Originally published October 17, 2019 and updated October 2021.
This Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt is a great way to keep younger and older children happy and occupied at Thanksgiving gatherings. The scavenger hunt is a free printable with four different game boards. You can even print it out at the last minute and start playing as soon as the boards print out.
It can be difficult to keep children from getting bored and cranky at Thanksgiving gatherings, both before and after Thanksgiving dinner. You don’t have to just plop them in front of a screen when you plan a fun activity for before and after the Thanksgiving meal.
The reason for the Thanksgiving holiday is to practice gratitude and spend quality time building family traditions.
How about planning this fun Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt for kids to keep everyone happy and occupied?
It’s a fun idea for older kids, younger kids and the entire family. An-nnnd, it’s a fun Thanksgiving scavenger hunt for adults, too. This makes it a great activity for the entire family.
Additional fun Thanksgiving activities:
- Favorite board games
- Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade
- Thanksgiving Bingo – you can use these game card printable files to use as bingo cards
Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt
Playing Thanksgiving family games like this Thanksgiving scavenger hunt is a great way to encourage children to interact, think, play and have fun. And a secondary goal is to keep children from getting bored, whiny and being disruptive.
Free Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt List Items to Look for
- Pumpkin Pie
- Pilgrim Hat
- Winter Coat
- Mini Pumpkins
- Mashed Potatoes
- Apple Pie
- Whipped Cream
- Green Beans
- Bread Rolls
How to Print the Scavenger Hunt Game Boards
- To get the free printable Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt printable simply sign up for our free weekly newsletter. You’ll gain immediate access to the scavenger hunt and also 125+ printables and more in the VIP Resources Library.
- Print it on computer paper or card stock paper. I prefer to use card stock because it holds up to little hands and playing the game better than computer paper does.
- You may want to print several extra copies in case one is torn or damaged.
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How do you do a Thanksgiving scavenger hunt?
Print out the free 4-page Thanksgiving scavenger hunt pdf available above. Print enough copies for as many players as you expect. Hint – print extras, just in case.
Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt Ideas
- Play the game to keep the kids busy while waiting for dinner.
- Play the game after dinner to get the whole family moving.
- Use the scavenger hunt as a way to break the ice and help kids to get comfortable with other guests they may not know.
Establish Rule for the Game
- Set the location for playing the game.
- Establish if the children are playing as individuals or as teams.
- If you have younger kids, consider pairing them with older children or an adult so that even young kids can play.
- Establish if the players are to find every item on their game board or if they are to find as many as they can in an allotted time. You don’t have to set a time limit for the game if you’d rather keep kids of all ages engaged longer.
- Look over the list of items on the scavenger hunt boards. If you will not have all of them at your gathering, then have the children play the Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt game like Bingo.
- You can also play the Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt like a Bingo game, with players finding items in a row or column.
- Kids love playing scavenger hunts, so you may want to also print out copies of the Fall Scavenger Hunt. Having two Thanksgiving activities for the children will help keep everyone happy.
What is a good prize for a scavenger hunt?
The 12 ideas below make great prizes because they focus on the fun of the game and the holiday. You want to be careful to keep the game and interaction with others the focus and not the prize. Make it about about the fun family activity not about an unnecessarily expensive prize.
- First turn at next game or other activity
- Stay up 30 minutes later before bedtime
- Family gift certificate, for example choose dinner or next family movie
- Thanksgiving coloring book
Autumn and Thanksgiving rock painting kit. Fun for all ages.
More Thanksgiving Printable Games
These are all free printables.
- Thanksgiving Word Search – Free Thanksgiving Word Search printable with 3 different pages and 34 unique words. A fun learning activity to keep kids busy and happy.
- Thanksgiving Trivia Questions – Make Thanksgiving fun and learn at the same time with these 36 free printable Thanksgiving trivia questions quiz cards, plus the answers.
- Free Thanksgiving Charades – 36 free Thanksgiving charades game cards you can print right away. An easy-to-play activity will be one of your favorite Thanksgiving games.
More Thanksgiving Activities for Kids
- Fall Treats Anyone Can Make
- DIY Thanksgiving Napkin Rings – Make your own DIY Thanksgiving Napkin Rings for holiday table décor. Fun and easy enough to make that you can make them with your children.
- Easy Candy Acorns – Make these easy candy acorns in minute and for pennies. Easy enough for a kids activity and impressive enough to use a decorations or favors.
- Fall Dessert Cookie – Easy-to-make autumn harvest cookies. Your new favorite fall dessert cookie idea. An easy semi-homemade recipe.
- Thanksgiving Brownie Cups – Make these easy Thanksgiving Brownie cups featuring a candy acorn. They’re the perfect dish to take to a Thanksgiving celebration or serve at your own home. It can be a great way to use up extra Halloween candy.
- Free Thanksgiving Coloring Pages – 15 free Thanksgiving coloring pages you can print right away for kids of all ages to enjoy. Contains both simple and intricate designs.
Pin for later so you can print out and use these free printable Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt boards at the last minute and for every Thanksgiving.
Find all our Thanksgiving activities and games in the table below. You can scroll through the tutorials, click on the ones that interest you and be taken to the tutorial or printable to find just what you need to create your wonderful Thanksgiving.
I’m a mom of 3, a veteran and military spouse. I’ve moved into 20+ homes all around the world. My passion is helping busy people make the space and time for what’s really important to them.