Try these fun Thankful games to get kids into active learning. You can use theme at school, home, or in your children’s ministry.
What is it about the holidays that makes kids want to run around the room? Could it be all the sugar we supply them with? I’m not sure but no matter how hard I try, during the month of November and December, kids want to play more and learn less. If you find the same thing is happening your children’s church or Sunday School, never fear--try these active play Christian Thanksgiving games for kids. Carve out some play time so all those busy little hands will have something to do! Put these three active play Thanksgiving games.
5 Active Thanksgiving Games for Kids
Game #1 -- The Great Turkey Grab:
For this game idea, you need four plastic baskets, laundry baskets work fine. You also need a few dozen, round, inflated balloons, a permanent marker and a maybe some electrical or contractor’s tape for a start and finish line. Tape the lines on the floor placing them at least ten feet apart. Draw a face on each balloon, giving them each eyes and a triangular beak. If you don’t want to use turkeys, you could write the word “Thanks” all over the balloons instead. Put equal amounts of balloons in two baskets. Set them at the start line. Put the two empty baskets at the finish line. Pick two children to come stand at the start line. When you give the signal, they will run to the basket of turkeys and grab as many as they can. The kids will run back and toss them in the baskets at the start line. Whoever gets the most turkeys in the basket in one minute is the winner! Keep playing, pairing up different kids for some fun. You could also use this game for a team vs team activity.
Game #2 -- Kids’ Gobble, Gobble:
This Thankful game is kind of like Blindman’s Bluff, okay, it’s a lot like it but it is hilarious. You will need a good blindfold and of course, two lines on the floor. The lines should be at least ten feet apart. The Turkey stands in the center of the room and the kids line up behind one of the lines. When the blindfolded Turkey/Kid says, “Gobble, gobble!” the kids run from one side of the line to the other but they can’t get touched by the Turkey. If they get touched by the Turkey, they have to sit out until there are no kids left.
Game #3 -- Turkey Tag:
You’ll need wooden clothespins, one for each child and colored markers for this Sunday School game. Draw little turkey faces on the clothespins or you could glue a printed turkey face to the clothespin head. Attach one clothespin on the back of every child’s clothing. You get to be It! When you say, “Go!” Kids run past you from one line to another. As they run past you, collect the clothespins. Once the pins are gone, they have to sit out until the next round. It’s fun but this game is much more orderly if an adult is IT.
Game #4 -- Thanksgiving Turkey:
If all your children can read this is a fun game to play. Tell kids you need to build a Thanksgiving meal and they can help! You’ll need to tape two lines on the floor or tell the children where the start and finish line is. These only need to be spaced out 10 feet apart or more if you have room. Before class, right Thanksgiving foods on slips of paper. Also, include the word TURKEY on one of the papers. It is okay to have multiple slips of paper representing one food, except for Turkey– there should only be one. Have all the kids line up behind the start line. Remind them not to tell anyone who they are.
Call the foods out one at a time. When you call the foods like, “Sweet potatoes!” the kids holding these slips of paper should run across the room and cross the finish line before you can touch them. Once they cross, they are safe but if they are touched, they have to sit out until the next “meal” or game. When you call out “TURKEY!” you and all the kids who have crossed the finish line get to try and touch the TURKEY before he crosses the line. If he’s touched, the game is over and you start again. It’s silly and fun!
Game #5 -- Kids Give Thanks to the Lord:
This game is based on Psalm 107, “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his faithful love endures forever!” You will need four bins for this game, a bag of foam peanuts and two plastic cups. I also like to have a CD playing of this song in the background. It’s the perfect Thanksgiving game music. Divide the foam peanuts in half, placing one half of the bag in one bin and the other half in the other. Set the bins with the peanuts in them at the start line. Place the two empty bins at the finish line which should be about ten feet away. Divide the class in half and lining the two groups behind the line. Tell the kids that the foam pieces are like our thanks and we are going to bring them to the Lord! The goal is to see who can accomplish the task the fastest. Each team member takes a turn bringing the peanuts to the bin at the finish line. Whoever finishes first is the winner!
Kids’ Thanksgiving Bible Bingo Game
This is a simple Thanksgiving game idea, just get the printable Thanksgiving BINGO cards from our website. There are two versions. The 3×3 cards are suitable for grade school children who understand the concept of 3 in a row. The 2×2 cards will work better for preschoolers and maybe kindergartners. They make a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving Sunday School lesson plans.
Are your kids tired of playing “Gobble Gobble” or “Heads-Up 7-Up” during free time in children’s church? We have good news for you! Try these new Thanksgiving games for children’s ministry. Having a few extra games on hand will help manage the crowds and keep kids focused on thankfulness and fun. You can spread these two games out across the month or have a Thanksgiving game-a-thon with these exciting active games. Ready, set–gobble, gobble!
3 Activities to Teach Gratitude
Bonus Children’s Thanksgiving Game Ideas
Here are a few other websites that have shared some Thankful activities ideas for Sunday School.
- 7 Fun DIY Thanksgiving Games from the Creative Bible Study blog
- Thanksgiving Day Party Games from Party Games for Kids on YouTube
- Thanksgiving Bingo Game (free printable) from Children’s Ministry Magazine
What games do you use to teach kids Thankfulness to your kids?
Leave a comment below to share your ideas. Do you have some fun thankful game ideas for children’s ministry?
We all need to be more aware of how God has blessed us and show him gratitude and thankfulness. What better way to help kids count their blessings and learn to be more grateful. We love to hear your feedback!
Need more Sunday School activities? Don’t miss our Bible craft ideas for Thanksgiving.