By Pam Molnar

Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to gather – up until dinner is over, that is. When their bellies are full, the men retire to watch football, the kids scatter to empty rooms and the women are often left with kitchen duty. Avoid the after-dinner segregation and keep them together with these Thanksgiving games and activities.

I was So Hungry – This memory game is a fun way to get the party laughing. The players sit at the table or in a circle. The first player starts, “I was so hungry that I ate a juicy drumstick for Thanksgiving.” The next person adds something like, “I was so hungry that I ate a juicy drumstick and a mound of mash potatoes for Thanksgiving.” Keep repeating and adding until the whole party is stuffed.

Stuffed Turkey – Wrap a piece of candy in brown box tape. Continue to wrap the tape in a ball, adding additional pieces of candy as you go. The size of the ball will depend on how many players and candy you have. (This is a great way to use up the rest of your Halloween candy.) To play, place the ball in the center of the table. Using a pair of dice, each player takes a turn rolling for doubles. If you get doubles, you can start unwrapping the ball to get candy for as long as it takes the next player to get doubles. The ball is then passed to that player and so on until the ball is completely unwrapped.

Toss & Tell – All players sit in a circle. Start by tossing a small turkey stuffed animal or small football to a player and ask a question like, “Who do you think will make it to the Super Bowl this year?” or “What is your favorite memory from elementary school?” This multigenerational game will be a hit!

Dress the Turkey – Select a volunteer from the family to be the turkey. Using brown crepe paper streamers, wrap up the turkey until he is covered. Decorate the turkey with a yellow beak, feet and colorful feathers made from construction paper or foam sheets. Don’t forget your camera!

Pass the Cranberries – Using a turkey baster, pick up a cranberry and bring it to a bowl on the other side of the room. The first team to pass all their cranberries from one bowl to the other is the winner.

Fill your Plate – This is a two-part game. Use free printables of Thanksgiving meal items – drumstick, cranberries, potatoes, stuffing, corn and pie. Have the kids color and cut out their dinner items. When everything is colored, pass out a paper plate to each player. The game is a spinoff of the Cootie game, but instead of building a bug, we are filling our plate. Assign each meal item with a number and each time a player rolls the die, he gets to put that item on his plate. Whoever fills their plate first is the winner.

Pam Molnar is a freelance writer and mother of three. It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving at her house without games! Follow her on Etsy at Pam’s Party Printables for more party and game ideas.

SIDEBAR: More Game Ideas

Taboo – Try to get your team members to guess the word on your card without using specific keywords. Look for holiday versions online.

Pictionary – A drawing version of the classic Charades game. Use Thanksgiving terms to complete your holiday theme.

Spoons – A simple card game for kids or adults. Try to find four of a kind while passing cards from player to player. The last one to grab a spoon is out.

Trivial Pursuit – There are so many versions of this classic party game. Include some of your own family or Thanksgiving trivia for an added challenge.

Dominos – Match dotted tiles in a variety of domino games like Mexican Train. Simple enough for the kids. Challenging enough for the adults.

LCR – A simple dice game played with chips or coins. Roll the dice to see if your chips will go to your left, right or into the center pot. Last player standing wins the pot.

Apples to Apples –A judge from each round will decide which object card matches best with the communal descriptive card. This game is available in a variety of versions, including a Jr. version.

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