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The 40 Best Thanksgiving Games to Play with the Whole Family This Year

Turkey Day isn't just cooking and eating.

Thanksgiving isn't just for gratitude, reflection and amazing food. It's also a great time for families to get together and make memories they'll never forget. It's also the best time for the kids to spend time with family members they don't see too often, playing fun games while the adults cook.

But what can you do with kids that doesn't involve a screen? Although we love a good Thanksgiving movie marathon, there are plenty of fun, engaging Thanksgiving activities that can keep the younger crowd entertained and don't involve vegging out in front of the TV for hours on end. You can make them smile with some fun and kid-friendly Thanksgiving jokes. Or educate them about the holiday with Thanksgiving trivia questions and facts. There are also plenty of games perfect for getting the kids out of their seats and onto the floor to move and play.

We've put together a selection of 40 different games you and your kids can play together. Each is themed around the holiday, with some quieter activities and plenty of opportunities for the little ones to get out of their seats and move around.

So whether you're hosting a big family gathering or a smaller get-together, you can adapt these games to work with how many people you have and how rowdy you want to get. Keep reading for our picks for 40 of the best Thanksgiving games you can play with the family this holiday.

40 Best Thanksgiving Games to Play

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  • Turkey Trot: Kids race while skillfully balancing a small plastic turkey or ball on a spoon. The activity introduces a playful challenge to the traditional race, infusing the Thanksgiving celebration with laughter and coordination.
  • Thanksgiving Bingo: Instead of conventional numbers, opt for Thanksgiving Bingo, featuring holiday images like turkeys, pumpkins, and pilgrims. This creative twist transforms the classic game into a lively holiday-themed activity.
  • Stuff the Turkey: Create a large cardboard turkey and toss beanbags into its open mouth. It's just the right level of competition that will keep things fun and accessible for all ages.
  • Pumpkin Roll: Add whimsy to the festivities with Pumpkin Roll, where kids use their noses to roll small pumpkins to a designated finish line. Whether played indoors or outdoors, this unconventional race brings a playful element to the traditional concept of a race.
  • Turkey Tag: A wacky and festive twist on the classic game of tag. The rules of Turkey Tag are identical to the original, but with one major caveat: all players must flap their wings like turkeys the entire time.
  • Pin the Hat on the Pilgrim: Another festive twist on a beloved classic. Modeled after "Pin the Tail on the Donkey," this game invites kids to place a hat atop the head of a pilgrim on a poster.
  • Pilgrim Relay: Enliven the atmosphere with the Pilgrim Relay, where kids don oversized pilgrim clothing and race to pass the attire to the next player. This spirited competition merges historical flair with physical activity, creating an engaging and festive relay race.
  • Thanksgiving Memory Game: Lay out cards adorned with Thanksgiving-related images and enjoy a round of uncovering and matching pairs. This memory game not only sharpens cognitive skills but also infuses a delightful touch of festivity into the celebration through recognizable holiday symbols.
  • Cranberry Spoon Race: Challenge dexterity and balance by transferring cranberries from one bowl to another using only a spoon held in the mouth. This unique twist on the classic spoon race adds skill-based excitement to the holiday gathering.
  • Thankful Tree: Foster gratitude as children express thankfulness by writing on paper leaves and hanging them on a tree or board. The Thankful Tree turns a craft activity into a meaningful tradition, encouraging reflection and appreciation during the Thanksgiving festivities.
  • Turkey Feather Hunt: Infuse excitement by hiding colorful feathers around the house or yard for kids to discover. The Turkey Feather Hunt combines the thrill of a scavenger hunt with the festive search for symbolic holiday elements.
  • Corn Husking Race: Energize the celebration with a competition to husk corn the fastest. The Corn Husking Race blends agricultural tradition with lively competition, creating a unique and entertaining Thanksgiving activity.
  • Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest: Indulge in the sweet delights of the season with a Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest featuring mini pies — and a hands-free rule. This delectable and messy competition adds some delicious fun to the gathering.
  • Turkey Trivia: Engage young minds with Turkey Trivia, presenting cards with Thanksgiving facts and encouraging kids to guess the answers. This interactive and educational game turns learning into a fun group activity, enhancing the holiday celebration.
  • Pass the Pumpkin: Participate in the lively Pass the Pumpkin game, resembling "Hot Potato," where participants pass a small pumpkin. This festive activity is simple enough that anyone can play and is sure to generate plenty of laughter.
  • Thanksgiving Pictionary: Unleash creativity with Thanksgiving Pictionary, encouraging participants to draw holiday-related items or phrases. Pair up younger players with older ones to keep things fair and encourage intergenerational bonding.
  • Turkey Bowling: Set up pins and use a small pumpkin as a bowling ball in the festive Turkey Bowling game. Merging the classic sport with holiday cheer, it creates a unique and enjoyable Thanksgiving activity.
  • Thanksgiving Charades: Infuse the celebration with laughter as participants act out different Thanksgiving-related words or situations in a lively game of Charades. This classic party game with a holiday twist keeps the game both fun for adults and accessible to kids.
  • Macy's Parade Guessing Game: Enhance the viewing experience of the iconic Macy's Parade by guessing which floats or balloons will appear next. This interactive guessing game adds an element of excitement and engagement to the otherwise passive act of watching TV.
  • Mayflower Voyage: Transport children back in time with the Mayflower Voyage, where they navigate an obstacle course, pretending to sail as the Pilgrims once did. This themed adventure combines historical awareness with physical activity, creating an entertaining and educational experience.
  • Pilgrim Hat Ring Toss: Craft cones resembling Pilgrim hats and engage in a friendly competition by tossing rings around them. The Pilgrim Hat Ring Toss adds an enjoyable and skill-based activity to the holiday celebration, encouraging friendly competition with a Thanksgiving theme.

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  • Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt: To amp up the excitement, hand the kids a list of Thanksgiving items for them to hunt down. Think of it as a mini adventure where they get to uncover all sorts of holiday treasures.
  • Turkey Waddle Race: Imagine the little ones racing with a balloon squeezed between their legs, waddling like turkeys. This comical race is sure to fill the air with laughter and create a playful vibe at the party.
  • Cornhole with a Twist: Take the classic Cornhole game up a notch by using Thanksgiving-themed beanbags featuring turkeys and pumpkins. This simple twist brings a festive spirit to a backyard favorite.
  • Thanksgiving Story Cubes: Roll the dice adorned with images to spin a unique Thanksgiving tale. It's like weaving your own holiday story, one roll at a time, and it keeps the kids engaged with their creative storytelling.
  • Craft Station: Let the creative juices flow with a craft station where kids can make turkeys from pine cones, paint rocks, or string bead necklaces in fall colors. It's hands-on, artsy fun that allows for individual expression.
  • Pumpkin Decorating: Use markers, stickers, and various crafts to decorate mini pumpkins. Pumpkin decorating is a crafty and enjoyable way to turn pumpkins into personalized masterpieces.
  • Thanksgiving Mad Libs: A festive twist on the classic Mad Libs. Bring some humor to the gathering by creating stories where kids fill in the blanks with nouns, verbs, and adjectives.
  • Guess the Number: Fill up a jar with candy corn and let the kids take a wild guess at how many are inside. The sweet game is guaranteed to add a bit of suspense to the day.
  • Feather Balance: Challenge the little ones to see how many feathers they can delicately balance on their fingers or hands. It's a fine motor skills activity that brings a lot of focus and fun to the party.
  • Pilgrim's Quest: Turn the party into a treasure hunt with clues leading to a "New World" treasure. This historical scavenger hunt adds an adventurous touch to the celebration, making it more interactive and engaging.
  • Dress the Turkey: Get creative with felt or paper pieces to dress up a big turkey cutout. It's like playing fashion designer, but for turkeys, and adds a touch of whimsy to the crafting activity.
  • Acorn Toss: Set up buckets with different point values and let the kids toss acorns into them. This simple yet competitive game is accessible and enjoyable for everyone at the party.
  • Thanksgiving Word Search or Crossword: Keep the kids entertained with themed puzzles, providing a brainy and enjoyable activity during the celebration.
  • Turkey Call Contest: Gobble, gobble! See who can make the best turkey calls. It's a silly game that's sure to bring out lots of laughs and create a lively atmosphere.
  • Squash Racers: Design a racetrack and roll different types of squash or gourds to see which one is the fastest. The veggie-fueled race is sure to add a unique and entertaining element to the festivities.
  • Pie Face Showdown: Put a Thanksgiving twist on Hasbro's Pie Face game by using pumpkin-flavored whipped cream that mimics pumpkin pie topping. Kids take turns turning a lever, hoping they don't get a whipped cream-covered face, and it adds a messy and hilarious touch to the celebration.
  • Thanksgiving Skits: Let the kids become little actors and reenact the first Thanksgiving or other themed stories. It's a creative and interactive way to bring history to life, making it more engaging and memorable.
  • Fall Leaf Collage: Collect colorful fall leaves and create collages together. This nature-inspired craft celebrates the beauty of the season and provides a collaborative artistic outlet for the kids.
  • Thanksgiving Duck Duck Goose: Put a holiday spin on the classic game by playing "Turkey, Turkey, Pilgrim" instead. This playful twist adds a touch of Thanksgiving to a timeless game, making it even more enjoyable for the kids.

READ MORE: From Parades to Pie, 20 Timeless Thanksgiving Traditions To Cherish With Loved Ones