped candies and/or miniature prizes. (Insert items before you inflate the balloons.)

How to Play: Let your pint-size guests blow off steam while they stomp on balloons to their hearts’ content and gather prizes.

Game ends when: All balloons have been popped.

*Balloons can be a choking hazard for those 4 and under; close supervision a must.

8. Name of the game: Holiday Scavenger Hunt

Play: In a playroom or outdoors, anytime

Best for: Younger kids

You need:  A master list of creative scavenger-hunt items that reflect Thanksgiving, and some eager hunter/gatherers.

How to Play: Hide in multiples (and in plain sight) any of the following items—or more if want: acorns; pinecones; red, brown, and gold leaves; small twigs; colored feathers; hard-boiled eggs; and paper cutouts of turkeys and Pilgrim hats. Call out one item at a time and let the kids scatter.

Game ends when: Each child finds every item on the list.