Thanksgiving Scattergories is the Funnest Word Game You’ll Play this Year!

Thanksgiving is one of the most anticipated holidays of the year! Enough though we’re excited about the meal, it’s not just about the food! It’s about spending time with your family and celebrating with them.

What’s the best way to do that?

Play games together!

If your family and friends love playing games, why not surprise them with a game they’ve never played before: Thanksgiving Scattergories!

What is Scattergories?

Parker Brothers (published by Hasbro) introduced the original game Scattergories in 1988. Scattergories is a fun party game that challenges players to think fast and clever in order to come up with an item that fits the category! The players who can come up with the most unique responses to the categories listed will earn the most points!

But here’s the catch: All the responses have to start with the same, randomly selected letter! So can you think of a place to go on holiday, a animal you can have as a pet, and an outside activity that start with the letter R?

  1. Rome
  2. Rabbit
  3. Running

Remember, to earn points, your answers can’t match the other players, so think of clever answers!

  1. Rio de Janeiro
  2. Rottweiler
  3. Rollerblading

How Do You Play Thanksgiving Scattergories?

Thanksgiving Scattergories takes a festive spin on the classic game by incorporating categories related to Thanksgiving! Other than the categories, the rules are the same as your standard Scattergories!

But just to be certain we remember how to play, let’s go over those rules again.

The Objective:

The goal of the game is to earn more points than the opposing players (or teams) by thinking of unique items starting with the randomly selected letter for that round.

The Setup:

Before the game begins, you’ll need a few supplies:

  • Thanksgiving Scattergories Lists (You can use copy the lists below or click HERE to download the whole game which includes letter cutouts and answer sheets)
  • 20-sided Scattergories die containing all letters of the alphabet except Q, U, V, X, Y and Z (you could alternatively cut out letters of the alphabet and randomly pick).
  • Blank paper for answer sheets
  • Pencils or pens
  • Timer

The Gameplay:

  1. To start a round, a letter is randomly selected, either by grabbing a letter cutout from a bowl or rolling the die.
  2. Each round lasts one and a half minutes. If your group wants more of a challenge, drop the time down to one minute. For groups including children, consider increasing round time to two minutes.
  3. All responses given during the round must start with this letter. Note: You can not use the same word multiple times within a round. Only one of the answers will be eligible to earn a point.
  4. To earn a point, your response must be unique from the other players’.
  5. The first player or team to reach 25 points wins!

The Disputes:

Don’t worry, it’s nothing like Scrabble! But yes, disputes can happen in Scattergories. Here are the most common disputes and how to resolve them:

Do you lose points if I can’t think something? Can’t come up with an answer? Spaces left black are not awarded points and no points get deducted. However, if you have a super competitive group, adding a penalty for blanks can add a new level of difficulty to the game.

Can you earn double the points for alliteration? (For example, if the category is fictional characters and the letter is M, Minnie Mouse is double-M).

Does “The” count for the letter T ? No. The rules are pretty clear here. If the letter is M, an answer like The Matrix can earn a point. But, if the letter is T, “The…” just doesn’t cut it.

Always make sure these rules and any point adjustments are discussed prior to the start of the game to reduce the chance of disputes.

Thanksgiving Scattergories Lists

Here are two sample Thanksgiving Scattergories Lists you can copy and use at home for your own game. Be sure to also check out the complete game, including 12 different lists, answer sheets, and letter cutouts below.

Sample List #1:

  1. Things that are orange
  2. Thanksgiving dinner
  3. Vacation destinations
  4. Things that keep you warm
  5. Desserts
  6. Famous people
  7. Things you see at a parade
  8. At Grandma’s house
  9. Place to take a nap
  10. Things to buy on Black Friday

Sample List #2:

  1. Words to describe your family
  2. Side dishes
  3. Things you see at a football game
  4. Animals with fur
  5. Things you’re thankful for
  6. Kitchen gadgets
  7. Cities in America
  8. Thanksgiving dinner ingredients
  9. November weather
  10. Thanksgiving decorations

Printable Thanksgiving Scattergories Game

As promised, here’s a look at the new printable Thanksgiving Scattergories Game! What I love so much about printable games is that they are able to be downloaded and printed in minutes, which is great for all those last-minute party planners like me!

This PDF download includes 12 beautiful Thanksgiving Scattergories Lists, 4 blank answer sheets, (you can print as many as you need), cutout letters, and instructions. Click the button below to get 25% off!

Laura is the force behind Gathered Again, transforming family gatherings into unforgettable memories with expert tips and a heart full of passion. Join her mission to celebrate the magic of family connections, one event at a time.

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