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Thanksgiving Games for Kids

Brainy Bunny is a mother of two. Together they read, craft, and play games for fun.

Have your kids search out plastic food to fill your Thanksgiving centerpiece.

Have your kids search out plastic food to fill your Thanksgiving centerpiece.

Playing Games on Thanksgiving

If you have children, you know that it isn't always easy to get them to stay in the moment. Despite your best intentions of family togetherness, your kids gravitate toward their mind-numbing electronics or become hyper from being cooped up and start doing gymnastic flips over the sofa. Here are some games to use to bring your family together on Thanksgiving and help everyone have fun together.

Thanksgiving Alphabet Game

This is a simple variation of an alphabet game you might play on a car trip, but the twist is that for each letter, you must name something you are thankful for.

  1. The first person starts with the letter A: A, I am thankful for the airplane that brought my grandparents here to visit.
  2. Go around the table, with each person using the next letter in the alphabet. Some letters will be harder than others!
  3. If a child has trouble thinking of an answer, the adults can make suggestions, but they should let the child choose his or her final answer. There are no right or wrong answers in this game; it's just a way to get kids thinking about their many blessings.

This game is good to play if your kids are pestering you in the kitchen while you're cooking since it doesn't require any special equipment. It's also ideal as an icebreaker at the dinner table when everyone first sits down or during the lull between dinner and dessert.

Mad Libs are easy to write. Use mine, or make up your own!

Mad Libs are easy to write. Use mine, or make up your own!

Thanksgiving Mad Libs

We've all done Mad Libs before—those fill-in-the-blank stories where you get to put in your own words to make it as silly as possible—and they're great for all ages, from four years old up to the elderly. They even have a Thanksgiving version.

You can make up your own stories ahead of time. They don't need to be great works of art; just use a Thanksgiving theme, write a paragraph or two, and then erase a few nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Make notes so you remember which part of speech is needed in each blank spot!

Then sit everyone down in the living room before the turkey comes out of the oven, and take a few minutes to laugh together. All you'll need is a pencil and the ability to remind people what the parts of speech are (e.g., I always have to remind my six-year-old that an adjective is a describing word, like stinky or purple).

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Thanksgiving Variations of Classic Party Games

If Thanksgiving is a large gathering at your house, adapt traditional children's party games by adding a Thanksgiving theme.

  • Pin the tailfeather on the turkey: Print out a large picture of a turkey (preferably in color) and tape it to the wall low enough for the kids to reach. Cut out tailfeathers from colored paper and have each guest write their name on one. Put a piece of tape on the end of each feather. Then blindfold the first guest, spin them, and let them try to get it in the right place! Adjust the number of spins according to the age of the guest (kids love to be dizzy, but you don't want Grandpa to fall down!).
  • Turkey egg hunt: While the grown-ups are enjoying their coffee, send the kids out to the backyard to find the plastic eggs you hid just before dinner! Fill the plastic eggs with a piece or two of candy for a sweet treat. (If the weather is lousy, you can hide the eggs indoors, but don't expect your house to ever look the same!)
  • Stuff the turkey: Make half the guests farmers and the other half turkeys. Give the farmers a small cup full of candy corn. Start with the pairs facing each other about two feet apart. The farmer has to toss a piece of candy corn into the turkey's mouth. After each turn, those who missed are out, and successful pairs take a step apart before tossing again. The pair with the best aim wins. Note: Don't let small children be the turkeys because candy corn can be a choking hazard.

© 2012 Brainy Bunny


Brainy Bunny (author) from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania on October 30, 2012:

Clevercat, I hope you have a lot of fun with your family this Thanksgiving!

Rachel Vega from Massachusetts on October 28, 2012:

I think the alphabet game is fabulous! I plan to do that with my family this holiday. Great stuff here! Voted up and others. :^)

Brainy Bunny (author) from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania on October 25, 2012:

Thank you, LauraG. I'm really looking forward to Thanksgiving this year, now that my kids are old enough to have fun with games like these.

LauraGSpeaks from Raleigh, NC on October 25, 2012:

Great ideas for having fun with kids on Thanksgiving! I really like the creative alphabet game.

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