Corn Maze

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.


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