Get Grateful With Games

Are you excited to spend time with your family over Thanksgiving? While the tried-and-true “go around the table and everyone can say what we’re thankful for” tradition is simple and effective, try switching up your approach this year! With these games, your family can practice thankfulness while making fun, long-lasting memories.

Gratitude Pictionary
It’s Pictionary with a twist! The usual rules still apply: one person draws something without using words, letters, or numbers, and everyone has 60 seconds to guess what it is. Let the theme for the game be “thankfulness,” and everyone can draw pictures of what they’re thankful for! Split into teams to make things more competitive. If you want to make things a bit easier, you can theme each round of the game.

Pass the Gratitude Basket
First, pass around sheets of paper and a pen for each person. Instruct everyone to write down one thing that they’re grateful for and put their paper into a basket. After everyone’s done, pass the basket around and have everyone pick up a sheet. See who can guess who wrote what!

You can also make this game more challenging by playing it “Fish Bowl” style, which is played in three rounds:

  1. Split your party into two equal teams: Team A and Team B. Sit in a circle where every other player is on your team. If you have an uneven amount of players, use your extra player as a scorekeeper.
  2. Read all the sheets out loud one time. Encourage all the players to be quiet, because you can’t reread the sheet if someone doesn’t hear you! Try to remember what’s on the sheets, because you’ll have to recall them for every round.
  3. Set a timer for one minute before starting the first round. The first round is similar to Taboo or Catchphrase.
  4. The first player will draw a sheet and use verbal hints — no motions, spelling hints, or rhyming hints — to help their team guess what someone is thankful for. If their team guesses correctly, the player keeps the paper and draws a new one. This continues around the circle until the first round is done.
  5. Set a timer for one minute. For the second round, each player can only use one word to describe what’s on the paper. And be careful — if you accidentally say, “uh,” “hmmm,” or something similar, that sound will count!
  6. Set a timer for one minute. For the third round, there are no words or sounds allowed; this round is played charades style.

Tally up each team’s points in between rounds. At the end, you’ll have a winner!

Thanksgiving Show and Tell
Before getting together, let everyone know that there will be a Show and Tell. Each family member should bring something that they’re grateful for, or get creative and bring something that symbolizes it. They can share with the group and reflect on why they’re thankful.

Scattergories: The Thankful Edition
Pass out paper and pen to every player. Pick a random letter (or use the letter dice from Scattergories if you have it), and everyone gets one minute to list everything they’re grateful for that begins with that letter. If you’re playing with young children, this game is best done in teams!

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