Thanksgiving Day is probably one of the most treasured American holidays. What some people might not know is that this holiday has been part of the American tradition for close to 400 years. Nevertheless, unlike other holidays, Thanksgiving does not have a set date and always occurs on the fourth Thursday of November.
The reasons behind the fourth Thursday of November being chosen as the designated date of Thanksgiving remain unknown. What we do know, however, is that President Abraham Lincoln declared it a National Holiday in 1863 and we have celebrated it ever since. Thanksgiving is a day meant to give our thanks and gratitude. It was a religious day set aside to celebrate a bountiful harvest by giving our prayers and blessings for a drought-free season.
Today, it is no longer as much of a religious holiday as it is a day when families and friends can come together to be with one another. Nonetheless, the original meal served on that day consisting of turkey and side dishes such as mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce has withstood the test of time.
The following are fun activities that you could indulge in to celebrate this treasured holiday.
Thanksgiving Activities for Kids
For most families across the US, temperatures begin to drop dramatically right around Thanksgiving time. So, while we’ll touch on some of the outdoor activities you can enjoy with your kids in just a bit, we’re better off starting with some Thanksgiving indoor activities for children, where they can stay nice and warm.
- Turkey Bingo - Help the kids design and decorate turkey-themed bingo boards and then have a bingo game. Ensure that the winner gets a special turkey prize.
- Pin the Tail Feather On the Turkey - Remember playing pin the tail on the donkey? This is the turkey version where you make a turkey drawing on a wall. However, the drawing should not have a tail. Design some paper tail feathers and hold them. Next, give the tail feathers to one child and then have another blindfold them and spin them around a couple of times. The objective of the game is to be able to accurately pin the tail feather on the turkey drawing following the spin.
- Have them Help Out in Dinner Preparation - Gather some baking supplies and show the kids how to bake brownies, cookies, or even a cake for dessert. Remember how much you looked forward to licking the bowl or spoon in your younger years? Spread the joy, and enjoy some extra helping hands in the kitchen.
- Scavenger Hunt - This is one of the most popular Thanksgiving activities for kids. You need to start by creating a list of items to be searched for during the hunt. These should be things that are typically found during fall. As such, include items such as a pinecone, an apple, a red leaf, turkey feathers, and a fork. Plant some of the items such as the forks, apples, and feathers in advance. Next, divide the children into two teams and send them out to search for the items. The first team to gather and return with all the items wins! For added fun, give each team a camera and include challenges such as, ‘Take a picture of the team besides a Maple tree.’
- Turkey Hunt - This is just like hide and goes seek, only better. Have the person hiding dress up as a turkey to make it even more fun.
- Leaf Pile - If you have an abundance of trees shedding their leaves in the compound, you can have them raked and piled into a giant pile of leaves. Now let the little ones jump up and about in the pile.
Thanksgiving Games for Adults
If you’re having a kid-free Thanksgiving, then some of the games mentioned above may be a bit too childish for your guests. Instead, you can kick things up a notch with some of these timeless games, that are better suited for a mature audience.
- Touch Football - Organize a game of touch football in your backyard just for the sheer fun of it. Make plans to have colored t-shirts available for each team and then appoint an impartial referee. Physical Thanksgiving games are an important way of reminding everyone of the importance of physical fitness and healthy eating.
- Balloon Waddle - This is one of the most popular as well as challenging Thanksgiving games. To play, blow into some balloons – and call them turkeys- and have the participants stand at one end of the room. Hand each of them the blown balloons and instruct them to hold them between their thighs. The objective of the game is for the participant to attempt and be the first to get to the other end of the room without bursting the balloon. Whoever burst their balloon gets disqualified.
Thanksgiving Games at the Table
- Word Building - Look for some of the longer Thanksgiving related words, such as cranberry or even Thanksgiving and make a list. Next, write a word down and ask the others to make as many words as they can from the name provided. The person that makes the most words within the stipulated time is the winner. Thanksgiving is a day where we get to see our loved ones. As such, it should be full of laughter and love.
Thanksgiving activities for kids, as well as Thanksgiving games for adults, are among the best ways of creating a genuine atmosphere of fun and love. Make sure that everyone participates in at least one of these Thanksgiving games to make the day memorable.