THANKSGIVING - GAMES
Turkey Feather Relay
Divide the group into relay teams. The first player in each team holds a long turkey feather. At the signal, each throws his feather, javelin style, toward the finish line. As soon as it comes to earth, he picks it up and throws it again from that spot. When it finally crosses the finish line, he picks it up, runs back and hands the feather to the next teammate. Each team should use different colored feathers. The first team to have everyone cross the finish line and return to starting position, flaps arms and gobbles like triumphant turkeys.
Tape the Head on the Turkey
Cut a large Thanksgiving turkey out of cardboard, remove the head and scotch tape the body to a chalkboard or wall. The boys are blindfolded and instructed to try to tape the head on the turkey. When done, put a (tape) marker at the place the boy taped the head and let the next boy try.
Make logs from 4” cardboard cylinders. Paint them to look like logs. In relay fashion, have each boy roll a log with a stick or dowel to a given point and back.
Put a small amount of half and half or cream into a jar (one per boy) and screw the lid on tight. Boys must shake the jar until butter is formed. (Try this out ahead of time to gauge how long it will take.) The boy who has the best results, wins.
Pilgrims & Indians
Hide cards around the room on which there are letters which spell “Pilgrims and Indians.” There should be several full sets of cards, with several extra cards for some of the letters. Divide the group into an equal number of pilgrims and Indians. On signal, they begin searching for the letters which spell their name. The first person to collect cards to spell “pilgrim” or “Indian” is the winner.
Stuff the Turkey
For each team in this relay game, open a paper grocery bag and fold down the top a couple inches. This is the turkey. Place a pile of opened newspapers about three feet from the turkey with the boys lined up behind the papers. On a signal, the first boy in each line takes the top sheet of newspaper, scrunches it up into a ball and tosses it in the turkey (bag). He must successfully toss the ball into the bag before he can tag the next player to repeat the process. Have leaders there to tamp down the balls inside each turkey. The first team to fill the bag – or to complete the relay, wins.
You will need a good-sized bowl and 6 kernels of corn. Each player takes turns pitching the corn kernels, one at a time, into the bowl from a set distance. The leader must keep score of how many kernels end up in the bowl. The winner is the one with the highest score after three rounds.
Pin The Feathers On The Turkey!
Of course, this game is a variation of an old favorite involving another animal, but we think it's more appropriate for the holidays. (And, who wants to eat a donkey?)
Photocopy the turkey illustration at the end of this handout. If you like, it can be colored in before play begins. (You may want to print out one for each child at your party!) Print out the feathers separately. They can also be colored in, but leave the box blank so that each player can write his or her name in the space.
Toss and Catch
This is based on an old Indian game and each child can make his own. One of the older children can be given the instructions and lead the rest of the children in fashioning their own toss and catch.
What they'll need:
2 pieces of cardboard, 5" each
A long pencil, unsharpened
4 Pipe cleaners
2 pieces of yarn, each as long as your arm
• Draw a big circle on each piece of cardboard. Make sure the circles are the same size. (You can give them a can or a glass to trace.) Cut each circle out.
• Use the remaining cardboard to cut two horns.
• Take one of the circle and tape the pencil to it like a lollipop.
• Tape the horns on the top of the circle like ears on a cat.
• Glue the other circle of top with the pencil and horns in the middle.
• Color each side with a special design.
• Poke a hole in the top between the two horns.
• Take two pipe cleaners. Twist them together to make one long pipe cleaner. Bend this into a ring. Twist the ends together so it makes a circle.
• Take one piece of yarn and tie it to the pipe cleaner circle.
• Tie the yarn and ring through the hole between the horns.
• Hold the pencil and jiggle until the ring lands on one of the horns.
• Once they can catch one, attach the other yarn and ring and see who is the first to catch both.
This is essentially the old "Fruit Basket Upset" game with a Thanksgiving name. The players sit on chairs facing toward the center of the circle. There should be one more player than there are chairs. The player without a chair is the center. An adult should name each of the players with a Thanksgiving related name like Squash, Corn, Apple, Turkey. After everyone is named, the center calls out two of the names, "Corn and Apple." Those two players must leave their chairs, and with the center, try to get to an empty chair first. The one left standing is the new center. At any time, the center can also call "The cornucopia has tipped over!" Then everyone scrambles for a new chair. Again, the one who ends up without a seat is the new center. A player keeps his same name throughout the game. A name can be given to more than one person to make the game even more exciting.
Equipment: Wire coat hanger, turkeys cut from
cardboard and clothespins.
Stretch a wire coat hanger into a diamond shape. Cut turkeys from cardboard. Hang figures from top of coat hanger diamonds with string. Hang coat hangers on stretched cord. Boys shoot the turkeys with clothespins.
Equipment: Blindfold, cup, popped corn and spoon. Boys are in pairs. One boy is blindfolded and holds a cup of popped corn with a spoon. On signal, the feeders feed the partner. The "turkey" gives instructions to the blindfolded feeder. After corn is finished, boys change places.
Ring the Turkey's
Call several people up front and give each a rubber band. Tell them to stretch them over their heads, placing the bands on the tips of their noses and under their ears. On signal, they are to work the bands from their noses down around their necks without using their hands.
Bend the knees deeply and place the hands under the
armpits for wings. Move forward by a series of little jumps. Move both feet at
the same time. Keep the knees far apart. Land lightly on the toes. Keep the head
high. Go across room and fly back. Use as a relay.