Family gatherings for Thanksgiving take on many variations. Whether the event is a formal dinner or a relaxed meal in front of a football game, preparing activities for the kids keeps them entertained for the duration of the event. Add the Thanksgiving theme to the kids' games to increase the festivity of the celebration. Most games work well for all ages with small modifications to accommodate younger kids.
This Thanksgiving game resembles "Hot Potato" in the way that it is played. A colorful feather is passed around a circle of players as music plays. When the music stops, the feather-passing stops. The person holding the feather says something she is thankful for this year. The music then resumes and the feather is passed around the group again. Continue the game until everyone has a chance to share something.
Create several small turkey cutouts for the turkey hunt game. Clip art on the computer or Thanksgiving stickers provide simple options for the small turkeys. Hide them throughout the room while the participants aren't nearby. Explain to them that some turkeys got loose and need to be recaptured. Send them to find as many of the turkeys as possible. Award a prize to the child who finds the most turkeys.
Pin the Wattle on the Turkey
The classic game, "Pin the Tail on the Donkey," takes on a Thanksgiving theme with a few modifications. Draw a large turkey outline on a piece of poster board. Let the kids help color the turkey's feathers and facial features. Draw the wattle of the turkey on a piece of red construction paper. (The wattle is the red flap that hangs down beneath the turkey's neck.) One at a time, blindfold the kids, spin them in a circle a few times, and hand them the wattle. The child who places it closest to its actual location on a turkey is the winner.
Football plays on millions of television sets each Thanksgiving. A game of flag football in the backyard serves as a fitting form of entertainment for the kids. Strips of material tucked into the belts or waistband of each child's pants works for the game. Instead of tackling each other, the players grab one of the flags from opposing team members. Another option is to gently tag the other players in place of tackling. Either version presents a safer option than traditional tackle football.
Edible Turkey Contest
An edible turkey contest adds an artistic touch to the Thanksgiving games. Provide the kids with different food items and instruct them to create a turkey from the materials. Ideas for the base of the turkey include a sugar cookie, a cupcake, or an apple. Accent ideas include marshmallows, fruit leather, and assorted candies. Use frosting or peanut butter as an edible glue to hold the accents in place. Judge the edible turkeys on creativity and how closely they resemble an actual turkey.