Thanksgiving Fun!

thanksgiving-games-300x292Decatur Active Living wishes you and your family a happy, safe and healthy Thanksgiving. Prevent boredom by enjoying some of these holiday activities:

Bird, Beast or Fish
Everyone sits facing the leader. The leader points to one of the players and says either “BIRD,” “BEAST,” or “FISH.” The chosen player must come up with the name of an animal that fits the category before the leader counts to ten. No repeating! If the player does not respond in time, she is out. The game continues until only one player remains. As you can guess, after a few rounds it can be hard to think of an animal that has not already been mentioned!

Corn Pitching
Use dried beans if you prefer.
You will need a good sized bowl and 6 kernels of corn (the kind used in bird feeders works better than popcorn). Each player takes turns pitching the corn kernels, one at a time, into the bowl from a set distance. Keep score of how many kernels end up in the bowl. The winner is the one with the highest score after three rounds. Be careful if you have toddlers in the house, so that they don’t choke on the corn or beans.

Cranberry Stringing
Wear old clothes for this one — cranberries can stain.

Each player will need a needle threaded with an 18-inch length of strong thread. Put a large knot at the end of the thread. Everyone sits around a bowl of cranberries. On the signal, everyone starts stringing the cranberries onto their threads. The first to fill the thread is the winner. You might want to try the game alternating popcorn and cranberries. Hang the completed cranberry strings outside as a treat for the birds.

Odds or Evens
A quiet game for two players
Each player starts out with the same number of small beans, pebbles, buttons, or marbles. One player hides a few of his beans in his hand. The other player must guess if the number of hidden beans is odd or even. If he guesses correctly, he may add the beans to his pile. The players take turns hiding and guessing, until one player has all the beans!

Thanksgiving Dinner
You need a good memory for this one.
The players sit in a circle. The first player starts by saying, “At my Thanksgiving dinner I ate turkey.” The next player must repeat this and add another dish, “At my Thanksgiving dinner I ate turkey and bread stuffing.” The third player must repeat it and add yet another dish, “At my Thanksgiving dinner I ate turkey, bread stuffing, and sweet potatoes.” The game continues with each player adding an item to the menu after first listing all the previous items in the exact order they were first said. If a player makes a mistake he drops out and the game continues until there is just one mnemonic expert left.

Turkey Hunt
Shhh! Hunt very quietly. You don’t want to scare the turkeys…
On a dozen or so index cards, draw or paste a picture of a turkey. To play, everyone leaves the room except the leader. The leader hides the cards around the room. The hunters come back in to begin the hunt. As each turkey is found, it is brought back to the leader who corrals them in a separate pile for each hunter. When all the turkeys have been found, the hunter with the most turkeys is the winner and becomes the leader for the next round.

Twenty Questions
Choose someone or something related to Thanksgiving.
This is a fine old traditional game. One player says he is thinking of something. The other player then tries to guess what it is by asking no more than twenty questions which can be answered “yes,” “no,” or “I don’t know.”

Old “Fruit Basket” game with a Thanksgiving theme
The players sit on chairs forming a circle. There should be one more player than there are chairs. The player without a chair is the leader. The leader points to each of the other players and gives them a name, such as “Squash,” “Corn,” “Apple,” “Turkey,” anything related to Thanksgiving.

After everyone is named, the leader calls out two of the names, “Corn and Apple.” Those two players must quickly switch places. The leader continues calling like this (keeping up a brisk pace) until suddenly she says “The cornucopia has tipped over!” Everyone, including the leader, then scrambles for a new place. The one who ends up without a seat is the new leader.

The leader may give the same name to more than one person. This makes the switching of places a little more confusing and a lot more exciting.

Pumpkin Roll
A silly old outdoor race

This is a simple race but since pumpkins are not nice smooth balls and refuse to roll in nice straight lines, you will need plenty of wandering room! If you need to play inside, use small pumpkins.

You need two large pumpkins and two sturdy sticks. The racers, line up on the starting line with the pumpkins turned on their sides. On the signal, the racers use the stick to roll the pumpkins to the finish line. Younger players may want to use their hands instead of the stick. If you want to play this as teams, make it a relay race.

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