Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It is low pressure and the entire focus is on gratitude. I love the family time it offers without the frills of presents or other distractions. It seems like the kick off to the holiday season which is always so fun as well! We love family games, board games, cooperative games and even themed holiday games. Enter in Thanksgiving Scattergories! If you are looking for a fun, light hearted, great Thanksgiving game that all ages can play then stick with me as we jump into my tutorial for a Thanksgiving Scattergories Game with a free printables at the end as well as links to other free Thanksgiving games!
This post contains affiliate links, which means I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure here.
What You Need
This game is based off of the game Scattergories by Hasbbro. It is a great game for all ages. Before we begin you need to collect a few items
- Print off all printables below including one answer sheet per person
- Writing utensil for each person playing
- An alphabet die or my alphabet printable below (cut out)
- A timer
- Super fun family members!
How To Play
Once you have all of the items above its time to jump into the fun. Here is how you play:
- Each person should have a answer sheet and pencil
- Choose a category card to start with
- My printable has 5 themed categories filled out and one blank one for your family to create your own category & topics
- Roll the alphabet die or pull out a cut out letter from my free printable below
- This letter of the alphabet is what your answer has to start with for all 6 topics on the category list
- Start the timer (usually we start with a time limit of around 3 minutes and adjust as needed)
- Write down your best (and most unique) answer to the topics under the category list your group is following
- When the timer goes off pens go down and it’s time for scoring!
- Start again with a new category card and letter
For example- if you were playing with the Thanksgiving category list and the letter “P” was drawn my answers would be as follows: Types of pies: Pumpkin Pie; A Thanksgiving Tradition: Playing games; I am thankful for: Pizza; and so forth and so on.
How To Score
The goal of the game is to think of the most unique words for the topic in hopes that no one else has picked the same answer. You will go around your group and share your answers, for example, if you are using the category card for Fall you would start by all sharing your favorite fall activity you wrote down. If someone had the same answer as you, cross off your word. If your answer was different than everyone else then circle the answer. You get one point for each circled answer.
We love to spice it up a bit and give 2 points if people have an answer with a double word. For example if a “C” was rolled and we were using the “Dinner” category I would write Candy Corn for my favorite dessert- if no one else answered with this answer then I would get two points because of the double C’s.
Once you have scored that round you can move onto a different category, roll or draw a new letter and play again! This is a fast moving game, and each round is different, which makes it so exciting and fun. Once you are done you can count up the total points to see who won. Or you can crown a winner at the end of each category list, totally up to you!
Thanksgiving Scattergories Game With Free Printables
There are three printables for you to download and print off for this game. The first one is the PDF for the scattergories category list. There are 5 lists and one empty one for you to create with your family or students. The second free printable is the PDF for the answer sheets. The last thing to remember to print, especially if you don’t have an alphabet die, is the PDF for the letter cut outs, you can cut these out and draw them from a bowl or hat to see what your letter is for the category list. If you have an alphabet die you can skip this one.
Playing With Younger Children
If you have young kids in your group this is an easy game to adapt to include them. An easy way to adjust the game to make sure they can be in on the fun is by pairing an adult with a younger child. The child can then give the answer to the adult who will help write their answer down. If you have a child who can write but may take a little longer to finish their answers then I would adjust the timer so that everyone has enough time to complete each answer.
Tips and Tricks
- I would highly recommend printing off one answer sheet per person and then laminating them. You can then easily wipe off answers and reuse the sheet for multiple rounds and years to come!
- This is a perfect classroom group game. Feel free to print off the printables for everyone in your class, it’s here for you to use and I love when kids get to experience the joy of playing games! Added bonus- It is a great way to practice handwriting and spelling.
- I left a blank category list for you to create your own category and themed words. It is so fun to hear other’s ideas and is a great way to involve older kids.
- If you have a really large group or forgot to print off the answer sheet you can just use index cards, this is an easy, quick solution if you are in a pinch
- If you have to travel to get to your Thanksgiving celebration this is such an easy game to play in the car. If it is too difficult for everyone to write while driving you could make it into a cooperative game and see how many answers you can think of in each category with the letter that is drawn. If a road trip is in your future see my post on tips and tricks for long car rides with kids and this post to gather other activities to survive (and even enjoy!) your trip.:)
Other Thanksgiving Activity Ideas
I love simple games for family gatherings. There is something so sweet about sitting around the dinner table, full from a beautiful meal, spending time with people who mean the most to you. Here are a few other ideas for games and activities to create some fun memories this Thanksgiving season:
- Play Party Plan has some awesome ideas for games for the whole family
- You could do a Thanksgiving Craft like a Thankful Tree which I have explained in this blog post.
- Happiness is Homemade has a really fun Thanksgiving BINGO printable that is perfect for even the littlest kids in your group.
- I also really appreciate a good quiet activity, my Thanksgiving Word Search is a great option to throw in when everyone needs a little down time.
Don’t forget to pin this so you can remember this Thanksgiving Scattergories Game With Free Printables for next year!