Thanksgiving Games: 5 New Ways To Say “I’m Thankful”

How do you show your gratitude at Thanksgiving? Do you take turns saying what you’re grateful for before Thanksgiving dinner?  Or do you write a comprehensive list identifying each and everything thing you are thankful for?  To show your gratitude this year why not spend some time playing a grateful game with your family and friends.  We introduce five new ways to play the Thanksgiving game.

Why turn gratitude into Thanksgiving Game?

Playing with your family is a great way to strengthen your family relationships.  Plato says, “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”  Playing breaks down barriers and gives us opportunity to be ourselves. Ramon Zabriskie, Professor of Recreation Management at BYU says, “In modern society, leisure is the single most important force developing cohesive, healthy relationships between husbands and wives and between parents and their children.”

Playing Thanksgiving Games is a fun way to show and identify your gratitude without being too serious.  Thanksgiving Games will bring positive feelings of gratitude into the home and will be fun to play with the whole family!

So this Thanksgiving why not turn your gratitude into a fun family Thanksgiving Game.

Jess at Thanksgiving

Jess – Happy About Games and Food

5 New Ways To Play The Thankful Game

1. Loaded Questions – Thanksgiving Style

  • Everyone in the circle needs 2 small pieces of paper (to identify what they are grateful for) and a large sheet of paper (to guess who guessed what)
  • Simply write one thing you are grateful for on each slip of paper.
  • Put them all in a bowl.
  • Have one person pick a piece of paper out of the bowl and read it out loud.
  • Then everyone writes on their sheet of paper who they think put it in the bowl.
  • Keep going until all the papers are gone.
  • Then go through and see who identified the most correct answers

Observing what strategy your family uses and what they identify being grateful for will help you learn more about them.  Are you going to give sincere heart-felt answers or silly ones to try and trick people?  If you get less than half of them right don’t feel bad the winner at our house usually wins with less than fifty percent correctly identified.

2. Thankegories (Spin off of Scattergories)

  • Everyone gets a sheet of paper and lists 1-10
  • Get out your Scattergories letters dice and roll a letter, or have a young child pick a letter for the round
  • Set a timer for 90 seconds
  • Write down 10 things you are thankful for that start with the letter selected
  • After the time expires take turns naming your answers.  Duplicate responses are removed from the list
  • Non-duplicate responses earn a point and the person with the most points wins
  • Play as many rounds as you’d like

This is a great game to help you identify things you’re grateful but not normally think of.  It’s also a great game to see how your family members use their creative minds to come up with things they are grateful for that others might not identify. Play as many rounds as you’d like and feel free to change the 90 second timer.  More time allows for people to think of more creative answers and less time adds to the pressure and intensity of the game.

3. Wiki-Thanksgiving-nario (spin-off)

  • Think of something you are really thankful for
  • Now come up with a creative definition what you’re thankful for (you can write it down or just remember it in your head)
  • Take turns reading/saying the definition you made up
  • The first person/team to correctly guess what you are thankful for gets a point
  • Continue until everyone has given a definition
  • Split into two teams or play with individuals

4. Turkey Phrases (Catch Phrase spin-off)

  • Everyone gets 2 strips of paper
  • Write one thing on each strip that you are thankful for
  • Put all the strips into a bowl
  • Split into teams or just go around the table
  • Take turns pulling out one strip and describing what it is without saying any of the words written on the paper
  • Whatever team/individual correctly guesses it gets a point
  • Use the Catch Phrase timer to time each round


Kids loving Thanksgiving Dinner

Brinley and Jake eating Thanksgiving Dinner at the Kids Table

5. Turkey Tom Says (Simeon Says spin-off)

  • Someone in the family takes the roll of Turkey Tom and tells the children what to do by saying, “Turkey Tom says….”
  • Ideas: Touch someone you are grateful for, hold up a food you are grateful for, touch a body part you are grateful for, grab a toy your are grateful for…
  • But the kids can only move to the next command if turkey Tom says so

Playing Thanksgiving Games is a great way to identify your gratitude in a fun way.  Thanksgiving games will bring the spirit of gratitude into your home without being too serious.  You’ll be surprised at the fun memories you form as you celebrate Thanksgiving this week with a game.  Good luck and happy playing!