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Turkey-riffic Games for a Thanksgiving Classroom Party

Many classic games can be converted to tie into a Thanksgiving/harvest theme just by changing names and props. Try these on for size!

• “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” – “Pin the Wattle on the Turkey”

• “Duck, Duck, Goose” – “Turkey, Turkey, Stuffing”

• “Hot Potato” – “Hot Turkey” (Use a stuffed animal turkey)

• “Musical Hats” – “Musical Pilgrim Hats”

• “Bingo” – use dried corn kernels as game pieces

• “Dress Up Relay” – Use simple scarecrow, Native American or Pilgrim costumes

• “Ring Toss” – “Ring around the Gourd” (Assign different point values to different sizes of gourds, pumpkins or dried Indian corn cobs)

• “Three Legged or Sack Races” – Add an autumnal touch by creating an obstacle course using pumpkins, corn stalks, and bales of hay.

• Turkey Calling Contest – Host a turkey calling contest, complete with lots of squawking, flapping, wattle shaking, and pecking. Give each participant a prize with a fun distinction: “loudest turkey”, “most authentic”, “most likely to be spared”, “cutest turkey”, etc. Use dollar party favors and novelty party favors as prizes. (Ages 4-Adult)

• Turkey Bowling – Use a frozen turkey in place of a bowling ball (one that comes packaged with a handle attached) in a size that is appropriate for the age of the children. The frozen turkey is hurled at a set of bowling pins (use the real thing, tall wooden blocks or plastic milk bottles filled with stones). One parent helper can reset the pins after each turn. This game is a big hit with every crowd! (Ages 5-Adult)

• Balloon-popping Contest – Divide the children into two equal groups. Place two bags of inflated harvest colored Thanksgiving balloons at least 25 feet away. These balloons should be over-inflated to make popping easier. At the sound of a bell or whistle, one contestant from each team runs to the bag and removes a balloon. Each must sit on it until it pops. Once the balloon pops, the player runs back to the starting line and tags the next player in line. The first team to complete the course wins. If you have children who are afraid of the sound of popping balloons, offer a grown-up stand-in. (Ages 4-Adult)

• Pass the Corn – Divide the children into two teams and have them form two lines. You will need two cobs of dried Indian corn. At the signal to “go”, the corncob is to be passed from child to child. The catch is that they can use any part of their bodies except their hands. If the corn touches the ground at any time, it must go back to the beginning of the line again. Whichever team manages to get the corn to the end of the line first wins the game. The corn can also be used in a relay, with the kids putting the corn between their knees, and racing “crab” style” (Ages 4-10)

• If the games can be played outside, “hay” fights are great fun!

Next post: Turkey-riffic Crafts!

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