As you gear up for Thanksgiving, think about ways to deepen those family ties. Perhaps some of your loved ones journeyed from afar or missed a few recent gatherings. Maybe you’re just in the mood for something memorable or a fresh tradition. No matter the case, we’ve got a pro tip for you: sprinkle in some laughter. They say laughter is like the best stress-buster, and what better way to share a giggle with your nearest and dearest than over a fun game? Here are our top picks for games that can bring family and friends even closer this Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is all about the joy of connection. Whether you’re whipping up a culinary masterpiece that could rival a Michelin-starred feast or opting for the cozy atmosphere of your local diner, what truly matters is that families gather, sharing gratitude for each other. Here at Group Dynamix, family is at the heart of our values, and our unity shines through the intentional events we organize, aligning with our mission.
ABC Treasure Hunt
Scour the house for creative items in this fun challenge. Before the kitchen gets too crazy or after the meal has settled in everyone’s bellies, set the timer to 15 minutes and let everyone roam the house searching for items. Each person should have a pen and paper, writing down the names of up to 26 items they identify around the house. One point is awarded for each letter of the alphabet, and the point goes to the most creative or lengthy item written down. For example, if person A writes down “apple” and person B writes down “asparagus,” the “A” point would go to asparagus. If you are playing with a lot of people, you can pair up into teams of two, where one person is the seeker and one person is the writer. The person or team with the most points wins!
After the meal is over, the cleanup inevitably comes. Or maybe you burned your turkey and had to take everyone to an emergency backup plan. In either event, leftovers must be accounted for, and aluminum foil will come out. Everyone usually has their own cleanup assignment or their own plate of leftovers to account for, and a great way to mark a job well done is to fashion a creative design out of your aluminum foil and top your covered dish with it. Look to Freebirds aluminum foil creations for inspiration, and mark your future meals with a reminder of the time that brought you together.
This is a card game that requires fast reflexes and, depending on your company, a little bit of muscle. Everyone playing sits in a circle. In the middle is one less spoon than there are players. For example, if you have six players, you’ll have five spoons in the middle. Four cards are dealt to each player. The dealer then picks up one card at a time from the deck, determining if he wants the card in his deck. If he takes the card, he places another face down to the next person, so that he always keeps only four cards. If he does not take the card, he simply passes it face down to the next person in the circle. The players cycle through as many cards from the deck as needed until someone gets four of a kind. That person then grabs a spoon from the middle, and the rest of the spoons are up for grabs. Since there is one less spoon than there are people, the last person who doesn’t grab a spoon is out. If there is a tie in grabbing spoons, it may come down to who has the most grip strength or strength of will. This game gets everyone laughing and besides the physical aspect of the game, offers strategic advantages to the perceptive player.
This game is an all-time favorite. It starts with your participants splitting into two teams and sitting in a circle. Team members should not be sitting next to each other. Each participant takes about three pieces of paper and writes a noun or proper noun on each paper. The papers are all then folded and placed in a bowl.
The first player will begin by reading each paper aloud once to the other players. A timer is then set to one minute and the game begins. Each player has one minute to open one slip of paper at a time and try to get their teammates to guess what is written on the paper. Only one skip is allowed per turn. For example, let’s say player A unfolded a paper that says “Star Wars.” Player A will then try to get their team to guess “Star Wars” and if so, that paper will count for a point in round 1.
In the first round, the player reading the papers can describe what is written on the paper without spelling it out or using any of the words on the paper. Once the minute timer goes off, player A retains the papers with their correct guesses and passes the bowl to the next player, who should be on the opposite team. The next player will then have a minute to do the same, and so on until the bowl runs out of papers. Each team then counts up how many points they have, puts the papers back in the bowl, and Round 2 begins.
Round 2 works like a game of charades where the player reading the papers cannot speak at all or use sign language but must perform or act to evoke the correct word or phrase from their teammates. Once the bowl runs out of papers the score is tallied again and the papers are put back in the bowl.
In round 3, the player with the bowl can only say one word as a hint. Inflection is important, and if the player accidentally says “uhhh” while they are thinking, too bad, that’s your word for that paper. With each successive round, the hints get more difficult, but the players become more familiar with what is written on the papers. It’s a game of memory and performance, and it’s a whole lot of fun.
These games give you options at varying levels of effort and buy-in, so that you can choose whatever works for your situation. No matter how you choose to spend Thanksgiving, we hope you have a meaningful time expressing gratitude with loved ones.
Tobasco Cup Flip
An alcohol-free way to enjoy this timeless game. Four people sit around a table, each with a plastic cup. Have a shot of something disgusting ready: maybe pickle juice, tobacco sauce, or the water from the top of a yogurt tub. In the middle of the table is a chess or checkerboard, with one shot glass in the middle. The four players start at the same time, trying to flip their cups successfully from the upright position to the upside-down position. When a successful flip is made, the flipper advances the shot glass one square towards the person across from them. The loser is the player whose border is crossed when the shot glass is advanced off the board. Tough luck because the loser then must take a shot of whatever gross thing you prepared. See here how Jimmy Fallon played the game.