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Thanksgiving Game Ideas

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Every year, our Thanksgiving is dull. From someone looking in on it through the window, it would look full of warmth with a huge Norman Rockwell feast but the problem is entertainment. People never know what do with themselves. Half of them are from the upper crust from Palo Alto, real into achievement. The other half is more easy going (you get the picture). Any help on good non-competitive board games or other entertainment? Usually we play Trivial Pursuit but that never goes over well. Everyone plays real cutthroat and it's a drag for most of the kids and non-competitive players.

Gloria from Paso Robles, CA

Answers:

Game: Scattergories or Battle of the Sexes

I would say "Uno" but I swear that my mom and sister-in-law get into it, every time we play this. Try "Scattergories." You roll the dice and whatever letter shows, you have to use that letter for every category. It's really fun for all ages. Or try a game that pits the guys against the girls like "Battle of the Sexes". It won't matter about economics when the girls gang up against the guys.

By christi

Game: Balderdash

Have you tried the game called "Balderdash"? It's a lot of fun. Everyone old and young can play it and there isn't a lot of skill, just lucky guessing involved. You are given a very strange word that NO one has ever heard of and the dasher reads the word. All of the players make up a definition for that word and then vote on which one they think is the right one. It gets pretty funny because NO ONE has ever heard of these obscure words. We have a ball with this at gatherings.

By Connie A.

Game: Who Am I?

We used to play "Who Am I?". Someone would think of names for each of the players and the name of the movie star or famous person would be pinned on the person's back. Then you asked yes or no questions. We had a lot of fun with that.

By sandy

Game: Fish (Dominos)

A game called "Fish" played with double 12 dominoes is fun and can include lots of people. You start by each player drawing 7 or so dominoes, leaving the rest in the bone pile. Lay down the highest domino double, double twelve, double eleven, or work downward. That is your base, and the next player clockwise must play off of this "foot". Once 3 dominoes matching the double have been played, then any domino matching an exposed end can be played, until someone lays down another double, at which time another "foot" must be completed. Object is to be left with the fewest spots to be counted as points, or in other words, get rid of all, and especially your high counting dominoes. You can set game points for as high as you'd like. If you can't play, you draw a "bone", and if it won't play, you are skipped and the next player plays. It is almost addictive.

By Tripleb

The White Elephany

This is from my grandmother, who can flow with the upper crust (ie. dinner parties and luncheons) but also hosts fun parties. We play The White Elephany game at Christmas, but it works for anytime. Everyone is supposed to show up at the house with a wrapped white elephant gift (don't let anyone know what it is, or who brought what). (A white elephant is some kind of thing that may be junk to you but a treasure to someone else/something that could be found at a garage sale.)

We all (even kids) put our gifts in the middle of the table, and stand around the table. Then with a pair of dice, we take turns rolling, and whoever rolls a total of six gets to get a gift from the middle and can roll again until they no longer roll a six . Then once all the gifts are out, we set a timer (maybe fifteen minutes?) and we keep passing the dice around the table, rolling a six, and now stealing the wrapped gift from others. (If you roll two sixes, you get two gifts and, of course, roll again.)

The fun of it is that no one knows what is inside the gifts, and people just choose based on what they think is a good one. Some people are convinced that certain ones are terrible and certain ones are wonderful. And some people are lucky to get nothing at the end because when we've unwrapped them at the end of the fifteen minutes, I've seen battery operated heated socks, fake pearls, a partially mouse-chewed butter churn. . . It's great fun.

By Olivia

Scavenger Hunt/Sharing Memories

Another fun game from Grandma is a scavenger hunt in one room of the house. She hid little things in obscure places for people to find. A couple things were a white string - hidden on a cat statue as whiskers, a penny - hidden on the forehead of an Egyptian-type statue. I guess things aren't really hidden, they just blend in with the background. People walk around the living room, with list in hand, trying to see the hidden items. And whoever gets the most items, gets some kind of prize.

Another thing we do is tell a favorite memory from holidays or times in the past. (This works well if there is one particular person or family that everyone has in common/or everyone particularly likes.)

And with younger kids, we play cards. Whoever wins each round gets to choose something from a junk/treasure pile.

I'd say whatever you do, be excited about presenting it. If you are convinced that this is the best idea in the whole world, it'll catch on to the others. Even if they don't seem to be having fun, they probably just aren't showing it. Really, just be excited about whatever you present, it's contagious. (Grandma gets us to do all sorts of wacky things, just because she's excited.)

By Olivia

Outside Games/Thankful Tree

For nicer weather outside: croquet, football, frisbee, baseball. If your yard is big enough, tag football. You could use streamers to tuck at your hips or tie on. Grabbing the streamer would be simple to do. Go to the dollar store for these. Varied colors and cheap!

Make a thankful tree and give each guest a leaf shape piece of paper to write what they are most thankful for. Read them before, during or after your Thanksgiving dinner. You'll be surprised at the listing and learn something about the people you love.

Jennifer, CA

Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By cornob (Guest Post)11/23/2006

my family really loves hide and seek in the dark you go in the basement and cover up all the windows with pillows it doesn't matter if your basement is finished or not. It is just fun!

By Diana (Guest Post)11/20/2006

We always do a scavenger hunt
We make it crazy and try to have the kids have to knock on at least one door to get an item

it spreads joy in our neighborhood
gets the kids out of the house and burns off some energy

We always have a prize for the winner (large candy bar) and boobie prizes for the losers (small hershey bars)

By Joy (Guest Post)11/20/2006

Catchphrase and Taboo are two really good, fun games. I noticed someone already said Scattagories; another favorite. Couples can really get into this by using past expiriences and memories to help with the clues. (Taboo) For the less competitive crowd, believe it or not, poker is fun. We include the kids on this and they have a blast, especially with Texas Hold 'em!

By (Guest Post)11/20/2006

I have found Pictionary in teams of 3's or 4's is great entertainment for all ages (except the very tiny ones) It's an all time favourite with most parties ..
Hope you enjoy..

By Karen O'Connell11/19/2006

Try 'mille borne'sp? card game.

By kelleno (Guest Post)11/19/2006

I second the suggestion of 'UNO', Kids play by color or number.
Also consider 'Michigan Rummy', this is when the button box comes out when we run out of chips.

By Sandee (Guest Post)11/17/2006

"My Most Embarassing Moment" can really bring laughs and warmth.

By Shellee (Guest Post)11/17/2006

How about Bunco? It's easy to play, teams people up, can be played by anybody, and is really fun!

By Joyce [2]11/17/2006

Catch Phrase is the game we played at a church
sunday school party. It is so much fun, lots of laughs. Adult age. We got ours at Wal-Mart.

By allyson (Guest Post)11/15/2006

Left Right Center is a fun game everyone can play. All you do is roll the special dice. My family plays with 3 quarters. Everyone looks forward to it especially the kids age2-15 enjoy it and It's lots of fun!!!!

By know how you feel (Guest Post)11/10/2006

Maybe a puzzle would be good. It gives people something to do with their hands which can make them more relaxed and chatty. And since it can be done over time, you don't have to have organize everyone. Put it out when everyone arrives so it can be done by the time people head home. It's a nice feeling when it's done because it was accomplished as a group.

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