The best games to play with family or friends during Thanksgiving

Every vacation, my mom begs my siblings and I to spend some time together and play games. During Thanksgiving, between overeating and the excitement of Christmas, it can be difficult to get the family together for an activity. But there are a few games that members of my family always enjoy playing together.

Here’s a short list of fun family games that you don’t need to buy to play.

1. Charade

Charades will have you laughing as your family members try to reenact every movie, person, or activity that got them stuck. Divide into even teams and fill in pieces of paper with whatever creative terms you can think of. Sometimes it helps to keep people within the bounds of a category, like movies, sports, or animals. Set a specific time for each round and count the guesses your team gets right!

2. Spoon

Spoons is an easy to learn and play game that is fun for both small and large groups. All you need is a deck of cards and some supplies (although you can use almost anything – we used pens in elementary school).

Spoons is loud and fast-paced, so everyone wants to join in. Sit in a circle around a table or on the floor, place the spoons in the middle, and deal four cards to each player. The dealer keeps the remaining cards in the deck and begins dealing one card at a time to the player on his right. Players can choose to add the card to their deck or pass it to the next player. Once a player has collected four of a kind, they can claim a spoon. After the first player takes a spoon, everyone runs for one. Play with a spoon less than the number of players – if you don’t get one, you’re eliminated.

The rounds are fast, so you can play multiple times and everyone has a chance to win!

3. Soccer

This is probably more of a pre-dinner game, but still a Thanksgiving classic. Play with family or friends at a local park or nice sized backyard. Remember, when playing with people of all ages, it might be better to play two-handed touch than tackle. Appoint team captains and create teams. Play as long as you like, but don’t get too tired before dinner!

4. Pictorial

Pictionary is similar to charade but with an artistic twist. You can play it at home without owning the game. Divide into even teams. As with charades, select a category e.g. For example, choose a Thanksgiving theme and write terms that relate to your theme (e.g., turkey, pilgrim) on slips of paper. You will need a large notepad, whiteboard or blackboard to play.

In each round, one team member tries to draw the term given to them while the rest of the team guesses. If a team guesses correctly during the allotted guessing time, a point is earned. The team with the most points wins.

5. Domino chicken feet

Chickenfoot, also known as Mexican Train, is a domino game. It’s competitive but relatively low-key compared to the other games on the list. Collect dominoes based on how many people are playing. With five players, each player starts with eight dominoes. The extras are kept hidden. Start with the double nine domino in the first round, the double eight in the next round, and so on. Players can build their “chicken foot” by matching tiles. A round is complete when a player runs out of dominoes.

A more detailed explanation of the rules can be found here.


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