This fun Thanksgiving scattergories game is the perfect Thanksgiving activity to play together before or after the big Thanksgiving feast. Or use the game at school for a Thanksgiving celebration that encourages kids to use their brains, their vocabulary, and their spelling skills!
These printable Thanksgiving scattegories cards include blank cards and three different Thanksgiving category lists so that not only can you play once but you can play three different rounds, just like if you were playing the real Scattergories game! It’s a great way to get everyone involved even if they don’t really like Thanksgiving games!
Printable Thanksgiving Themed Scattergories
Classic board games are classics for a reason and one of my family’s favorite classics is Scattegories. I love that it takes some thinking but also a little luck and creativity to not match the other players!
It’s also a really fun game to play when you don’t have the brain power to learn something new, figure out complicated rules, and are too tired to jump up and down playing minute to win it games.
I’ve already shared Christmas scattergories and New Year’s Eve scattergories games so thought it was about time to share a Thanksgiving themed scattergories game! Thanksgiving is one of our favorite times to play games after all!
And if you’ve never played Scattergories before, you should because it’s fun! The basic idea of the game is that you have to come up with items that fit particular categories that start with random letters. It’s easy and fun!
Why you’ll love Scattergories
- Themed game – people love themed games as a break from doing the same thing over and over again!
- Great for teens and adults – there are a lot of games out there for kids or that kids will enjoy but this Thanksgiving Scattergories is one that teens and adults will actually enjoy too!
- Skill and luck based – unlike my Thanksgiving trivia questions where you have to actually know things, Scattergories games requires some skill but also some luck that other people don’t write down the same things as you!
What You’ll Need to Play
I’ve created a set that includes: printable category cards you can use for any Christmas party – in person, a family night, or even a virtual game. Check out my tips section below for ways to play this virtually with family and friends!
Since Thanksgiving Scattergories is another one of my printable games, you really won’t need much other than the PDF file I have for you at the bottom of this post. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Thanksgiving Scattergories download – get it at the bottom of this post or in my shop here
- Pen/pencil for every player
- A 2-minute timer (or 3 minutes if you think your group will need a bit longer to come up with answers) – I recommend a sand timer so people can see how much time they have left
- All the letters of the alphabet either on a 26 sided letter die, cut out (from the PDF download), or even something like alphabet magnets put into a bowl for you to draw out of. You really just need a way to choose leters.
- Prizes (optional)
Remove the letters Q, U, V, X, Y, and Z from your magnets, cut out letters, etc. These shouldn’t be used as they’re almost impossible to come up with words and the goal here isn’t to make people come up with impossible words, it’s to see if they can come up with words for all of the categories!
What’s in the Thanksgiving Scattergories Download
I created these Thanksgiving Scattergories printables similar to how the actual game is setup. The download includes:
- One page that has three blank columns where people can write their answers. There is a big space to the left of the columns where the category list will go and blank spaces at the top of each column where you’ll write your letters.
- One page that has three different Thanksgiving Scattergories category lists. This is designed for you to be able to play three rounds of play with different category lists and letters. It’s also designed to perfectly fit in that space next to the blank columns to make it easier to play!
- One page of large letters you can choose if you opt to not get a letter die. I recommend the letter die because it’s always more fun to roll, but I included the letters just so you can print out this game last minute if you want!
How to play
Thanksgiving Scattergories is really simple and really fun! I’ve included step by step instructions on how I typically set up and play the game but feel free to get creative and add your own spin on it as well!
1 – Prep the Game
Before you play, you’ll need to get everything printed, cut out, and setup!
- Print out the Thanksgiving Scattergories game. The PDF includes two games and two sets of category lists per page, so you’ll need to print out one game sheet and one category list sheet for every two people who will be playing.
- Cut out the games. Cut the category lists out individually and cut the game sheet in half. Cut out the letters (if using) and put them in a hat.
- Give everyone a blank game sheet, a pen or pencil, and the three category sheets – they should keep them flipped upside down so they can’t study them beforehand.
Instead of printing on white paper and just using the game once, print on white card stock, laminate, and have people write with dry erase markers! Then you can use this Thanksgiving Scattergories game year after year!
2 – Play the Game
When you have everything setup and everyone is ready to play, here’s how a round of the game works. You’ll play three rounds in the full game, or just play one if you’d prefer!
- Tell everyone which category list you will be playing with (1, 2, or 3). Everyone should place their category list in the blank space on their card.
- Have someone roll the letter die or pull a letter out of the hat.
- Flip the timer. As soon as you flip the timer, everyone should try to write down something that starts with the letter chosen for each of the categories on their category lists. For example, if the letter is T and the category is Thanksgiving food, they could technically write turkey. Keep going until the timer runs out.
- Answers must start with the letter, not end with it (so like John Smith would work for J but not for S).
- Answers can be truncated to not include articles like A or The (so Christmas Carol would be fine for a Christmas Book for C even though it’s A Christmas Carol – it would also be fine for the letter A if someone wanted to use A Christmas Carol because it’s part of the name)
- Answers cannot start with a descriptive word unless the descriptor is actually part of a distinct item (i.e., Black Jack would be okay but black cat would not).
- Answers need to be real things, not made up ones and if there’s a debate, just have the group vote and the majority wins.
3 – How to Score
While writing down answers is fun, the scoring portion of this game is what actually makes it fun! Here’s how the scoring works and should be kept in mind when writing Thanksgiving answers!
- Go through each category one by one and have everyone say their answer. If anyone matches answers, those two should cross their answers out. If their answer doesn’t match anyone, they score a point for that answer.
- Total up the total number of points you earned for that round. Repeat this same scoring for all three rounds and put your points total at the very bottom of the Scattergories game card.
4 – Play again
Tell everyone the next category list to choose and move the new category list into the spot on the game card. Roll the die to get another letter, and play another round.
There are three total category cards you can use to play three different rounds (or play less if you don’t want to do all three). If you still want to play after that, you can just start over and play again!
5 – How to Win
Once you’re done with all of the rounds you want to play, total up the points everyone has earned during the game.
The person with the most total points wins!
If you’re playing with young kids, give them a point for every answer they get (within the rules) regardless of if someone matches them. Still cross out any matches that adults may make but don’t cross out the kid’s answers to make it a little easier for them. It’s pretty tough to come up with answers that start with certain letters!
More Great Thanksgiving Games
If you want more Thanksgiving games to try, these are some of our favorites!
- Thanksgiving bingo – a fun Thanksgiving themed version of the classic game!
- Gratitude game – this sweet game incorporates Skittles with some great gratitude activities!
- Turkey hunt – this printable game has kids looking for turkeys in a non-traditional Thanksgiving scavenger hunt!
- Thanksgiving family feud – the best way to spend Thanksgiving with your family, in a classic game show feud!
- Thanksgiving outburst – another classic board game with a Thanksgiving twist, this one is always a hit!
want more Thanksgiving Games?
Download the Thanksgiving Scatttergories Printable
Enter your first name and email address in the form below to get the printable PDF. You will receive a link to download the PDF to your email within minutes.
If you do not see the form below, click here to get to it.
If you would not fill out the form, you can get a copy in my shop here.
The PDF will include:
- Half-sheet blank game card (2 to a page)
- Three Thanksgiving category lists
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