Child drawing on large pad of paper.


Gratitude Pictionary: A Fun Family Game for Thanksgiving Weekend

Sep 25, 2017

While the importance of being grateful is something I try to instil in my kids each and every day, I love doing a special gratitude project or activity each year around Thanksgiving. In the past we’ve made trees of thanks, stamped leaf garlands of thanks, printable thankful placemats, and even passed out Thanksgiving care packages to people in our community. This year, we’re once again switching things up with a fun game that can be played with the whole family over Thanksgiving weekend: Gratitude Pictionary! 

If you’ve ever played pictionary, you know what a blast it can be and I really love how simple this version is to pull together. Nothing special required!

Large pad of paper, markers and two cups small bowls with two strips of paper.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • at least 4 players split into 2 teams
  • a large drawing pad
  • markers
  • small strips of paper
  • 2 small bowls
  • a timer

Alright, now let’s get started on the game prep, shall we? First off, give each team a stack of paper strips plus some markers and ask them to write down things they’re grateful for — one idea per strip. Since the teams will likely be a big mix of little ones, grandparents, and everyone in between, there will be plenty of help for any of the kiddos who need help recording their ideas.

Ideas written on strips of paper.

Next, have each team fold their paper strips in half and place them in a bowl for the other team to draw from.

Two bowls filled with strips of paper.

That’s it. Now it’s time to play! If you’re familiar with Pictionary, you most likely already know how this goes, but if not, basically it’s a classic drawing and guessing game. The first team selects a drawer, she picks a paper strip out of the team’s bowl, and then draws it without using letters, numbers, symbols, gestures, or verbal communication while her teammates try to guess the word or phrase on the paper. Of course they know that it’s something someone in the room is grateful for, so that will help shape their guesses. This is usually a race against a minute timer, but you can set your own amount of time or play without a timer depending on your participants and how competitive you want the game to be. The focus here is gratitude and togetherness after all.

Little one draws a picture on the large drawing pad.

If the team manages to guess before the time is over, a point is earned and it becomes the other team’s turn to give drawing and guessing a go. If they aren’t able to guess it correctly, no point is awarded. Now in this situation in the real game of Pictionary, the other team would be awarded a single ‘steal’ guess, but we decided to forgo this rule since the stealing team created the words and phrases in the first place. Up to you!

A steaming mug of coffee is drawn on the pad. An adult points to the picture as if trying to guess.

You decide how the winning team will be determined. Will you play until each person has had a chance to draw once? Until all of the paper ‘grateful for’ strips have been used? Until one team reaches 5 points? Totally your choice! And if a winning team isn’t all that important in your family, why not just play until the turkey is done and ready to be eaten? Sounds good to me! 

Most importantly, enjoy those you’re with and have a lovely Thanksgiving this year.

Article Author Jen Kossowan
Jen Kossowan

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Jen is a teacher, blogger, and mama to a spirited little lady and a preemie baby boy. She's passionate about play, loves a good DIY project, adores travelling, and can often be found in the kitchen creating recipes that meet her crunchy mama criteria. You can follow Jen on her blog, Mama.Papa.Bubba, and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.