Thanksgiving brings people together. These people can be relatives, or the people currently in your life, as might be the case for adults who have moved far away from home. Playing Thanksgiving games can help break down barriers and help everyone get to know one another better, regardless of who is around the table.
Who Am I?
Play this guessing game with the adults around your Thanksgiving table. Start by having everyone write a paragraph about something unusual they have done, and that most people do not know about them.
Gather the papers, and designate one person to read the stories aloud one by one. The guests write their guesses for the author of each story on a piece of paper. This game can help break the ice and get people talking.
Ask simple questions to get your group of adults talking about past Thanksgivings. You can write these questions on card stock and place them in small easels around the room, so that guests can ponder their answers throughout the day.
Ask them to fill in the blanks of simple sentences such as, "Last Thanksgiving I_," or "My favorite Thanksgiving food is __. "
To play this as a game rather than a conversation starter, have everyone seated. Choose one of the phrases to use. The first person repeats the sentence, adding her ending to it. The next person has to say the sentence with the first person's answer, then add his. Continue until someone forgets what a guest said. If the next person in line can recite them all, then the game can continue. Add a second question when the group finishes the first round.
Football and Thanksgiving go hand-in-hand for many adults. If the weather cooperates have everyone step outside for a quick pickup game of tag football. Divide into teams, play women versus men, or choose captains to pick teams. The winning team can have first dibs on the comfy seats when everyone gets back inside.
If you are unable to play outside, set up an indoor football game. Use folded paper footballs and goals made from straws. You can play before or after the meal on a cleared dining room table.
Make a set of Thanksgiving Bingo cards on your computer. You will need one card for each person. Use a word processing program to design a grid with 25 spaces. Write a master list with at least 24 Thanksgiving-related phrases. For example write, "loves pumpkin pie," "hates cranberries," "is shopping tomorrow," "always watches football on Thanksgiving" or "never watches football on Thanksgiving." Randomly fill in the bingo cards with these phrases.
To play, have a bowl of candy or other small objects handy. Read aloud the phrases from your master list. Each person playing decides if that phrase applies to her. If so, she puts a piece of candy on the corresponding square on her bingo card. The first person to get five in a row wins.