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Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt

Updated on November 30, 2014

Try a Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt for the Kids

This year for Thanksgiving why not try out a fun and Thanksgiving-themed Thanksgiving scavenger hunt for the children? If you have a lot of children in your family that will be gathering for Thanksgiving, a Thanksgiving scavenger hunt can be the perfect game to keep the kids active and entertained. There's only a couple of steps when setting up the Thanksgiving scavenger hunt.

1. You must collect the appropriate items for the Thanksgiving scavenger hunt.

2. You must hide the items for the Thanksgiving scavenger hunt well.

3. Give the rules to the kids and also give the kids clues along the way.


Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt Items

You can find many of the items for this Thanksgiving scavenger hunt lying around your house, in a convenient or grocery store, and/or in a local craft store. If it happens that you cannot find a particular item on this Thanksgiving scavenger hunt list, you can always improvise and add an item that is creative and available, and reminds you of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt List:

  • stuffed turkey (if you can find one) or a picture of a turkey
  • a bundle of feathers (you can purchase multi-colored feathers from a local craft store and then throw a rubber band or hairband around them to bundle them together)
  • small pumpkin or gourd (most grocery stores sell these items in the Fall season)
  • a stalk of dried corn (also can be found at a local grocery store)
  • miniature pilgrim hat (you can make one yourself from cutting out black felt and white felt, found at a local craft store or even construction paper; if needed, use the link to print out a pilgrim hat template provided below)
  • a basket (if you can find a cornucopia shaped basket this is perfect, if not go with any basket available)
  • a can of pumpkin (may be in your kitchen cabinet or purchase from grocery store)
  • a cranberry or bag of craisins (can be found at a grocery store or use a fake cranberry from a craft store)

Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt Instructions & Clues

Preliminary Instructions for You:

Once you have gathered all of the items for this Thanksgiving scavenger hunt, you must decide if you are going to base the Thanksgiving scavenger hunt inside of your home or outside of your home or both. If you live in a cold climate, you might want to choose inside obviously. If you live in a climate where the weather is warm enough to have it both inside and outside, this might be more fun for the children.

Hide the items in random places all throughout the area where the Thanksgiving scavenger hunt is going to take place.

Here are some ideas for hiding items inside:

  • in the dryer or washer
  • in the bathtub
  • in baskets throughout your house
  • under tables and in chairs

Make sure that wherever you hide the Thanksgiving scavenger hunt items, that all of the children will be able to reach them and that they are in safe places.

If you want to get really creative, you can make up a map for the scavenger hunt items. Use a large piece of craft paper or poster board and either draw a map of your house or yard (using rulers if you're not good at drawing straight lines such as myself) or print a template out and paste it to the map.

You're also going to want to make up a list of clues, or if you made a map you can put the clues in a "key" or "legend" on the map itself. Check out some of the links I've posted below for some cool ideas.

Here are some ideas for clues for your Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt:

Stuffed Turkey Clue (obviously you're not going to tell them it's a "stuffed turkey" but provide them this clue instead):

Find something that is round, fat, and gets gobbled gobbled

Think about the ages of the children who are participating. If they're all older, you can make the clues more difficult. If they're younger, this type of clue is perfect for your Thanksgiving scavenger hunt.

Instructions for the Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt Game:

Gather all of the children who want to participate. If you don't have an even amount of children, recruit one or more of the adults to join in the fun. Group everyone off into even groups, if possible.

(Note: If you're really crafty or feeling creative, you might want to think about making Native American headdresses or pilgrim hats for all of the children to wear, especially if they're younger kids they'll enjoy wearing these during the Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt and it makes for AWESOME pictures! Think also about having the children make their own hats and headdresses as a prequel to the Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt.)

Give each group a copy of your map or clues (or both if you made up both) and tell them that they have so many minutes to find as many items as they can. You can even set a timer if you'd like and once the timer goes off, they would have to be back at a certain spot in the house or outside of the house.

Whichever team comes back with the most items in hand wins the game. Then provide a small award to whichever team wins or to both teams, if you want to keep things even and fair.

Have fun with your Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt and have a Happy Thanksgiving!


Submit a Comment
  • kittythedreamer profile imageAUTHOR

    Kitty Fields 

    7 years ago from Summerland

    Thanks so much! It should be great fun this Thanksgiving. :)

  • tipstoretireearly profile image


    7 years ago from New York

    An outdoor scavenger hunt is just the ticket to help people burn off everything they'll eat on Thanksgiving. And it's a great stress reliever for a big group of people. Voted up!

  • Danette Watt profile image

    Danette Watt 

    8 years ago from Illinois

    How fun! I've always loved scavenger hunts. Great idea for a family holiday gathering, something to keep everyone engaged (and maybe busy while the cook makes final preparations).

  • kittythedreamer profile imageAUTHOR

    Kitty Fields 

    8 years ago from Summerland

    Cogerson - Awesome! Glad I could help out. Have fun and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. :)

  • Cogerson profile image


    8 years ago from Virginia

    I think my five year old daughter would love playing this game...thanks for a wonderful suggestions....we just read some of your hub together and she wants to play right now...thanks for an awesome suggestion.

  • kittythedreamer profile imageAUTHOR

    Kitty Fields 

    8 years ago from Summerland

    Seafarer Mama - Thanks so much!

    celebratethemoment - How kind of you. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    What a fun idea, Kitty! I even shared it on my facebook page...Free Family Fun. :)

  • Seafarer Mama profile image

    Karen A Szklany 

    8 years ago from New England

    Kitty, This is a well-written, detailed hub. I'm ready to plan one myself! :0) Voted up and awesome...bookmarked!

  • kittythedreamer profile imageAUTHOR

    Kitty Fields 

    8 years ago from Summerland

    randomcreative - Thanks so much! It should definitely be fun for the kids.

  • randomcreative profile image

    Rose Clearfield 

    8 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    This is such an awesome idea! People will love having a new game for their kids to play on Thanksgiving while they are waiting for the food.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie Marie 

    8 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    This is a really cute idea. And what an adorable stuffed turkey. I would totally go on a scavenger hunt just to find that!

  • kittythedreamer profile imageAUTHOR

    Kitty Fields 

    8 years ago from Summerland

    Thanks so much, Frank. Always appreciated. :)

  • Frank Atanacio profile image

    Frank Atanacio 

    8 years ago from Shelton

    Your hubs are bookmark material.. up and super.. you are another writer that I'm going to unfollow just to click follow again Love it..useful and well presented.. take a gold star out of petty cash you deserve it Frank

  • kittythedreamer profile imageAUTHOR

    Kitty Fields 

    8 years ago from Summerland

    Fastionista - Thanks so much! Yes, the Easter Egg Hunts are always a lot of fun. We did the same thing as kids at our grandparents' house. Glad you found it useful. :)

  • profile image

    The Fastionista 

    8 years ago

    I love this idea!! When I was young my extended family would have Easter egg hunts every year at my grandparents', but we never did a Thanksgiving scavenger hunt - I wish we had! - what a great idea to add even more fun to the day (and maybe keep the kids out of the grown-ups' hair while they're prepping the turkey!) Thanks for a great hub-voted up, useful, and interesting!


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