The bird’s been cooked and devoured, the candied yams are gone, and even the pumpkin pie has been reduced to a couple of crumbs in the bottom of the tin. The whole family has undone the top button of their pants and has slowly migrated to the couch, ready to retire for the day — but, alas, it’s only 3 p.m. How are you supposed to keep everyone entertained and happy for, like, four to nine more hours?
Games, my friend. Lots of games.
The games ahead are actually great for while you’re cooking Thanksgiving dinner too. Whether you’re looking for some kid-friendly activities to keep the little ones busy (and off electronics) or searching for some adult party games to play after said kids go to bed, you’ll love these picks. From gratitude Jenga to Thanksgiving bingo for grown-ups, these are perfect for some serious family bonding time.
Originally published November 2016. Updated November 2017.
Glow-stick necklace pumpkin ring-toss
This pumpkin ring-toss game is sure to start a new Thanksgiving tradition. Not only is it fun, but you might already have these items lying around the house. Simply take turns tossing a glow-in-the-dark necklace to land on the stem of a pumpkin. This makes for a fun nighttime game as well.
Thanksgiving drinking bingo
While the kids are busy (or asleep), print out these Thanksgiving drinking bingo cards and pass them out to the adults to have a game of your own. Each time something on the card happens, such as a fight over politics or a drunk uncle showing up, mark off the square. Whoever has five in a row is the Thanksgiving bingo champ.
This turkey trivia game is the perfect way to pass the time while the pumpkin pie is cooking — and as an added bonus, you may learn a few things. For example, did you know that turkeys can run at a speed of 20 miles per hour? To play this fun game, head on over to Craftaholics Anonymous and print out these colorful cards (that would also look adorable on your Thanksgiving table, BTW).
Looking for a Thanksgiving game that gets the whole family up and moving? Grab that empty cornucopia and a few plastic corn cobs (balls work just as well if you don’t want to ruin your decorations), and get to tossing. Each team has at least two players; one player is blindfolded and holding the cornucopia, while another team tosses the balls. If they catch three balls, they win.
Exploding Kittens Card Game
You may be familiar with the cult-classic game Exploding Kittens: A Card Game About Kittens and Explosions and Sometimes Goats. Now, the brand has an NSFW version of the game to play after the kids have gone to bed. This card game is actually the most-backed Kickstarter project ever, and it features illustrations by The Oatmeal, so you know it’s good.
Exploding Kittens: NSFW Edition, $15.99 at Amazon
Turkey baster relays
Grab your turkey baster and a few feathers and have your kids see how fast they can get their feather across the room. Not only is this game fun and easy, but as The Inspired Treehouse also points out, it’s great for motor development and hand strength.
Pin the feather on the turkey
Put a Thanksgiving spin on the classic game, pin the tail on the donkey, with this fun version, pin the feather on the turkey. You can easily make your own game, as pictured here, by crafting a turkey out of cardboard and construction paper. Check out Living Well Mom for complete instructions. You can also order an already assembled pin the hat on the turkey game here.
The Pie Face! game is one of the most popular games of the year, not to mention a handy way to get rid of all that extra post-Thanksgiving whipped cream. For this messy festivity, the whipped cream is placed on the plastic hand and each person takes turns twisting the handle until the hand splats the whipped cream all over their face (or not). The anticipation of not knowing whether you’re going to get splatted makes it all the more fun, but fair warning: Prepare for cleanup.
Pie Face! game, $12.99 at Target
Jenga game of gratitude
We love this Thanksgiving spin on the classic block-stacking game, Jenga, from J. Sorelle. On each block, have your family and friends write what they’re grateful for. As you pull out each gratitude block, you can really count your blessings.
A Thanksgiving turkey hunt is the perfect way to get the kids out of the house and exploring while you finish cooking. Print out this turkey hunt template and hide the turkeys or feathers all around the yard. Whoever finds the most wins a prize… or perhaps first dibs at the kids’ table.
I’m thankful for…
Print out several copies of this “I’m thankful for” template and place them at the kids’ table to keep them busy during the meal. You can even get the adults involved and take turns reading out loud what you’re thankful for. This is a great Thanksgiving tradition to start and can make for a special scrapbook memento to keep for years.
Cards Against Humanity
Pie Face! may be the hottest party game for kids, but is there a greater adult classic than Cards Against Humanity? Jokingly referred to as “a party game for horrible people,” this offensive card deck is best enjoyed (tolerated?) after a cocktail or two — and definitely after the kids are asleep.
Cards Against Humanity, $25 at Amazon
Leave a Comment