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Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt And Other Fun Family Activities

It’s almost Thanksgiving, and families across the United States are planning their meals and activities for that magical Thursday in November. Do you have kids in your family who tend to get a little bored when there are some people in the kitchen all day and some people watching football? Here are some fun family activities, with links and free printables, for both kids and adults!

thanksgiving scavenger hunt

I will start with the scavenger hunt instructions, and then we’ll move on to some other fun activities to help fill the day.  If you click the link here for my printables, you can print out the list of things to look for on your hunt. I recommend printing it on cardstock, if available, and give one list to each player or each team.. The list contains items that can be found both indoors and outside.

First, decide if you want to play with teams or individual players. If you have very young kids playing, I would definitely pair them up with an older kid. Give each team (or player) one of the scavenger lists and a pen or crayon to mark things off as they are found. 

thanksgiving treasure hunt

The other game is more of a “treasure hunt” for young kids to follow clues around your house. My mom used to do this kind of thing for my kids on their birthdays, and at the end of the search, she would have their birthday present hiding. Depending on how many kids you have playing this game, you could have some little gift you buy at The Dollar Store or even a sweet treat at the end of the hunt.  Just cut out the clue cards I’ve provided (link here) and hide them where I’ve indicated below. You can hand them the first clue in an envelope, and then the kids will follow the clues until they get to the end. I will just give some ideas that you can take and run with. I don’t pretend to be a poet, so feel free to change the wording!

I’m thankful for my comfy bed

And this is wear I lay my head.

(next clue is under the pillow)

 If this is a hunt that you don’t want to fail

You should check in the place that you go get your mail

(next clue in the mail box)

 Finding clues can be hard and can really make you think,

So a good place to look is where you go get a drink.

(next clue in the refrigerator or the cupboard where you keep glasses)

 If you’re wondering where your next clue should fit,

You should look in a place where you like to sit.

(next clue can be around their favorite chair)

 For this clue, don’t hurry, there’s no need to rush,

Just look in the place where you might keep your brush!

(next clue near their hair brush or toothbrush)

 You’ve done so well and never tried to cheat,

The last clue is somewhere you might put your feet!

(next clue in their shoe)

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additional fun family activities

Here are some additional ideas for activities with your family/friends:

Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade together – last year was just plain sad!

Football, football and more football – (or is that just at my house?)

Board games – it’s a fun day to put down all of the electronics and get back to some old fashioned games that come in a box. Here are a few that are great for families. I have linked them to Amazon, so you can just click on the game.

Family Feud Buzzer Game, UNO Family Card Game, Jenga, Splendor, Taboo

Movie marathon – maybe just some family favorites or maybe you want to get a head start on some of the Christmas classics. Here are links to a few holiday movies:

Christmas With the Cranks, Elf, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Dr. Seuss How The Grinch Stole Christmas (animated version) Home Alone

 Corn Hole – depending on where you live and the weather, it’s a fun day to get a few lawn games out and create teams. (Link below)

Corn Hole

Take a walk or hike together – again, weather permitting. Sometimes the walk is nice to do after eating a big, delicious Thanksgiving meal, so that you can make room for pumpkin pie

 Jigsaw puzzles – I always feel like this is a great family activity because some really good conversations can happen while you are putting together a puzzle. Here are a few links to some you might enjoy:

500 pc Bountiful Meadows Farm, 500 pc Country Store, 500 pc Gingerbread Lighthouse, 100 pc Snowman Fun

Family pictures – if you have everyone together, this is the best time to get some really great family photos taken. Many of our Christmas card photos were taken on Thanksgiving Day. This is my family’s very favorite thing we do on Thanksgiving. (haha – I wish!) It’s also fun to do some throwback Polaroid pictures, for instant gratification.

Polaroid Originals, Polaroid Instant Mini

Make Christmas Cards – If you have some family members who like making crafts, it might be fun to bring together some supplies and work on making Christmas cards together while watching some football or movies. I will be giving a tutorial on some homemade Christmas cards, coming soon!

 Make Shopping Lists – If you are one of those people brave enough to head to the stores on Black Friday, this is a good time to talk to your family members about what they’d like for Christmas and get your lists ready for shopping.

thanksgiving dinner

A lot of families like to go around the dinner table and each person mentions something that they are thankful for. That worked when my kids were younger, but once they became teenagers, they would start to say things like “the mashed potatoes” or “the rolls”. Now they are all in their 20’s, but by now it’s become so much of a joke with listing the food on the table that I don’t think we can ever go back!. Teenagers are so much fun, aren’t they?

 My family is very fortunate, and we are all thankful for so many things this year. The holidays can be hard on many families for so many different reasons. On Thanksgiving Day, I hope you will at least take one or two of my suggestions from this post, and try to soak up the time you spend together with family and friends. Take time to tell your kids about what Thanksgiving Day was like when you were growing up. My childhood was in the 70’s, so our Thanksgiving dinner always included cranberry sauce straight out of the can, some type of jello/marshmallow “salad”, green bean casserole with those onions that came out of a can and Sarah Lee pumpkin pie with Coolwhip. Of course, my mom always made her own stuffing and I helped tear up the bread to make it. My dad always seemed to take more pictures of the turkey on the table than he did of the family around it. He was a butcher, so I guess he really appreciated the meat! I still laugh every time I run into his Polaroid pictures of the Thanksgiving turkey!

Thanks for taking the time to read my post today. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving this year. Enjoy the food, the traditions, the people who spend the day with you and the memories of Thanksgivings that have passed. Celebrate all of it!

xoxo Teresa

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