Every holiday, my mom begs my siblings and I to spend some quality time together playing games. During Thanksgiving, between eating too much and the excitement of Christmas, it can be difficult to gather the family together for an activity. But, there are a couple of games members of my family always have a fun time playing together.
Here is a quick list of fun, family games you don’t need to buy to play.
Charades is bound to make you laugh as your family members try to act out whatever movie, person or activity they got stuck with. Divide yourselves onto even teams and fill paper slips with whatever creative terms you can think of. It sometimes helps to keep people in the bounds of a category, such as movies, sports or animals. Set a designated time for each round and count up the guesses your team gets right!
Spoons is an easy game to learn and play, and it is fun for both small and large groups. All you need is a deck of cards and some utensils (you can use almost anything, though — in elementary school we used pens).
Spoons is loud and fast-paced, so everyone wants to get in on it. Sit around a table or on the ground in a circle, put the spoons in the center and deal out four cards to each player. The dealer will keep the remaining cards in the deck and begin passing a card to the player to their right one at a time. Players can choose to add the card to their deck or pass it on to the next player. Once a player collects four of the same cards, they can claim a spoon. After the first player takes a spoon, everyone races to get one. Play with one less spoon than the number of players — whoever doesn’t get one is eliminated.
The rounds are quick, so you can play multiple times and everyone will get a chance to win!
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. Keep in mind, if you are playing with people of all ages, it might be better to play two-hand touch rather than tackle. Designate team captains and get teams made. Play for as long as you’d like, but don’t wear yourself out too much before dinner!
Pictionary is similar to charades, but with an artistic twist. You can play it at home without owning the game. Split up into even teams. Like charades, pick a category, such as a Thanksgiving theme, and write down terms that go with your theme (like turkey, pilgrim) on slips of paper. You’ll need a large notepad, whiteboard or chalkboard to play.
For every round, one team member will attempt to draw out the term they were given while the rest of the team guesses. If a team guesses right during the allotted guessing time, a point is earned. The team with the most points wins.
5. Dominos Chickenfoot
Chickenfoot, also known as Mexican Train, is a Dominos game. It is competitive, but relatively low-key compared to the other games on the list. Collect dominos based on how many people are playing. For five players, everyone starts with eight dominos each. The extras are kept face-down. For the first round, start with the double nine domino, for the next the double eight, and so on. Players can build their “chickenfoot” by matching tiles. A round is completed when a player runs out of dominos.
For a more extensive explanation of the rules, look here.