thanksgiving scavenger hunt

Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt Ideas For Fun-Loving Families

It's a good way to get the wiggles out.

Family and friends gathered around the table. The way your house smells so heavenly. Yummy food to eat. What’s not to love about Thanksgiving? Thing is, just because you’re looking forward to a mega marathon of feasting with the fam doesn’t mean that your child is. That’s when you’re going to have to get creative to keep the kids occupied, and there’s no better way than having a Thanksgiving scavenger hunt. So you don’t have to scavenge to put it together, we’ve picked these ideas to make it as easy as (pumpkin) pie for you.

Use The Location

Whether you’re doing your Thanksgiving scavenger hunt in your backyard, apartment, or at a park, make sure to take total advantage of your location. So if you’re outside, make sure that kids are looking for natural items, like red leaves or pinecones. You might even want to paint some branches in fun colors that kiddos can collect, too.

Don’t Be Too Obvious

Sure, you might want to lay down for a nap, but chances are your kiddo is full of energy and excitement. That’s why you shouldn’t be too obvious in where you hide the items for your Thanksgiving scavenger hunt. By making them work (and, you know, run) around, you’ll tucker out those little turkeys, which can let you get back to that couch to crash on.

Let Everyone Win (For Once)

It’s Thanksgiving, after all, and while pumpkin pie might be on the menu, sore losers aren’t. Although you might not be an advocate for the “everyone’s a winner” mentality, it’s okay, for today, to let all the kids get some sort of prize. That way, no one will feel left out, which will inspire some gratitude among all the kids — and the parents, too.

Include Thanksgiving-related Items

Chances are, you’re going to have a mix of ages among your players. As such, you’ll want to make sure that your scavenger hunt isn’t too easy — or too hard. For example, have some items be simple to find (i.e. “Find the turkey!” or “Find the dining room table”) so that everyone has a chance to locate the items.

Print Some Printables

In a day that honors gratitude, you’ll be grateful for free printables. You can find a few that will make your Thanksgiving scavenger hunt a whole lot easier. Some are shaped like Bingo cards, where kids have to locate items based on the picture (which is very good for the preschool set who might not be reading ready yet), while others can be riddles that have to be solved as a team.

Turn It Into A Craft

Up your Thanksgiving scavenger hunt game by adding in a crafting element. For each item that is found, your child can get some items, such as felt circles for eyes, or red triangles for feathers. Once they’ve completed the hunt, they can then sit down with those pieces and some glue to create some autumnal artwork, such as a turkey, or a pumpkin pie.

Alexandra Grablewski/Stone/Getty Images

Time It Right

Kids can get cranky when they’re waiting for something. So instead of making them have to sit through a long meal while they’re cranking and whining (which isn’t fun for anyone), time the scavenger hunt for before dinner. That way, they’ll burn off some energy, you’ll get some time out of the kitchen, and everyone will have a much more peaceful meal.

A Thanksgiving scavenger hunt is a fun way to spend some time with your kids. And if it gets the wiggles out long enough for your child to sit down and eat with your family, well, that’s a big reason to feel grateful.