While the food and decor are usually the major focus for Thanksgiving preparations, it's worth thinking about what happens on Thanksgiving Day before and after the feast. Whether you want games to keep the kids busy while the adults are cleaning up, or family activities that everyone can do together, we have some ideas for fun Thanksgiving family games that might even distract everyone from rehashing the same old arguments. (MIGHT! We can't promise any miracles.)
While you could (literally) leave everyone to their own devices before and after the big meal, to probably stare at their own screens, Thanksgiving can instead be a chance to connect with friends and family. Fun Thanksgiving family games and activities are one way to draw people together, give them something to talk about, and keep them from getting bored. But with the often-large variety of ages at Thanksgiving, it can be tricky to find family activities for both kids and adults. So here are a variety of ideas, from Thanksgiving trivia games to bingo, to give you some options for the best Thanksgiving Day family activities.
Thanksgiving Trivia Games
Do you know what baby turkeys are called, or how long the first Thanksgiving lasted? Your guests probably don't, either. So some Thanksgiving trivia can be a fun Thanksgiving activity for kids and adults. You might even want to offer prizes, or a reprieve from clean-up duty, for the person who gets the most answers right. Just make sure everyone puts their phones away, so there's no cheating!
If you want a more competitive trivia game, here are instructions for how to set up and play your own Family Feud Thanksgiving game.
All you need to play your own Thanksgiving-themed jeopardy at home is a laptop, and this website. It couldn't be easier!
(Turkey chicks are pults, or turkeylings, and the first Thanksgiving reportedly lasted three days!)
Thanksgiving Activities for Kids
Everyone knows that bored kids are a recipe for trouble, so head off any before/after dinner mischief by keeping the kids' hands busy.
For a very simple Thanksgiving activity for kids, cover your table with a roll of white craft paper, put out crayons, and let the kids go to town coloring on the table.
Here are 10 kid-friendly Thanksgiving DIY projects, and 7 fall garlands to make. Or get a jump on your Christmas decorating, and get the kids to help you make this geometric paper garland, or this glam tassel garland.
Thanksgiving Printable Games for Kids
There are lots of free printable worksheets and games for kids available online. Some of them are even educational!
Better Homes & Gardens has a good selection of free Thanksgiving Day printable games and activities for kids right here, and Education.com has over 150 Thanksgiving-themed games, worksheets, and coloring pages that you can print out from here.
A Thanksgiving scavenger hunt may keep kids busy for a while, and you can make your own collection bags with this free printable from The Taylor House.
Thanksgiving Activities for Adults
These 50 family-friendly Thanksgiving-themed questions for Would you Rather? are sure to get the conversation going.
Have you heard of Minute to Win It games? Players divide into teams, then one player from each team has a minute to complete a simple challenge, like keeping a feather in the air by blowing on it. They apparently make really fun, easy-to-set-up Thanksgiving family games. Here are 12 Thanksgiving versions of the challenge that are perfect for kids and adults.
Don't know what to talk to Aunt Martha about? Keep the conversation flowing with these free printable Thanksgiving conversation cards.
Charades is a fun game for all ages, so download and print this cute version of Thanksgiving charades.
Though the board game version of Pictionary would be a good activity for a group, you can also just play a simplified version with nothing but a big drawing pad and a timer. Print out a list of autumn and Thanksgiving-themed words (here are some ideas), put them in a jar, and get drawing.
Some families have traditional fun Thanksgiving family games that they do every year. Does your family do anything special before or after Thanksgiving dinner?
Want more Thanksgiving ideas? Here are 10 free Thanksgiving printables.