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Coolest Thanksgiving Games and Activities

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Whether you're planning a Thanksgiving party or family gathering, the Thanksgiving games below will help you energize the guests - young and old. Most games can be adapted to fit a Thanksgiving theme, so (as always) just set your creativity free.

Corn Gobbling Contest: Prepare a pot full of corncobs and have a corn-gobbling contest. The players must eat the corn without using their hands. Or, you can pair up the contestants, blindfold one, tie the other's hands, and have the blindfolded player try to feed his partner. Loads of fun!

--Coolest Thanksgiving Games--

Turkey Calling Contest: Host a turkey-calling contest, complete with lots of squawking, pecking, wattle shaking and flapping. Give each person a prize with a fun distinction: "cutest turkey", "loudest turkey", "most authentic", "most likely to be spared", etc. This activity can also be turned into a relay race in which family and friends split into two teams.

--Coolest Thanksgiving Games--

Wild Turkey Hunt: Give each guest a paper bag. On a dozen or so index cards, draw or paste a picture of a turkey (you can also use a stuffed animal turkey or cellophane-wrapped sugar cookies in turkey shapes). To play, everyone leaves the room except the leader. The leader hides the cards around the room. Hunters return and begin the hunt. As each turkey is found, it is brought back to the leader who corrals them in a separate pile for each hunter. When all the turkeys have been found, the hunter with the most turkeys is the winner and becomes the leader for the next round. You can also use miniature pumpkins (Pumpkin Hunt) or harvest colored corn (Harvest Hunt).

--Coolest Thanksgiving Games--

Popcorn Toss: Pair up the kids, give each team a cup full of popcorn and have them toss the popcorn into their couple's mouth. The first team to finish wins. This can also be done with cranberries.

--Coolest Thanksgiving Games--

Gobble, Gobble, Cook Me!: This is a Thanksgiving adaptation of Duck, Duck, Goose. Players sit on the ground in a large circle. One player is chosen as the turkey. The turkey must then select a cook who will try to catch him and roast him for Thanksgiving dinner. The turkey walks around the circle, patting each player lightly on the head and calling each player either "Gobble" or "Cook me!" As long as the turkey says, "Gobble," he or she is safe. When the turkey calls "Cook me!," however, the player tagged must jump up and chase the turkey around the circle. If the cook catches the turkey, the turkey must go sit in the center of the circle (the roasting pot). If the turkey sits in the cook's spot before the cook tags him, the turkey is safe, and the cook becomes the next turkey.

--Coolest Thanksgiving Games--

Where is Mr. Turkey?: In this game, one player is the hunter and the others are helpers. The hunter leaves the room. The helpers hide a small toy turkey. The hunter returns with a mission to find the turkey. Helpers give clues by "gobbling" like turkeys. If the hunter is not close, the helpers gobble very quietly. As the hunter gets closer, the helpers gobble more and more loudly until Mr. Turkey is found!

--Coolest Thanksgiving Games--

Egg Toss: This can get messy, but it's lots of fun. Pair up the kids and give them each one raw egg. Have them toss it between them and then take a step back. The game is played until one couple is left with an unbroken egg.

--Coolest Thanksgiving Games--

Sack / Pillowcase Races: This is always an energizing activity. Prepare sacks or pillowcases ahead of time and let the kids race as they jump, hop and wobble over to the finish line. Add an autumnal touch by creating an obstacle course using pumpkins, corn stalks and bales of hay.

--Coolest Thanksgiving Games--

Pass the Corn: Divide guests into two teams and have them form two lines. You will need two cobs of dried Indian corn. At the signal "go", the corncob is to be passed from person to person. The catch is that they can use any part of their bodies, except their hands. If the corn touches the ground at any time, it must go back to the beginning of the line again. Whichever team manages to get the corn to the end of the line first wins the game.

--Coolest Thanksgiving Games--

Ring the Pumpkin: Line up three large pumpkins with stems, to form a ring toss. Use embroidery hoops or make hoops with rope and duct tape. Mark a throwing line on the floor and take turns trying to ring a pumpkin stem. Smaller children can attempt to ring an entire large pumpkin with a hula-hoop.

--Coolest Thanksgiving Games--

Roll the Gourd: This traditional County Fair Game can be played in a yard, garage or even inside! It's a simple race but since pumpkins are not nice smooth balls and refuse to roll in nice straight lines, you will need plenty of room! You need two large pumpkins and two sturdy sticks. The racers, line up on the starting line with the pumpkins turned on their sides. On the signal, the racers use the stick to roll the pumpkins to the finish line. Younger players may want to use their hands instead of the stick. If you want to play this as teams, make it a relay race. This game can also be played inside, using small pumpkins. You can also use empty plastic pop bottles for bowling pins. Each player gets three chances to roll the gourd into the pins as the gourds go every which way but straight.

--Coolest Thanksgiving Games--

Gigglebelly: It's tough for kids to say the name of this game without cracking up. Once you start playing, you'll find that the belly laughs are completely contagious - no matter how serious some of the guests may be. You'll need at least four players and a comfortable grassy surface or carpeted floor to lie on. To begin, have one player lie down on his back. The next player lies down with his head resting on the first player's belly, and the next player lies down with her head on the second player's belly. Arrange all the players until everyone is zigzagged around the lawn or floor, each with his or her head on someone else's belly (if possible, make the line into a loop so that the last player can put her head on the first player's belly). Then, the first player shouts, loud and clear, "Ha!" The second player responds with a vigorous, "Ha, ha!" then the third player chimes in, "Ha, ha, ha!" Continue until all players have shouted out their "Ha's" or (more likely) have dissolved into uncontrollable laughter, with heads bouncing on the bellies.

--Coolest Thanksgiving Games--

Cotton Ball Scoop: Fill large mixing bowls with cotton balls and give each guest a spoon. Each player must scoop out as many cotton balls as possible in one minute - without using fingers!

--Coolest Thanksgiving Games--

As a Child: look through your old photographs and try finding old photos of people you know will be coming to your celebration (when they were a kid). If you don’t have any, ask each person to mail you a photo from when they were a baby or a young child). Put each on a board and designate a number to each. Create a form having each guest’s name and a blank next to their name. Take photocopies of this form, so that you have enough for everyone. Once people start coming in, let everyone guess who is who by writing the number of the picture in the blank. See who gets closest to getting them all right!

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Pumpkin in a pair: Divide the group into pairs (this game is best for teens and adults) and give each pair a small mini pumpkin. The pair then needs to put the mini pumpkin in between their foreheads. Be the leader, or choose a leader (this is the person who will be giving out commands). The leader gives commands like “Squat!” “Jump” “Four steps to the right!” “Four steps to the left!” etc. The pairs need to fulfill these commands without the pumpkin dropping. Whoever achieves this longest, are the winners.

--Coolest Thanksgiving Games--

Pumpkins in a line: A game also best played by teens or adults. Divide your whole group into two smaller, equal groups. Have each groups stand in a line. The first person in each line holds a mini pumpkin between their chin and chest. On the mark of “Go”, the first person in the line passes the mini pumpkin to the next person who needs to grab it between their chin and chest as well (no hands). If the pumpkin falls, it needs to go back to the beginning of the line. The first group to get the pumpkin to the end of the line by passing it on with their chin and chest, is the group that wins!


Here's another great page filled with fun Thanksgiving games and activities...