Thanksgiving game ideas can mean different things to different families. Some will enjoy a big get-together, with lots of noise, others will prefer something a little quieter. This guide has it all.
As the regular Thanksgiving host in my family, and a Mom of three, I am pretty experienced in providing entertainment and am putting this knowledge into this guide.
In addition to my own ideas, I have researched far and wide to bring together what I believe to be the very best Thanksgiving game ideas.
Around the Table Thanksgiving Game Ideas
2020 prevented many of us from meeting up with our family and friends on Thanksgiving, and due to the pandemic, things were a bit different.
However, if you’re able to organize a family event this year, then this section is all about the best game ideas to play around the dinner table.
From all-the-family games to games especially for children, here is where you’ll find the best after-dinner Thanksgiving games for all.
Thanksgiving Family Feud
Family Feud is a super-easy and extremely fun game to recreate at home.
As the game host, you can tailor the questions to be appropriate for your family and don’t have to use the ones I have linked to. Our Trivia Section is an excellent resource for this!
Thanksgiving Dice Game
It can be awkward to keep the little ones entertained around the table, as well as challenging to limit their sugar intake and rivalry between siblings, cousins, and friends.
This Thanksgiving Dice Game by Cupcake Diaries is a wonderful solution to all of these problems.
Stock up on candy (candy bulk buys can be greatly cost-effective) and remain in the vicinity while the game is being played!
Thanksgiving Would You Rather
Would you rather wash your hair with stuffing or with mashed potatoes? Eat raw pumpkin or raw cranberries?
Get some fantastic icebreaker Thanksgiving would you rather questions at singupgenius.com, or if you have got the time, devise your own!
Love or hate it; bingo is a game that can be played at all times; camping, vacations, family game nights, and of course: Thanksgiving!
Devise a game of Thanksgiving-inspired Taboo for your friends and family this year.
For more board games and after-dinner games, see my final section.
Outside Thanksgiving Game Ideas
Fall is a great time of year to wrap up and get everyone outside, especially when that massive Thanksgiving feast has had time to settle!
Here are some great outdoor games to consider this year:
Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt
Here are some brilliant Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt printables and ideas suitable for all the family to play.
There are some indoor ideas, but plenty of outdoor ones, and you can always change things to make it exclusively for outside.
You May Also Like: 15 Fun Scavenger Hunt Games
Thanksgiving Captain Ball
Captain Ball (see the Captain Ball game rules) is a super-easy game the whole family can play.
A soft volleyball will make the game easier for little ones, or you could make it more of a challenge for the older kids by using a soft baseball.
How is this Thanksgiving-related?
Well, the losing team can wash the Thanksgiving meal dishes, and the winning team can have an extra slice of pie!
The Seasoned Mom explains how to play turkey bowling, which involves turning party cups into turkey skittles; with the addition of cardboard beaks and googly eyes. This is a Thanksgiving game suitable for every age and ability.
Check out these free printables for Thanksgiving I spy! This can be a dual activity, with the kids coloring in their sheets once completed – or before, whichever works out!
Coloring is a great time sink for young children. I find buying a tablecloth that they can color in is an excellent way to gain a little peace in the kitchen before guests arrive – I love this one over at Amazon, which comes with crayons included.
Great Thanksgiving Games and Activities to Buy This Year
If you don’t have the time, or inclination, to get crafty this Thanksgiving, then here’s a selection of my favorite Thanksgiving games and activities to buy this year.
Best Thanksgiving Games for Preschoolers
- Pin the Tail on the Turkey: Great entertainment for younger children who want to join in the family fun without having too much of a challenge!
- I am Thankful For: It is a great way for young children to learn to sit and think, practice their fine motor skills, and count their blessings since Thanksgiving. Encourage the older children to play along!
- Thanksgiving Activity Book: Use as prizes in your Bingo game (see above) or gift to younger guests to keep them occupied during the meal – not everyone can listen to Grandpa’s stories that many times patiently!
- Candy Corn Bowling Set: Recommended for 3+, this is a super-fun activity for young children to play this Thanksgiving.
- Thanksgiving Foam Pumpkins: Allow little ones to express their artistic flair this year with these durable foam pumpkin pieces; with 24 pumpkins per pack, this is excellent value for money.
The festive season is such a joyous time for little ones, but it can also be one of a lot of changes to routine and late nights.
By keeping small children active, you can hopefully keep the bad moods at bay!
Best Thanksgiving Games for Older Children
- Make a Turkey Sticker Crafts: Recommended for kids aged 3 and up, this is an activity to keep the whole family entertained in the run-up to Thanksgiving or place on the kids’ table before dinner is served.
- Thanksgiving Bean Bag Toss Game: Being washable and reusable, this is excellent value for money and can be brought out and used year after year.
- Color Your Placemat: Coloring isn’t just for younger children, and older ones still enjoy time to sit and relax while seeing the fruits of their labor. For teens, you could buy some metallic gel pens to give the activity an older feel.
- Chicken Sling Shot Game: So it isn’t a turkey, but it’s almost there! This game will provide endless fun for older kids this year.
Best Thanksgiving Games for All
- Thanksgiving Mix Up: Unscramble the Thanksgiving-themed words on each card in this family fun activity game.
- Do You Really Know Your Family: A perfect game for ages 8 and up; super-easy to learn and an ideal way to get to know those long-distance relatives a little better this year.
- Beat the Parents: This is a great game that incorporates different age groups, with targeted general knowledge questions to suit.
Related: Beat the Parents rules guide
- Ticket to Ride: For the patriotism in us, this board game includes the railroads that originally connected America. Perfect for a history lesson around the table this Thanksgiving.
Any board game can be a great focal point of the family reunion this year. Check out our guides to see if anything takes your fancy that I haven’t listed here.
Best Inclusive Thanksgiving Games
Thanksgiving is a time for entire families to celebrate, including those who may have physical or neurological challenges. While some games and activities won’t be inclusive, I have found what I believe to be a great selection of the most inclusive Thanksgiving games.
- Thanksgiving Jigsaw: If some people would benefit from time alone from the crowd, or if physical limitations rule out many activities, then a few festive jigsaws could be a great way to provide Thanksgiving fun.
- Thanksgiving Suduko: With a similar premise to the jigsaw, this sudoku book means those who struggle with multiplayer games can find their own Thanksgiving-themed fun and keep their minds active.
- Color Your Crown: Provide a fun chore some people can excel in this year and have them in charge of coloring in guests’ crowns. This kit includes 12 identical crowns to prevent any argument!
- Pumpkin Scratch Art: This is a great activity for those who love to express themselves through art, you don’t need to be the next Da Vinci, but great fun can be had with this simple task.
While celebrating Thanksgiving with someone with Autism, learning disabilities, or physical challenges may mean some adaptations, it certainly does not mean they have to be sidelined.
Thanksgiving Game Ideas for Kids – Video
I hope you at least have some inspiration for Thanksgiving game ideas this year after reading this guide. God bless America!