Thanksgiving games are a winner this time of year. There is nothing like a great game to keep those famous Thanksgiving family feuds at bay
It may not be some folk's idea of a game, but there is nothing more fun than making pies with a whole bunch of people. The fun of making pies can be shared by people all ages and the best part of the pie game is that it will cut back on your Thanksgiving meal preparation.
For younger chefs a few precautionary steps will make the process more gamish for both you and your little pie makers. Decide which kind of pies you will be making and get the shopping done beforehand. For youngsters it is a good idea to choose cream pies. Having several crusts made and baked before hand which the kids can fill with cream will stave off the "'is it done yet?" impatience of youngsters. Other items that help especially in the mess department are pre-measuring ingredients, aprons, and covering the work surfaces in tablecloths.
Once you know what pies you will be making have the kids help add ingredients. Cracking eggs is especially fun for children, but it is best to do this in a separate container so that any stray shells can be removed prior to addition to the pie. To simplify things further use instant pudding rather than homemade pudding, and add bananas, berries, peaches or other fresh fruit to create a few delectable pies.
Older more experienced chefs can have more free reign. They will have fun rolling out the pie crusts, paring the fruits and measuring themselves. All you really need to do is select and shop for the recipes they will be making, and be on hand for questions and safety supervision. Add the element of competition and have the results judged in a blind tasting.
Tired and want to rest; but still need to entertain your children and guests? Nothing could be easier hosting a peanuts party. Have jelly beans and popcorn to eat then sit the whole gang down to watch Charlie Brown struggle with Peppermint Patty's forwardness. Make a game out of it by requiring a green jelly bean to be eaten each time some one says good grief, a red bean for block head and so forth. (This is even more fun with novelty jelly beans of unusual flavor.)
A movie and a game all while you get to sit back and relax on the couch. Perfect for the end of a busy day!
You don't have to make your own visit a corn maze, unless you really want to (and in that case you'd better start in mid to late May by planting a robust crop of corn). Seriously...this is a fabulous game for any Thanksgiving gathering. Send the children and the men folk off to a corn maze while you and the girls enjoy a stress free afternoon of holiday baking, preparation or perhaps a break with a glass of wine. Mazes appeal to kids of all ages. The youngest will need some help (and it is a good idea to take snacks so you don't end up with a very grumpy toddler midway). Older kids can take off on their own and you will know they are safe.
Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt
Whether you play out of doors or indoors a scavenger hunt will occupy time while waiting for the feast to begin or heighten the fun of a Thanksgiving party. The preparation is easy. First gather enough bags for each team or participant then create a list. To prevent lost lists print the list on a large packing label and stick it to the bag. Put a pencil in each bag so items can be marked off as they are found.
Items to be found can be anything from pennies bearing certain dates to pumpkin seeds or feathers. If you want this scavenger hunt to be especially geared to Thanksgiving you will want to make the items reflect that theme. You may also want to seed the hunting area with the items listed. For example you can list turkeys on the items sheet then hide pictures of turkeys around the house or in the outside playing area. Going door to door may not be the idea for this game because this is a holiday and while children playing outside won't bother anyone, children going door to door might.
Family Football Game
Try starting a family tradition of an annual Thanksgiving game of football. It doesn't matter what kind of football your family chooses to play, so long as all who want to play can be included. One of the things Thanksgiving is about is family, not crushing someone at football.
To make the game friendly to all players modify the rules or choose a variation on the game that all can play. Touch or flag football is generally easier on the body and friendlier to a co-ed team. If you like the idea of flag football, but don't have the flags you used to use in gym class, improvise. Use a pair of socks. Tuck one on each hip: instant flags.
Touch and flag football are great but they may still leave the youngest players in the cold. To be sure youngest players are included you can divide into four age based teams. The grown players cheering while the younger teams play and then let the youngsters cheer as the more chronologically advanced teams play. Other inclusion ideas are: Have the adults play left handed, play in partnered teams pairing littlest players with the largest players like football meets a three legged race. Or play a more morphed version of football than flag or touch.
A great variation is Frisbee golf. Teams score by entering the end zone with the Frisbee, but they can't run once the Frisbee is caught. The Frisbee can be thrown multiple times after the snap until it is intercepted, dropped or a touchdown is made. Interceptions and dropped Frisbees result in a turn over and the opposing team snaps from where the turn over occurred. After a touch down there is a "kick off" at mid field, although the Frisbee is thrown to the opposite team rather than kicked. It won't harm this game in the slightest if you would rather throw a football than a Frisbee.
Don't laugh...this is based on a real game played by the pilgrims all those hundreds of years ago. Their game did not include little wooden tiles though. To play each player needs a piece of paper and a pencil. A timer is also needed. The game starts when one person (it doesn't matter who, but it should be a different person each round) states a long word like: transportation. Players write the word at the top of their paper. Then begin play by taking the first letter of the word (T) and writing as many words they can think of that begin with that letter in 90 seconds. When the time is up, players compare lists. Points are awarded only to words that were not repeated on anyone else's list. Play then begins again with the next letter, and continues until all letters have been played. If a letter is repeated, skip it and move onto the next. When all letters have been played tally points, declare the winner, select a new word and begin again.
If traditional Scrabble is more your thing, have fun! Maybe you can shake up your usual routine by playing speed scrabble.
Touch Wood Tag
This game is your basic tag, and even the youngest children can play. Rules are simple, avoid the player who is "it" while running from one safe spot to the next. Safe spots are anything made of wood. If "it" catches you off of a safe spot it is your turn to be "it". To insure a fast paced game it may be necessary to include a time limit for staying still at one safe spot. Perhaps you have to change spots after counting to 10.
In this Thanksgiving game the usual role of it is reversed in that everyone is trying to catch "it", not avoid "it". All players except "it" are blind folded. "It" holds a jingle bell and jingles it as the other players try to catch "it" by following the sound. Once a child finds "it" the bell is passed to them and play resumes.
Thanksgiving games add even more fun to an already special holiday. Gather the family and play this Thanksgiving!