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Thanksgiving brings forth turkey, pumpkin pie, family, thankfulness, and kids abounding with energy. It seems like they have limitless energy before the meal and after. A fun way to be intentional with your kids this Thanksgiving is to give them a scavenger hunt to complete. This will be sure to make the holiday memorable.

A fun way to be intentional with your kids this Thanksgiving, is to give them a scavenger hunt to complete. This will be sure to make the holiday memorable.


There are a few simple things to keep in mind when putting together the hunt. One of them is to make sure that the items they are hunting for are age appropriate for the children doing the hunting.

Next, the items should be hidden well, or the hunt will be over more quickly than planned. Last, make sure that the children know all the rules before beginning and make sure they have a way to get the clues along the way.

Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt Supplies

A scavenger hunt can be created with items found around the house or with just a little expenditure of money. Some fun Thanksgiving themed items include:

  • a picture of a turkey or small stuffed turkeys
  • feathers from a craft store with a rubber band wrapped around them to keep them together
  • a bag of craisins or some cranberries
  • a gourd or small pumpkin
  • a small pilgrim’s hat
  • Indian corn
  • a cornucopia
  • a can of pumpkin

Where to Hide Everything

Once all the supplies have been gathered together it is time to think about where the items are to be hidden and some clues that can go with the items. If Thanksgiving is occurring in a warm climate, the items could be hidden outside. Or if the weather is cooler, the hunt might need to be limited to inside the house.

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The hiding places should be as random as possible. For example in a pair of shoes, in or beside a certain book, in a dryer, or under beds, or other furniture. Wherever the items are hidden, make sure all the children are able to reach them easily.

Clues and Hints

Next, the creator of the scavenger hunt needs to decide if they would like to have a map and clues. Or if they would like to just give the children clues to find the items on the hunt.

Some of the clues here would work for the items that were listed above.

“I am round and have feathers and I get gobbled up. To find what I am go to the shoes of your pop.”

Another idea, “I am red and I’m round and I swim in a bog, to find what I am find the book with a hog.”

The hints can be short or long, depending on how much time the creator of the hunt has to create them.

When it is time to begin the scavenger hunt, gather all of the children together. Try to place the children into even groups. If there is an uneven number of children, see if an older child or an adult could help.

Let the Fun Begin

Give each group the clues, or the map, then give them a time limit to find all the items. When the time is up, they are all to go to a designated place to compare answers. The items on the list can either require an answer to a question, or they can bring one of the hidden items back with them.

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Have a small prize for all the teams, so there are not any hurt feelings. Additionally, the group who found the most items, or who completed the list first could receive another small prize.

This is a great activity to keep kids busy before the meal is served. However, a scavenger hunt while taking a family walk after dinner is a great idea too.

The children on the walk can be given a list of things to look for on their walk. When found, they can point them out to an adult so they can check the item off of their list.

Some items to include: chrysanthemums, early Christmas decorations, Thanksgiving decorations, a pile of leaves, or dried corn. Let your imagination be the limit and enjoy these fun and intentional activities with your children.

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