15+ Thanksgiving Games for Family Fun

15+ Thanksgiving Games   grandparentsplus.com

Take a little break from football and  liven up the celebration with a few Thanksgiving games. You’ll work off some of those calories (especially the pie) and the kids will have fun, too! While there are hundreds of on-line games, I think Thanksgiving is for interaction and making memories and not sitting in front of the computer. Most of the games I list involve lots of  interaction and laughs.

( Well, I added a few on-line ones, if you insist.)

1.Turkey Feather Toss: I saw this idea in the Family Fun magazine a couple of years ago.  Take a feather and tape a weight (my husband used a  long nail) to the quill end. This gives it some weight and stability.

Nail taped to base of feather.


Place a basket or container some distance away and see if kids can toss the feather into it. Have several baskets or containers and place a different value on each one. Take turns and keep score! We used turkey feathers, as we have wild turkeys around us. If you don’t have hunters in your family, buy pheasant feathers at Michael’s Crafts.

Wow! Pretty Close!

He made it!

2. Pin the wattle or feather on the Turkey:  Thanksgiving version of the old standby: Pin the Tail on the Donkey! Materials:  blindfold, cut-out of wattle or feather & large drawing of a turkey.

3. Corn Pitching:  The idea of this games is to take beans, dried corn or candy corn and pitch them into containers of different point value.  Play several rounds and keep score.

4. Corn Hunt or Turkey Hunt:  Hide candy corn or small sticker pictures of turkeys in various places throughout your home. When found, they put them in their bag. The one with the most, wins! 

5. Odds or Evens:  Kids take turns with another partner and place beans or dried corn in their hand behind their back. They  say, “Odds or Evens”. If the other child guesses correctly, they get the beans. Then, it is the other person’s turn. The one with the most beans after an amount of turns, wins!

6. Where is the silly Turkey? I have a silly looking little stuffed animal turkey that I have out each year. The kids like to hide this turkey  in the room. For little kids, I like to hide it with a little piece sticking out so it is easier to spot. Tell them “hot” if they are close and “cold” if they are far away. If you don’t have a little turkey, use a sticker picture of a turkey or any other object.


He found it!



5. Thanksgiving Basket Upset:  Put chairs in a circle and give everyone a “Thanksgiving name such as: pumpkin, turkey, dressing, pilgrim, ship, etc. Caller calls two of the Thanksgiving related names and they need to switch chairs. Caller tries to get to one of the chairs before the others. The one left becomes the caller.

6. Pumpkin Roll: Take a small pumpkin and roll with either hands, broom or wooden spoon. You need a long area to roll so clear an area or do this outside if weather permits. Have some bottles along the way that they have to knock down with the pumpkin before going for the finish line. Take turns and time each one or do as a family relay.

7. What’s missing? Place candy corn, small picture of objects, little turkey, small boat, pilgrims or other Thanksgiving objects on a tray (10-20 items). Have them look carefully at the tray. Take one item away and see if they can tell which one is missing. Another variation for families is to write all the objects they can remember being on the tray.  If you have several families,  have each family work together as a team or work in partners.

8. Thanksgiving  Printable and Computer games:  These are not group interactive, but if you need them, here they are!   http://www.dltk-holidays.com/thanksgiving/games.htm

9.  Spoons: Play the regular game of Spoons, but substitute paper turkey drumsticks on paint stirrers with Thanksgiving pictures on them or plastic spoons with a turkey drawn on them.

10. Lots of printable games: Bingo, Memory, Dominos, Word Mining, and Word Scrambles are available http://holidays.kaboose.com/thanks-games.html  and www.733blog.com

11. Fun group Thanksgiving Games: check the many games on  Familyfun.  http://spoonful.com/thanksgiving/thanksgiving-games-pg

12. Thanksgiving Scattergories:  Divide into two teams. Give a category such as “Fall Words”, “Thanksgiving food”, “Names of Trees” ,  “Fruits and Vegetables” etc. Each team member can generate words and the recorder writes them on a team list.  Score a point for each answer that is not listed on the other team’s sheet.

13. Turkey Shoot: Get out those pom-pom shooters and have a turkey hunt. One person is the turkey and kids take turns trying to hit the “turkey” using pom-poms  or mini-marshmallows in their shooters. The turkey can either stand still for young shooters or move if you want it more challenging. Add a “turkey hat” for the one being hunted. ( I saw these at Target) For pom-pom shooters go here.

 14. Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt: Weather permitting, this is a great outdoor game. Give each family a list of fall items to find. If indoors, hide doubles (or enough for each family unit) of  items in different rooms and give a list of the hidden items to find. Stickers of different objects are easy to use in this game.

Here’s the 15+….

15+ Minute-To-Win-It Games: Many of these games could be altered to the Thanksgiving theme. Check them out at ministry-to-children.com or happyhomefairy.com and summercampprogramdirector.com  Lots of good ideas!

Hope this post is a good reference for some good old family fun!

Check out my other posts on Thanksgiving crafts and Thanksgiving place setting under the heading of “holidays” on the top menu or click here.

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good!



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Apple Peanut Salad

Apple Peanut Salad     grandparentsplus.com

This Apple Peanut Salad is not only colorful, but is big on flavor! If you like peanut butter on apples, this Apple Peanut Salad takes it to a whole new level. Even if you don’t like peanut butter, you’ll love this salad! (I don’t like peanut butter, but love this salad!)

By using red and green apples, it adds holiday color to your table, too. This salad combination of sweet, salty, tart, and crunchy, packs a flavorful punch. This salad goes together quickly! Refrigerate until ready to serve. The apples stay fresh due to the pineapple and vinegar.

Apple Peanut Salad   grandparentsplus.com


Apple Peanut Salad Ingredients:

1 – 8 ounce can of crushed pineapple

1/2 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon flour

1 egg

2 Tablespoons of vinegar

(If using a 20 oz. can for a larger salad, just multiply everything  2- 1/2 times except the egg. I just use 2 eggs)


Add later:

Apples (diced) 2-3 apples depending on size

Dry roasted, salted peanuts (to your liking)



Mix sugar, flour together.

Add all remaining ingredients except apples and peanuts.

Heat together until thick.  Cool.

Fold in peanuts and chopped apples to cooled mixture.

Apple Peanut Salad   grandparentsplus.com

Use both red and green apples for color! I used Granny Smith and Honeycrisp or Delicious!

Fold in the cooled pineapple mixture.

Apple Peanut Salad   grandparentsplus.com

Add peanuts!

Apple Peanut Salad   grandparentsplus.com

Serves 6

 Apple Peanut Salad    grandparentsplus.com

A great holiday side dish!


Hint: If your family is small, prepare the pineapple mixture and use what you need and refrigerate the rest for another day. Mix more apples and peanuts in and serve again. It keeps well for a couple of days. I hope you like this easy Apple Peanut Salad!



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Pilgrim Picture Napkin Rings or Favors

Pilgrim Picture Napkin Rings or Favors

Pilgrim Picture Napkin Rings or Favors grandparentsplus.com


At holidays, I like to personalize the grandkids’ place settings with something special. This year, I am making a Pilgrim Picture of each child to use at their place setting. I w ill either have them as a napkin ring or place their Pilgrim Picture as a table favor with candy. It won’t be hard to find their place with their picture right on it.

These personalized Pilgrim Picture Napkin Rings or Favors are pretty quick and easy to make once you find the pictures to use. Print the pictures so that the heads are 1-1/2  to 1-3/4 inch tall.  This might take some tries to find the right size. On my computer it asks if I want it full-page, 5×7, 4×6, or wallet size. If the picture was of  several people, I printed it larger. If it is a close-up, print it smaller. I simply used regular paper and reinforced the head by backing it with tag board as I cut it out.


Materials needed

  • Pictures – 1-1/2 in – 1-3/4 inch size
  • Black cardstock Paper (I used a textured black) This paper is found in the scrapbook aisle.
  • Brown cardstock Paper
  • Yellow paper  (I used a note pad)
  • White paper (I used just plain printer paper or construction paper)
  • Glue
  • Card board Tubes
  • Glue


Pilgrim Picture Napkin Rings or Favors grandparentsplus.com

Cut the patterns for the shoulders, caps, and collars. I labeled the sizes in case it printed out differently.

Pilgrim Patterns grandparentsplus.com

These patterns are easy to free-hand draw, too.  I made all the pieces for everyone before putting them together. The men’s hats have a small band which I cut from brown paper and then made a small yellow square for the hat. Cut out the middle for the buckle. You can see the texture in this close-up.

Pilgrim Hat grandparentsplus.com

After assembling, cut a band of black tagboard paper to fit the paper tube (I used about 1/3 of a toilet paper roll)

Glue the pilgrim picture on the roll. If using as a favor, place a candy cup inside the tube and fill with nuts and candy.


Pilgrim Picture Napkin Rings or Favors

Once you find the pictures, these are really easy! I hope the grandchildren will be delighted with their pictures!

Happy Thanksgiving!




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Using Scarves in Your Tablescape!

Using Scarves in Your Tablescape     grandparentsplus.com


You may think that scarves are just for wearing, but using scarves in your tablescape  gives  great color on your table! I found this scarf  at Walmart for $5.00  just last week (couldn’t go wrong for that price) and knew that the colors would be perfect on my table. I do plan on wearing it, too, but for now it looks wonderful in my Thanksgiving tablescape!

Using Scarves in your tablesetting


Along with the $5.00 scarf, I used items that I already had. The candlesticks are just brass from India and the horn of plenty is one that I’ve had for 30 years! Using things differently makes everything look new again!  Make the same look by spray painting any rattan horn of plenty in a gold color. If you are using different accents other than gold, spray it a color that coordinates with your tablescape.

Thanksgiving tablesetting 002pm


Notice the napkin rings? They are from a Dollar Tree artificial spray. Four flowers came on a small bush for $1.00  and I merely cut them off and wrapped the wire around the napkin. Pretty cheap! I like how the varied colors in the sunflowers blend with everything.

Using scarves in your tablesetting

Using scarves in your tablescapes opens up new possibilities. Bet you are running to your closet to find what you might have! HA! Total cost for the scarf and napkin rings was $8.00 for 12 settings!

Using scarves in Your tablescapes

The table in my dining room is quite different! Notice the drawers? There are four drawers on each side. I believe it was an old art table in a school. It does have some signs of use, but I call it “patina” and love it! I use the drawers for candle, votive and napkin ring storage. I think if I were a kid, I would have slipped my veggies in a drawer, but so far I have found nothing left from the grandkids!

Another idea for using scarves in your tablescape comes from my sister. She used a vintage candle piece from our mom. Then, she added  scarves  for this spectacular Thanksgiving tablescape!

Using scarves in your tablescape   grandparentsplus.com

She wove a couple of shades together to make this tablescape.

Using Scarves in a Tablescape    grandparentsplus.com


Using scarves in your Tablescape    grandparentsplus.com

Hope this opens up new possibilities for your tablescapes!

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Idea House – Part 4

Idea House Part 4   grandparentsplus.com

This is the fourth and  last post for the Fall Idea House. It is  a mixture of fun, unique ideas! You’ll find lots of inspiration for fall decorating and entertaining. Some ideas are easy to do and others take more effort in finding just the right piece. Nevertheless, it will open your eyes to some new ways of looking at what some consider “junk”.


I loved this little squirrel sitting  at each place-setting with lots of wooden acorns.

Idea House Part 4

In this next table-setting, notice the metal piece used under the centerpiece. Take an interesting metal wall hanging and use it for a great look on the table!


Idea House Part 4 table setting grandparentsplus.com

Love the simple texture that the industrial piece of white plastic gives under this glass-topped table!

Idea House Part 4    grandparentsplus.com


Ever thought of using old frames to accent a place setting? These were each painted a different color and each one was a different shape .Idea House Part 4 grandparentsplus.com


Idea House Part 4   grandparentsplus.com

Notice the different colored glasses, too!

If you have a fireplace that is not in use, try this extravagant look!

Idea house part 4 grandparentsplus.com

Looks beautiful with all the lanterns lit!

This next arrangement has  3 different heights of glass pieces. Add a few fall decorations and you have a great looking arrangement for your coffee table or use as a table centerpiece.


Idea House Part 4 grandparentsplus.com

My copycat version is this……

Since I didn’t have a large silver tray, I used a mirror and laid it flat on top of the table. My pieces are scaled down a bit for the size of the mirror, but the idea is the same. The key is three varied heights for the main pieces.

Idea House Part 4   grandparentsplus.com

Now, this is unique and different! Collect old wooden ironing boards and put together for a one of a kind shelving unit! Don’t think the Buddha fits in this vintage collection, do you?


Idea House Part 4

Don’t just think that small stools are for the floor or shelf somewhere. Place them on the wall and use them as shelves!


Idea House Part 4 grandparentsplus.com

I don’t know the name of this next item, but it probably sifted something. Adding a dried arrangement changes its look into a special wall hanging.


Idea House Part 4

Adding a glass top to an unusual metal laundry basket makes a great bedside table! I love how so many things are repurposed and made new again like the headboard, too!


Idea House Part 4 grandparentsplus.com

Idea House Part 4


Decorated lanterns make a wonderful display, too. Here is their version….

Idea House Part 4   grandparentsplus.com

 Here is mine using the same mirror as an accent……..

Idea House - Part 4

Finally, some pictures of fall outside arrangements!


Idea House- Part 4    grandparentsplus.com

Idea House - Part 4    grandparentsplus.com


Idea House - Part 4

Did you see some ideas that you could do?

I always get inspired by other people’s creations and then make them my own!


Hope you enjoyed this four-part Fall Idea House Tour. I’ll be back with the Christmas Idea House Tour, too!


If you missed them, go to Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

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Advent Devotions for Young Families

Advent Devotions Young Families



With my background as a Children’s Pastor for 14 years, I love finding things that help families focus on the real meaning of Christmas. Doing Advent Devotions  as a family is fun and takes some of the commercialism out of the season and focuses on the gift of Jesus, God’s Son. As a family, set up a special time each night to do these Advent devotions.

Some of the best devotional and activity books for Advent that I have found are from Creative Communications.   On their site, they have both a Protestant and a Catholic version. Each booklet has  short readings with activities, crafts and game suggestions.  There are several different books to choose from and they add more each year. Order a different one for each year or order several and use one each year just to  save shipping costs. They are very reasonably priced! It also makes a wonderful gift to give to other families. Some churches order in quantity and give to their preschool and early elementary families!

Hope this gives you some ideas for your Advent Devotions and on how to focus on the real meaning of Christmas!

 Here’s the link!

This is merely a recommendation and I receive no funds for this post. I’m posting this early so you can order and be ready to start at the beginning of Advent.

Hope your Christmas focuses on Christ!




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Country Church in the Fall

I just had to post these pictures of a beautiful little church in the country with fall color surrounding it! We took a drive out to see it! Beautiful Sunday to thank God for His colorful creation!

Country Church in the Fall


Country Church in the Fall    grandparentsplus.com


Country Church in the Fall


Not my usual post, but Enjoy!



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Idea House – Part 3


Idea House Part 3    grandparentsplus.com

This is the 3rd in a series of posts highlighting the Idea House, a house decorated with loads of creative ideas.  In each of these posts, you will find inspirational ideas for all areas of your home. There are so many ideas presented, you may just want to pin them so you have them for future projects. In this Part 3,  you’ll see a masculine office theme and some unusual ways of indoor and outdoor gardening!

First, have you ever thought of using leather belts as a decorative feature? Well, this room is very unusual using belts in all sorts of different ways.

For instance, there’s the valance!  It makes a great statement and is not very hard to do! A glue gun does wonders! Wait! There’s more…..

Idea House Part 3 grandparentsplus.com

Highlight the lamp with a simple leather belt!

Idea house Part 3    grandparentsplus.com


Now,  the desk chair……. just add a few belts!


Idea House Part 3 grandparentsplus.com

Finally, there’s an information board!

Idea House Part 3   grandparentsplus.com

How many belts did you count?


Next….. to indoor gardening….. Have you thought of something like this?


Line a vintage  suitcase to prevent water soaking through and make an indoor garden with a variety of  small plants!


Idea House Part 3   grandparentsplus.com

I’m sure you’ll get lots of compliments on this garden! I guess you could “pack it up” and take it with you on vacation if you’re gone for an extended time. Might be just the ticket for the snow birds that head south!


and last , but not least, some outdoor gardening ideas…..

Got an old dresser? Try this……

Idea House Part 3   grandparentsplus.com

Idea House Part 3


Idea House Part 3    grandparentsplus.com


Idea House Part 3    grandparentsplus.com

Now that’s an unusual garden! It would be fun to try with a piece of furniture that you’re ready to discard! As  you can see in the picture, it is set against the wall of the house with landscaping  all around it! I’m sure things would freeze out in a harsh winter climate or…..perhaps close the drawers for protection? You’d have to try it and see!  It certainly was a show stopper and generated lots of comments!

Part 4 will be coming as the last post of the Idea House with a mixture of fun ideas.

Hope you enjoyed the tour of these unusual and decorative ideas!




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Fall Centerpiece




PicMonkey Collagepm1


I have an old tool caddy with 6 openings. By stuffing a few decorations here and there, it becomes a fall centerpiece for a long table. I used sphagnum moss as a filler, small pumpkins (real or artificial), 2 candles, 2 small antique oil lamps (you can replace these with more candles), berry picks, small artificial gourds, and artificial fall leaves.  There is a trick that I’ll share with you for getting just the right height for items in your fall centerpiece.


Fall Centerpiece   www.grandparentsplus.com

When putting together, if something isn’t at the right height, just do what I do. I place a small can or jar underneath and cover with dried material and then set the item on top.


Fall Centerpiece


FAll Centerpiece    www.grandparentsplus.com


Fall Centerpiece



Keep adding and arranging until you like it. Stick in the fall leaves. Nothing in my arrangement is hot glued. I want to use it all again perhaps in a different arrangement and I don’t want glue on the wood or the materials. The sphagnum moss hides a lot! Just make sure the candles don’t touch it and never leaves candles burning without being around.

You’re done when you’re satisfied with the outcome!

Fall Centerpiece   www.grandparentsplus.com

On my table…….


Fall Centerpiece   grandparentsplus.com

Fall Oblong Centerpiece   grandparentsplus.com

Hope this inspires you to try an oblong centerpiece for your long table.

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Oma and Opa Camp 2013

Oma and Opa Camp 2013

Another successful Oma and Opa Camp this year with 7 grandchildren ages 4-9! We were wondering how the two new 4 yr. olds would do, but they had a great time and were very excited about coming! The theme was a “Western Round-Up”! I planned games, crafts and food around this theme.


By the way, Oma and Opa are the Dutch and German words for “grandma and grandpa”!

Oma and Opa Camp    www.grandparentsplus.com

When they first arrived, I took “Wanted” pictures of them dressed in a cowboy hat, stick-on mustaches for the boys and a red bandana. They chose what they were to be “wanted” for and the amount of ransom money. The next morning, I had the wanted posters displayed on the sliding glass door! Here are a couple of examples! For complete instructions on how to make these, go to the post on Western Crafts below.

Western Crafts


Western Crafts www.grandparentsplus.com

Wanted Posters

Field Trips:

The first of the two field trips was a visit to a horse farm. A friend of ours was “Cowboy Gene” and he took the kids on horseback rides, showed them around his farm and even sang a cowboy song for them. I took pictures of each one on the horse and used those pictures for the Western Frame craft.

The second field trip didn’t have much of a Western Theme as we went to the Mall of America’s Aquarium. It did have “sea horses”, though! HA!  Not every field trip is around the theme. We just want the kids to have fun! They loved both places that we went for Oma and Opa Camp!

The rest of the time is spent around our place with Western games, food, and crafts along with swimming and lots of “cousin fun”!


I had a bunch of Western Games ready, but used only a few. The weather was absolutely wonderful so the kids spend a lot of time down at the beach! I go into detail about each game idea here. They included:  Snake Tic-Tac-Toe, Snake in a Boot, Yee Haw Slide, Rattle-Ski-Daddle,

Western Game Ideas

Western Games here




The Western craft ideas were: Western Bleached Shirts, Western Frames, Rope Coasters and Snakes. I always overplan in case of bad weather, so I had other ideas to do, too! Check out all the craft ideas on the link below.


Western Crafts here

Western Food Ideas:

I like to have food ideas that go with the theme and some that the kids can help put together and make. There was Cactus Juice, Nuggets, Armpit Ice Cream, Cowboy Pizza Pockets, Cowboy Bedrolls, Little Doggie Roll-ups, Cowpies, Western Omelets and Wagon Wheels!

I posted all the food ideas on my site here….

Western Food Ideas www.grandparentsplus.com

Western Foods here


This year,  Gospel Light had a VBS curriculum called SonWest Round-Up. I found a church that was done with their VBS and they loaned me many things that I could use. They had some great songs that the kids loved so I used them during the week as well. They particularly liked: “SonWest Round-Up Theme Song”, “He Will Provide”, “Stronger Than Anything” and I ordered their reproducible CD and made copies for each grandchild to take home.

Go here for the link…

Bible Story:

We had a “Round-Up” time right after dinner for a Bible Story.

I followed the Gospel Light Curriculum and told the story of Moses and how God told him to go to Egypt and “round-up” the Israelites and lead them to the Promise Land. Just as Moses saved the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, God sent his son, Jesus to save us from sin. Jesus, God’s Son, is the only one that has the power to save!

Each child received a horseshoe nail cross to remind them of our Western Round-Up and how Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins. By accepting Jesus, we can have Eternal Life!

I found the horseshoe crosses here.

Horseshoe Nail Cross   www.grandparentsplus.com

It was a fun-filled, busy time, but so worth the effort. The connections with the other cousins were  great to see along with just spending time with them ourselves. Needless to say, we were very tired, but we survived and revived.

Another blessing is talking about the Bible with the kids and learning how they are understanding God’s plan for salvation! The memories are sweet, too! Of course, I make an online photo book for each child and send it a couple weeks later with all the pictures and memories of our time together. Go here for a free book.

Whatever you do or plan with grandchildren, you make great memories and lovingly give a wonderful positive influence on their lives that they will remember!

Hope this gives you some ideas to do with your grandchildren!

Phyllis (Oma)


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