Thanksgiving Word Games

, Staff Editor
Updated January 27, 2021
Thanksgiving words for game story starters
    Thanksgiving words for game story starters
    marekuliasz / iStock / Getty Images Plus
    Used under Getty Images license

Thanksgiving word games provide an exciting way to kick off the holiday season. Whether you’re looking for classroom games or family games, there are plenty of Thanksgiving word games to go around. Explore different word games for varying grade and age levels that will leave everyone feeling grateful for the fun.

Thanksgiving Story Starters Guessing Game

This group game will have everyone pointing fingers as they try to guess who wrote each short Thanksgiving story.

  1. Print off at least one copy of the Thanksgiving Story Starters PDF below. It’s best if you can have one copy per player.
  2. Give each player a piece of paper and a pencil.
  3. Set a time limit of five or ten minutes.
  4. Each person should use at least five words from the story starters list to create a short story. They should write their name on the paper.
  5. Choose one person to be the reader. This person will collect all the short stories and read them aloud one at a time.
  6. Players should write down who they think wrote each story.
  7. Award 2 points for guessing the correct author. The person with the most points wins.
Thanksgiving word game story starters

Thanksgiving story starters

Click to View & Download

Thanksgiving Word Scramble

A classic word finder, also known as a word scramble, is the perfect quiet Thanksgiving word game for individuals or pairs. Basically, each player gets a jumbled set of letters and must rearrange them to form an actual Thanksgiving word.

  1. Make a list of words related to Thanksgiving, such as turkey, Native American, Pilgrim, fall, and stuffing.
  2. Next to each word, write a scrambled version of it. Cross off each letter in the original word as you write the scrambled version to ensure you’ve used all the letters.
  3. Get a new sheet of paper or open a word processing document.
  4. Write each scrambled word on a separate line. Put a blank line next to each scrambled word.
  5. Make as many copies as you’d like.

Word scrambles work great for solitary entertainment or group competitions. You can set a timer to see who unscrambles all the words correctly in the fastest time.

Kids can try their hand at unscrambling five holiday words in this Thanksgiving word scramble.


Thanksgiving Word Bingo

Players will need to think of their own Thanksgiving words for a simple game of word bingo.

  1. Give each person a paper with a 5-by-5 grid drawn on it. Along the top you should write the letters in the word bingo so one letter is above each column.
  2. Provide a list of Thanksgiving words for everyone to look at.
  3. Give players time to write one Thanksgiving word from the list in each empty square on the grid. Each word should only be used once.
  4. Call out one word from the list at a time. Make sure you cross off a word when you call it.
  5. If a player has the word on their card, they can draw an “x” on that square.
  6. The first player to complete a row of “x”s and call out “Bingo!” is the winner.

Celebrate being thankful with a game of Christian thankfulness bingo. The printable bingo game comes with eight different bingo cards and bingo markers.


Turkey on the Table Game

This is an interactive game that allows players to move around a little, which is great for kids.

  1. Have all players stand in a circle facing one another.
  2. One person, the turkey, should stand in the middle.
  3. The game starts when the turkey trots over to any other player.
  4. The turkey will then say “I'm the turkey on the table and I have apples on the table. What do you bring to the table?”
  5. The other player has to think of another Thanksgiving-related vocabulary word that begins with the next letter of the alphabet.
  6. If they come up with something to bring, they state it and the turkey moves to another player. If they can't think of one, they become the turkey.

Thanksgiving Say What? Game

Older players can have fun trying to complete Thanksgiving sayings in this funny game.

  1. Use a list of Thanksgiving sayings and write each famous saying on a separate slip of paper.
  2. Put all the slips of paper in a bowl.
  3. One person pulls a slip of paper out of the bowl and reads either the whole saying minus the first two words or the whole saying minus the last two words. It’s their decision which way to do it.
  4. The other players each get a chance to guess what they think the two missing words are.
  5. The player who guesses correctly first or gets closest to the right answer becomes the next person to pull a paper from the bowl.

Thanksgiving Word Association Game

Thanksgiving word association is another fun word game for pairs or groups.

  1. Make two columns on a sheet of paper. The first column should include a list of Thanksgiving words.
  2. Players should take turns choosing a word from the first column.
  3. On a turn, the player will choose a word, think of a word associated with that word, then write their associated word in the second column next to the original word.
  4. If a player duplicates an associated word that’s already written or can’t think of one, play moves to the next person.
  5. The goal is to come up with an associated word for every Thanksgiving word on the original list.

Printable Word Games for Thanksgiving

If you have a large group of players or simply don’t want to have any game setup, here are more printable Thanksgiving word games to use.


Make Your Own Thanksgiving Word Games

A list of vocabulary words for Thanksgiving will help you brainstorm different activities for your Thanksgiving celebrations. Use the vocabulary words to create your own version of a word game like hangman or Scrabble. You can also create a Thanksgiving crossword puzzle or invent a completely unique word game that incorporates your favorite parts of the holiday.

Thanksgiving Fun With Words

Thanksgiving word games and activities are an excellent addition to your lesson plans or Thanksgiving dinner with the family. Even adults can step into the holiday spirit and shake off a little bit of the seriousness that comes with a big family holiday. Start the fun by asking kids Thanksgiving questions to get them talking around the classroom or dining table. When Thanksgiving is over, continue the seasonal fun with winter word games.