10 Ideas for Entertaining Kids on Thanksgiving

While adults may look forward to the food and good conversation, kids don’t always have the best time at Thanksgiving. If you’ll have young ones at your holiday table, here are 10 ideas to help you show them a good time.

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While adults may look forward to the food and good conversation, kids don’t always have the best time at Thanksgiving. If you’ll have young ones at your holiday table, here are 10 ideas to help you show them a good time.

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Create a Scavenger Hunt

If the weather cooperates, send the kids outside to hunt for signs of fall, such as red leaves, pine cones, caterpillars and acorns. If the weather is lousy, hunt indoors for things such as paper turkeys, mini pumpkins and fall-inspired wreaths. Create a list of scavenger hunt items and see who is the first to find them all. A foil-covered chocolate turkey, a gift card or a five dollar bill make good prizes.

If you’re looking to really change things up, take a look at these 10 non-traditional Thanksgiving traditions you could start this year.

Turkey Tag

Remember the game TV tag from when you were a kid? Turkey tag is similar and will get kids up and moving before or after your big dinner. One person is it, while the others run around the yard. To avoid being tagged, drop into a sitting position and quickly name your favorite Thanksgiving food. If you don’t drop and name something fast enough, you’ll get tagged and now you’re it. See how long players can go without duplicating favorite Thanksgiving foods!

Thanksgiving Trivia

Keep kids of all ages entertained this Thanksgiving with a game of trivia. Before the big day, look up fun Thanksgiving and fall-related facts and turn them into trivia cards. Set the stack of cards on the table so people can stay busy and learn something interesting while waiting for dinner.

Coloring Table

Coloring can be entertaining for both kids and adults, so create a coloring table. Whether you print out Thanksgiving coloring pages, or just cover the table with a large sheet of paper, make sure you have plenty of colored pencils, crayons or markers so everyone can get their creativity flowing. For the adult tables, here are some gorgeous tablescapes to inspire your Thanksgiving setting.

Thankful Jars

Turn a Mason jar into a thankful jar. Before dinner, tell guests to think of one thing they are thankful for and have them jot it down on a small piece of paper and place it in the jar. During or after dinner, each person can choose one from the jar to read aloud.

Turkey Bingo

Before or after dinner, play a game of turkey bingo. Just print out turkey bingo cards (they are free) and have players cover their squares when the picture is called with fall candies or flat marbles.

Set Up a Photo Booth

If you have the space, set up a photo booth. Kids (and adults) will have a blast experimenting with various Thanksgiving and fall props while mugging for the camera. People can take turns working the camera, or there are apps available designed for this purpose, such as the Photo Booth App which works with your iPad’s front-facing camera.

Gratitude Garland

Give young guests a chance to reflect on what they’re thankful for while creating a meaningful decoration. Have kids trace their hands on red, yellow and orange construction paper, then cut them out. These are the leaves. Then, kids can write things they are thankful for on each leaf. Finally, after using a hole punch, they can run string through their leaves to create a garland. As for the adults, here are 10 stylish Thanksgiving decorating ideas.

Word Scramble

Get guests of all ages involved in a mentally taxing game with a word scramble. Before Thanksgiving, come up with a word scramble with this online generator. Use Thanksgiving and fall words such as pumpkin, turkey, corn and thankful.

The Thanksgiving Dinner Game

Want to incorporate a fun game for all ages after the big dinner? The first person starts by saying, “For Thanksgiving dinner I had turkey.” Then, go around the room and each subsequent player adds a food that was served and repeats the entire list of dishes said prior to their turn. When a player can’t remember or gets one wrong, they are out. What happens if the group runs out of foods? Have them add a food they wish had been served at the big meal!

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Rachel Brougham
Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.