With Thanksgiving right around the corner, chances are you’ve got your mind on any number of the holiday’s happenings: the family gatherings you’ll be attending (and what you’ll be wearing!), the delicious Thanksgiving menu you’ll be eating, or the crafts and activities you’ll be sharing with your kids. Your get-togethers might be big or small, include immediate or extended family and friends, or be composed of those you see often or those you’ve never met. One thing’s for sure—at the heart of Thanksgiving is a special desire to connect and be thankful, together.
So wouldn’t it be great if in addition to everyone walking away still talking about that dessert they gobbled up or the décor they loved, they are still glowing from the happy Thanksgiving conversations they had? The last thing anybody wants is to remember a holiday celebration where they may have eaten well in a happy space, but felt bored, awkward, or wished they could have expressed more while they were there. A festive Turkey Day gathering hopefully includes animated dialogues, smiles, laughter, sharing, and learning about the people we care about.
We get it—in the moment, spontaneously creating Thanksgiving table conversation starters that feel genuine isn’t always breezy. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of thoughtful ones across a continuum of ages for you! Here are 50 Thanksgiving conversation starters for all ages, that you can use at the table or as you’re mingling during the rest of the day’s festivities, too.
50 Thanksgiving Conversation Starters for All Ages
These are for the cutie-pies of the table, who might just be the most likely to jump at the chance to answer a bundle of new questions. Being so imaginative and earnest, we can usually count on toddlers to give us welcomed doses of honest and refreshing perspectives. And there’s no better time than Thanksgiving to be flooded with the heartwarming charm of the toddlers that we’re grateful for.
1. What makes you happy?
2. What are you thankful for today?
3. Who is always kind to you? What do they do to be kind?
4. How do you like to make your mommy or daddy smile?
5. If you could be a color, which one would you be? Why?
6. Tell me about your favorite movie character. What makes them so great?
7. Can you teach me a song you know?
8. What’s your favorite game? How do you play it?
9. What top three superpowers would you like to have? What kinds of things would you do with them?
10. What’s the most interesting thing you know?
Kids tend to tell it to us straight, no sugarcoating. They have a creative way of looking at things, and can often be much more observant or intuitive than even the most perceptive adults! While there’s no shortage of favorite toys and belongings they’d probably love to teach us about this Thanksgiving, these questions intentionally get them thinking about the immaterial parts of their lives that they appreciate.
11. What’s the best part about Thanksgiving for you?
12. What are the three things you’re more thankful for than anything in the world?
13. What’s the most memorable project you’ve created for school that you’re proud of?
14. Tell me about one of your favorite friends, and what kind of adventures you like to have.
15. What would be your dream job when you grow up?
16. What do you enjoy learning about in school? Why?
17. Tell me about one of the most exciting days you’ve ever had.
18. If you could have named yourself, what name would you pick, and why?
19. What’s your favorite family tradition?
20. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
If there are any teens at your Thanksgiving gathering, the thought might have crossed their minds about wishing they were somewhere else. With friends, perhaps? Or at least engaging with them uninterrupted via social media? However, contrary to the common assumption about teenage detachment from everything that’s not their friends or screens, teenagers are actually the ones full of so much insight, provided they get the sense they are respected and trusted for their beliefs.
21. What does Thanksgiving mean to you?
22. What makes your house feel like home?
23. Who’s your biggest role model these days and why?
24. Do you have any superstitions and/or lucky charms?
25. What do your friends ‘get’ about you that nobody else does?
26. Tell me about your favorite teacher and what makes them the best.
27. What are your favorite apps and why?
28. Tell me five songs I have to add to my next playlist and what you love about them.
29. What’s your dream vacation and why?
30. What’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?
Thanksgiving can be a time that puts everyone in a more thoughtful and reflective place, especially with the spark of good questions. These encourage the adults of the group to move away from talking about their kids and family—though we understand why it’s so easy to gush about our precious families!—and focus on their own interests, wisdom, and pleasures instead.
31. If you went on a volunteer vacation, who would you most like to help?
32. How has Thanksgiving evolved for you from childhood up to now?
33. What’s your favorite quote about life?
34. How do you think our culture will change in the next 100 years?
35. If you could receive a lesson from an expert, what activity would it be for?
36. What’s the secret to a relationship that lasts—in romance, friendship, family, or otherwise?
37. What’s on your bucket list?
38. Do you tend to seek out experiences that create adrenaline rushes or peace and tranquility?
39. What’s an experience that made you think angels or ghosts are real?
40. What’s something you’ll say ‘yes’ to next time because you wish you hadn’t said ‘no’ last time?
Thanksgiving Conversation Starters for Any Age
And just in case you don’t have enough questions yet, this is a catch-all blend that touches on Thanksgiving themes, personal reflection, and get-to-know-yous. If you’re looking to welcome anyone at the table to share their thoughts with some colorful details, this assortment of questions will invite them to do so!
41. What does being grateful mean to you?
42. What’s the last nice thing you saw somebody do for somebody else?
43. What’s your best idea that you think would help people be kinder to each other?
44. What’s the first thing somebody usually notices about you?
45. What’s your favorite way to eat Thanksgiving leftovers?
46. What’s the most exciting thing that happened to you this year so far?
47. What’s something you still have to do for this year to feel complete?
48. What’s your favorite way to spend your time?
49. What are your simple pleasures?
50. If you could choose only one dish on the Thanksgiving table to eat for a year, what would it be?