Thanksgiving Turkey Games and Activities

Betty Jo, of Still Learning Something New, asked me if I could come up with a Thanksgiving game for her and her family to enjoy. Not only did I come up with a turkey game container, I thought of a few other uses for it too!

To make this game container, you will need…

Clean, dry recycled milk/juice carton – 1/2 gallon size
Construction paper
Recycled cardboard box (cereal or cracker box)
Templates (locate on the bottom of this post)
Wiggly eyes
Depending on Activity: Ping pong ball, aluminum foil ball, extra feathers, battery powered candle or glow stick, plastic ware, napkins, nuts, candy, artificial flowers

What to do…

  • Cut out each of the template pieces and glue them to recycled cardboard to make patterns. Cut the patterns out when the glue dries.
  • Trace all the patterns onto construction paper and cut them out.
  • After cutting your carton down to fit the body of the turkey, cover all 4 sides with construction paper, then glue the rest of the parts together. The picture can be used as a guide.

Suggestions for gluing your parts together…

Tail: Lay all the feathers on the tail as evenly as possible, when you like what you see, glue them down. Center your carton and glue that down. The brown part of tail should be seen from the back. 

Front: After gluing all the pieces of the front together, and adding any extra details you want to add, glue the front to the carton.
Gluing Tip: When you are ready to add the carton to the back and front pieces of the turkey, you may find it helpful to run your hand inside the carton a few times and then place something heavy inside the carton until the glue sets up.

Thanksgiving Turkey Activities by Fran W.
Thanksgiving Turkey Games
Turkey Toss Game
Put the turkey in the middle of the table and bounce a ping pong ball into the container. Find challenging ways to get the ball in.
Alternately, you can toss aluminum foil rolled up into balls into the container.
Thanksgiving Trivia Game
If you make lots of extra feathers, you can make a trivia game with some of them. Use the turkey as a centerpiece and ask each family member to come up with 5 Thanksgiving facts that they find the most interesting about the holiday, and how it came to be, then turn them into questions. Write the questions and answers on the inside of the feather, fold the feather in half to close and place it in the container. Store the feathers with the trivia questions and answers in the container, and test each other’s Thanksgiving knowledge by pulling out a feather and reading the question. Give everyone a chance to guess the answer before the answer is read. Play it a few times to see how many facts everyone can remember. Point values can be added to keep score if desired.
Variation: Research Race
Object of the game…
In this version of Thanksgiving Trivia, a parent or a player is going to write questions that may not be known to the other players, on each feather, along with an answer, and assign a value to each question based on the number of players.
Example: If there are 5 players, the highest point value would be 5, 10, 15, 2
0, or 25 points, if there are 3 players then 3, 6, or 9 points would be given out and so on. 
Players should be able to find answers on their own or buddy up with another player who can help them out. Players will need to have access to information such as the Internet, books, or printouts with the correct answers. The first player/team to find the answer gets the full point value, the second to get the answer will get 1 point system less (depending on if you are playing by 1’s, 2’s, 5’s, etc), the third will get 2 less and so forth. 
Choose a reader – The reader will read the question to everyone, collect everyone’s answers, give out points, and keep score. The most likely choice for the reader is the person who researched and wrote the questions on the feathers, but that is up to each family.
Players – Once the question is read, go into separate areas to find the answer. Once the answer is found, quietly write the answer down and return it to the reader as quickly as possible to collect your points. The player can whisper the answer in the readers ear or draw the answer when possible. Players should wait by the reader until all the others have finished. A reasonable time limit may be set if needed.
Once everyone brings the answer to the reader, the reader can ask another question and the play will begin again where all the player leave the room to find the answer, bring it to the reader to collect their points, and hang out to wait for the next question. What happens when a player doesn’t have the right answer? That is up to you to decide. Will they have to do it again or not gain any points?
Winner – Decide what the winning player/team gets…a night without chores, a special treat, an activity with mom or dad, etc. 
Feel free to change the rules to fit your needs.
I’ll start you off with 5 questions for Thanksgiving Trivia…
Q. When did the Pilgrims begin their journey?
A. July 1620
Q. When did the Pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock?
A. December 1620
Q. Who helped the Pilgrims survive in the New World?
A.  Squanto and Samoset
Q. What US president made Thanksgiving an official national holiday?
A. Lincoln
Q. What is a baby turkey called?
A. A poult
Thanksgiving Charades

What do you think about when you think of Thanksgiving? Have family members come up with 5 words each or a total of 25 or more Thanksgiving words, write them down on feathers, fold them in half and place them in the container. Players can pull out a feather and act out the word so everyone can guess it. The person acting out the holiday icon can not speak, but they can act and give hints to words that sound like their word. 
Tip: Glue pictures from magazines or flyers onto the feathers so non-readers can play too! Stamps or stickers can also be used.

Here are a few words to help get you started…

Turkey, Pilgrim, Native American, bow and arrow, apple pie, family, Mayflower, parade, corn, musket, pumpkin, feather, thankful, stuffed, nuts…

Feathers of Thanks

Before adding the front of the turkey, ask family members to write down what they are thankful for on each feather. When all the feathers have something on it, glue the front of the turkey on. Store a bunch of feathers inside the container along with a marker and glue stick, when friends and family come by, ask them what they are thankful for, have them write it on a feather, and add it to the turkey as a second or third row of feathers.

Other uses…

Luminary: Put a glow stick or a battery powered candle in it and place it in the middle of the table.

Storage: Store napkins, plastic ware, nuts, candies or something else and place it on a table.

Floral Centerpiece: Place floral foam in the bottom of the container and use the container for artificial or real flowers.

Please leave a comment if you find another use for this container!

Turkey Decoration…

If you do not have a container to make this craft, follow the directions for making the templates, glue the turkey together, and hang it on a wall, or think of a way to prop it up on a table.

Betty Jo, I hope you and your family find this versatile turkey activity fun and useful for Thanksgiving! Thank you very much for reading Fran’s World of Discovery and for the request!

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you have a request or a topic you would like me to cover, please let me know! You can email your request to me, Fran at: and I will get on it as soon as possible!

More Thanksgiving Activities can be found here on Fran’s World of Discovery
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Thanksgiving Turkey Game Templates
Click on the picture, then right click and save the file to your computer, open file and print.

Thanksgiving Turkey Game Pg 1
Thanksgiving Turkey Game Pg 2


2 responses to “Thanksgiving Turkey Games and Activities”

  1. Betty Jo Hendrickson Avatar

    Thanks, Fran. These games will be perfect to add some fun to our Thanksgiving studies. We won't just keep them for ourselves, we will be sharing with our Wed. night church kids and with our homeschooling support group. Thanks again, you have made this easy with including the templates and some trivia questions.

  2. Fran Wisniewski Avatar

    So happy to hear that you like this idea, Betty Jo! I hope the kids enjoy it too! Please let me know if you need anything else!

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