5 new ways to play the Thanksgiving game

5 new ways to play the Thanksgiving game

By Matthew Briggs, KSL.com Contributor | Posted - Nov. 24, 2011 at 8:16 a.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — How do you show your gratitude at Thanksgiving? Does your family take turns saying what they are grateful for before eating Thanksgiving dinner? Or do you write a comprehensive list identifying everything you are thankful for?

To show your gratitude this year, why not spend some time playing a gratitude game with your family and friends?

Playing with our family can help break down barriers and gives us opportunity to be ourselves. Playing helps you learn how your family reacts in certain situations, how they respond to pressure and how they laugh when they do something silly. Plato says, “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”

Playing is a great way to strengthen your family relationships. 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 helps you bond with your family.

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

Here are five new ways to play the Thanksgiving game.

1. Loaded Questions – Thanksgiving Style

  • Everyone in the circle needs two small pieces of paper (to identify what they are grateful for) and a large sheet of paper (to guess who is grateful for what).
  • Simply write one thing you are grateful for on each slip of paper.
  • Put them all in a bowl.
  • Pick someone to be the moderator.
  • Have the moderator read each slip of paper one at a time.
  • After the moderator reads the slip of paper, the rest of the group writes down who they think is grateful for that thing.
  • 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 are grateful for will help you learn more about them. Are you going to give sincere heartfelt 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 50 percent correctly identified.

2. Thankegories (similar to Scattergories)

  • Everyone gets a sheet of paper and makes a list from 1 to 10.
  • Get out your Scattergories letter 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 identify things you’re grateful for but don’t normally think of. It is also a great game to see how your family members use their creative minds. 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 (similar to Balderdash)

  • Think of something you are really thankful for.
  • Now come up with a creative definition for 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(similar to Catch Phrase)

  • Everyone gets two 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.
  • Adhere to normal Catch Phrase rules.

5. Turkey Tom Says (similar to Simeon Says)

  • 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 you are grateful for.
  • But the kids can only move to the next command if Turkey Tom says so. Playing a Thanksgiving game is a great way to show your gratitude in a fun way. Thanksgiving games can bring the spirit of gratitude into your home without being too serious. You will be surprised at the fun memories you form as you celebrate Thanksgiving this week with a game. Good luck and happy playing! - - - - - -

Matt Briggs enjoys helping his wife run PlayWithYourFamily.com and loves trying out new game ideas before she blogs about them. He is a father and loves being with family for the holidays.


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Matthew Briggs


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