Need some fun Thanksgiving themed games for your youth group teens? Here’s a few to try that are sure to bring laughter, fun, and amazing photo opportunities!!!
These games are easy to set up, materials are not expensive, and they can be easily modified to fit the size and needs of your group.
You can easily pick a couple and then have a discussion regarding the meaning of Thanksgiving and being Thankful, or simply do an entire night of games. I’ve done both. The past two years, I have coupled a few games with my “The First Thanksgiving, A Tale of Two Bros” story which I wrote a previous blog post about (check my blog page for that one, it’s awesome!!!) It relates the story of Cain & Abel and is a great discussion for teens on the Attitude of Gratitude.
The Game Ideas Listed In Detail Below Are:
1) For Thanksgiving Dinner I Had….. (ice breaker/memory game)
2) Thanksgiving Mad Libs (ice breaker/group)
3) Candy Corn Stick Up (individual or group)
4) Pumpkin Pictionary (pairs or group)
5) Marshmallow Pie (individual or group)
6) Pilgrim Duckie Bowling (individual or group)
7) Pilgrim Duckie Toss (individual or group)
8) Cranberry Bounce (individual or group)
I also purchased a variety of fun Thanksgiving Novelty Wear for each player to wear as they played each game. A variety of mini-pilgrim hats, turkey leg and turkey headbands, large pilgrim hat, etc. All purchased at party city relatively cheaply. I try to add to my collection each year and then save them for re-use in the future.
My ‘Thanksgiving Wear’ variety is in the picture you see here.
Game 1- For Thanksgiving Dinner I had…This game is a great ice breaker and works well with a medium to large group.
MATERIALS- None needed
Have the teens sit in a circle.
Person #1 starts by saying, “My name is Jenn and for Thanksgiving I had Turkey.”
Person sitting next to the first person (either right or left) continues by repeating what the first person said they had for Thanksgiving and then adding something to it. Person #2 would say, “My name is Scott and for Thanksgiving I had Turkey & Mashed Potatoes.”
The next person (continue around the group in the circle always moving in the same direction) would then say, “My name is Michael and for Thanksgiving I had Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, & Pumpkin Pie.”
Continue around the circle with each teen repeating every dish and adding his/her own until the very last person.
My teens enjoy throwing in ethnic dishes (my latino students) that are traditional in their cultures but not traditional American Thanksgiving dishes. It makes it harder to remember, but also it’s hilarious as the other teens try to repeat the names and pronounce them correctly.
Game 2- Thanksgiving Mad Libs….This game works for either groups or individuals. I had my teens split up into small groups of 6 0r 7 people. 1 person got to fill in the mad-lib blanks (not telling the teens the story yet) and then each group read their story aloud.
Mad Lib Story Printed Out (1 per group or teen if doing it individually)
Pens/Markers (1 per group or teen)
I had my teens do this in groups and then after reading each group’s story aloud, I awarded prizes to the group whose story made us laugh out loud the hardest. (prizes were leftover Halloween Candy)
I have attached for you the Mad Lib Story here:
Game 3- Candy Corn Stick Up
Candy Corn (1 bag should be fine if you have two teens playing against each other, you will need more if you have each teen playing individually)
Paper Plates (MUST BE PAPER- This will not work on Styrofoam) I used Thanksgiving plates that had a cute turkey and said Gobble, Gobble on them.
Put a plate or bowl full of candy corn on the table. Give each competitor a plate to stick their candy corn to. Explain that they had 1 minute to stick 30 candy corn to their plate in a circle. Once they were finished, they must hold their plate vertically for at least 5 seconds to be sure the candy corn was stuck and none fell off.
Explain to them that in order to get the candy corn to stick, they must bite the ends off (and consume) and then lick the bottom of the candy corns to get it to stick to the plate.
It’s a lot of fun and the quietest minute you’ll have all night! (;
The first teen to finish in one minute gets a prize. If no one finishes the entire circle of 30, then whoever got the closest would win the prize. Here are some pictures of my teens during the game.
Getting Close to 30 Here
This was the quietest minute the entire night!!!
Game 4- Pumpkin Pictionary
2 Cans of Pumpkin Puree
2 Disposable Foil Cookie/Baking Sheets Pan
1 Plastic Fork or Spoon
1 Can Opener
1 Container (I used a Thanksgiving Decorated Paper Cup) filled with folded pieces of paper. Each paper had 1 Thanksgiving related item on it. (ie. Turkey, Football Game, Pilgrim, Mayflower, Fall Leaf, Pumpkin Pie, Thanksgiving Parade, Stuffing, etc.)
Empty each can of Pumpkin Puree onto it’s own Foil Cookie/Baking Sheet Pan. Use the plastic spoon or fork to spread into a ‘canvas’ (think like an etch-a-sketch). I had my teens play in groups so each group selected the 1 member who they thought would be the best artist (and who hadn’t already played in another game). That person selected 1 clue/item out of my cup and then had to use their finger to draw the item in the pumpkin puree filled pan. If the clue had two words, he/she could use 1 pan per word. (ie. One of my students got Football Game. He drew a football on one pan, which was easily guessed. He used the other pan to draw a stadium. When no one was guessing correctly what that was, he erased it using the spoon (smoothed the puree back out) and decided to draw a tic-tac-toe board. Eventually, the teens guessed football game correctly). The team must guess what the player has is drawing in 1 minute or less.
This was the football half of football game.
Game 5- Marshmallow Pie
Foil/Disposable Pie Plates- 2 for each 1 player
Mini Marshmallows (I used peppermint flavor for fun)
1 large jar of vaseline
Begin by selecting your player and his/her ‘grease guy/girl. Fill one pie plate with mini marshmallows. Put the second empty pie plate next to it. Have the grease guy/girl apply as much or as little vaseline as they like to the player’s face. The player must keep his/her hands behind his/her back at all times. The player must use his/her face to move the marshmallows from the full pie plate to the empty one. The player CANNOT USE his/her hands. They can shake their face over the empty pie plate to get the marshmallows unstuck from their face. (you can play Taylor Swift’s song “Shake it Off” in the background!) They have 1 minute. The player who has the most marshmallows moved over in 1 minute wins. If you’re playing teams, you can have elimination and then have semi-finals play each other, and then the finals with the best two at the end. Use the facial wipes to remove the vaseline from their faces after the game is over.
This was HILARIOUS and fun and my teens really enjoyed it!
Oscar and Joe ready for the whistle to blow!
Game 6- Pilgrim Duckie BowlingAlso done in a team or individually, this game is easy and fun and could be part of a Thanksgiving Food Drive if you have one.
12 Thanksgiving Paper Cups (I found cute ones at Party City)
12 Pilgrim Rubber Duckies ($.99 each at Party City) – Not entirely necessary, but very cute! Can be saved and re-used each year.
1 Canned Food Item (I used Cranberry Sauce)
Blue Painters Tape (or any other masking type of tape) to tape off a bowling lane.
1 Pilgrim Hat (purchased at Party City for $1.99)
I arranged the 12 cups turned upside down in the same way you would arrange bowling pins. I put a pilgrim rubber duckie on the top of each cup. I used the blue painters tape to make a bowling lane (not too wide, about 1 or 2 feet wide only). I gave each member of each team 1 chance to bowl. Their bowling ball was the can of cranberry sauce. They got 1 point for each duckie that hit the floor. Duckie pins were reset after each teen’s turn, and total number of duckies knocked down after everyone in the team had a turn were totaled up giving each team 1 score. The team with the highest score won a prize.
Game 7- Pilgrim Duckie Toss
Pilgrim Duckie & The 150 Point Hole on my board.I had this wooden corn hole /skee ball looking game front laying around in my youth room and decided to turn it into a game. It had frogs painted all over it, so I came up with a way to decorate it up and make it a Thanksgiving theme.
Game Board- You could easily use an existing corn hole set or make your own board like mine out of either wood or cardboard.
Paint- If you’re building your board out of cardboard or new wood
Thanksgiving Themed Paper Plates
Pilgrim Rubber Duckies (or bean bags, or whatever else you want to use to have the teens throw)
My game board
My game board was already painted brown, but it had frogs painted all over it. I used the paper plates and cut the turkey centers out (to cover the frogs) and used the outside plate rings to decorate up the holes. I used a black wide sharpee to write the points above each hole. (I wrote the points directly on the plates/larger holes which had covered the original points on the wood).
Mark a place about 5 feet away from the board and have each teen try to get their pilgrim duckie through one of the holes. If playing as a group, have each player take 1 turn. Add up the total points for the entire team. Team with highest points wins. Or, if playing individually, have each teen take 3 throws and add points up that way. I awarded a prize to the team with the highest points.
Game 8- Cranberry BounceThis is a Thanksgiving Twist on a game that can be easily put together for any theme.
1 bag of fresh cranberries (can be found in the produce section of your grocery store)
12 Thanksgiving Cups
1 3×8 size table (or whatever table you have)
Take a regular 3×8 long table and put it in the center of the room. Arrange the cups (open side up) in a triangle formation in the middle of the table. Each member of each team (or individuals if you don’t have teams) have 1 minute to bounce as many fresh cranberries as they can and get them into the cups. (harder than it sounds…cranberries don’t exactly bounce that well, which is ultimately the point!) I gave each teen a bowl of cranberries so they can access them quickly and get as many bounces in a minute as possible. I also had two teens on either side of the table to retrieve rogue cranberries which do not make it into the cups (most of them). This way, it’s quicker to clean up and less mess later. I added each teens points (1 per cranberry in a cup) and the totaled the points for each team. I gave prizes to the winning team.