Photo credit by Nikki Lyn
It can be easy to get wrapped up in keeping the children entertained during a busy family Thanksgiving, but grown-up entertainment doesn’t have to be a separate thing this holiday. Here are 7 Thanksgiving games ideal for entertaining the adults around this season’s table, whether you prefer exercise, fun or serious competition.
Celebrity Head: For this game, you need three hats, three stickers, a marker, and three volunteers. Making sure to hide the name from the players, write a different celebrity’s name on each sticker and attach it to the hat, then place a hat on each player’s head. The three players must then take turns asking questions about the celebrity (eg. Are they male, are they alive, are they a movie star) and the first one to guess wins. For added craziness, extend the game so that everyone is playing.
Chopsticks: This relatively non-competitive game can be played at the table. Each player needs a set of chopsticks (two pencils will do if you don’t have any) The head of the table must use their chopsticks to pass an unshelled walnut, an acorn, a cranberry, and a pea (in that order). The person next to them must take each object from the chopsticks with their own set of chopsticks, passing it along to the next player. The idea is to try to get all four objects back to the head of the table without dropping them.
Cornucopia: Another game that can be played at the table. The head of the table begins by saying, ‘I was taking harvest and into my cornucopia I put…’ naming something related to Thanksgiving (cranberry, corn, apple, turkey, etc). The next person must repeat the sentence, then add their own item (eg. ‘I was taking harvest and into my cornucopia I put some cranberries and… a turkey.’) As the list lengthens, and it becomes harder for players to remember, each player to get the list wrong must drop out.
Apple Peel: See who can produce the longest unbroken strip of apple skin. This game needs only a sharp knife (or an apple peeler for younger participants), some apples and a competitive spirit – see how narrow the strip gets when the competition heats up!
Bird, Beast, or Fish: Select the person with the most energy to be leader for this game. The leader at players who answer the prompt of ‘Bird’, ‘Beast’ or ‘Fish’. The player being pointed at must come up with the name of an animal fitting the category before the leader counts to ten. The tricky part of the game: no repeating previous answers. Players who don’t respond in time are out. The game continues until only one player is left.
Twenty Questions: This traditional game is a winner for relaxing shortly after the meal. One player picks a thing (animal, vegetable or mineral) and the rest guess. The person who guesses correctly takes the next round of questions. For a Thanksgiving spin, choose someone or something related to the holiday.
Treasure Hunt: While most treasure hunts seem the stuff of childhood, it wasn’t long ago that they were popular adult games at house parties – for a fun reason. Have one person compose a list of items that each team needs to collect. Form teams (pairs are best) by putting everyone’s name in a hat and selecting groups, then send the teams off to find the treasure. Impose a time limit depending on the length and difficulty of the list. If it is a fine day, extend the hunt into the surrounding neighbourhood for some more fun.
Poker: A good, old fashioned family game of poker (with peanuts as bidding pieces) can be an awful lot of fun and a great tradition.