Turkey Day Games

Get your body and mind moving after a big meal with games that are fun for everyone. And don't forget to have the old standbys on hand -- such as checkers, cards and board games.


Pass the Apple: Form two teams, with equal numbers of players. Line up facing each other, sitting or standing. Place a chair at the head and the end of each line. Place six apples on the chair at the head of each line. Each player grasps the right wrist of the player to the right. The first player picks up an apple with her free hand and puts the apple into the right hand of the player next to her, still keeping hold of their joined hands. The apple must be passed down the line this way and if it drops, it must be picked up without breaking the chain. When all the apples have been passed, reverse the procedure. The team that gets all the apples back to the original chair first is the winner!

Thanksgiving Dinner: Players sit in a circle and the first player starts by saying, "On the first Thanksgiving dinner, the Pilgrims ate turkey." The next player must repeat this and add another dish. The game continues with each player adding an item to the menu. The player who makes a mistake drops out and the game continues until there is one player left.

Pumpkin Roll: Take two large pumpkins and two sturdy sticks (hockey sticks work well). The players line up at the starting line with the pumpkins turned on their sides. On the count of 3, players use the stick to roll the pumpkins to the finish line. Younger players can use their hands instead of the sticks. This game is easy to play in teams to make a relay race.

Corn Hunt: This game is much like hiding Easter eggs on Easter. Hide kernels of corn around the room. Set a 3-minute timer and let the fun begin. Whoever finds the most wins the game.

Picture Stories: Cut up pictures and paste them on cardboard. Place the pictures in a large bag. The children then pick out a few cards and make up a story. Who has the best imagination?

Name That Dance: A member of each generation dances their favorite dance. Players try to name the dance. Then everyone tries to do it.

Top Turkey: Pick someone to be the fox. The fox stands at one side of the yard while everyone else ("the turkeys") stand at the other side. Then the fox yells "Turkeys on the run!" The fox tries to tag as many turkeys as he can while the turkeys try to get across the yard. The turkeys who are caught join the fox to help catch the balance of the turkeys. The last turkey is declared the "Top Turkey."

Gather Family Stories: Here's how: Get a handheld video recorder or an audio tape recorder, and some blank tape. Now take each of your relatives into a quiet area one-by-one and ask them to describe what it was like to be a kid, the funniest thing that ever happened to them or their greatest challenge. Edit the video or transcribe the tape and make copies in time for the next family gathering.

Turkey Strut: Place masking tape Xs all over the floor. Start the music and let the children pretend to be turkeys and strut around the room. When the music stops, the turkeys need to be on one of the Xs. Start the music again and let the turkeys strut some more. This game is great for little ones since, unlike Musical Chairs, here there's at least one space for every player.

Wobble Gobble Turkey: Play some upbeat music, and ask the children to move like: big turkey, little turkey, happy turkey, scared turkey, tired turkey, sad turkey, goofy turkey, and any other kind of turkey you can think of.

Bubble Walk: After that huge turkey dinner, load up your tired children in a wagon and pull them around the neighborhood. Give them a bottle of bubbles and watch the fun. You will enjoy your walk even more.

A to Z: This game lets everyone get in on the act. The first person tells everyone the things he is thankful for that start with the letter "A," like apples, Alaska, and aunts. The next person uses the letter "B," and so on.

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