Thanksgiving Dog Races and Homemade Horse Races

Dog Races at the Moody House on Thanksgiving!

So I understand that not everyone will have access to videotaped dog races, but we have a lot of fun with this annual event!

dog races for reusable adhesive sign holders

Somewhere years ago, my husband obtained copies of a day's worth of races from a dog track.  We've converted these races onto a DVD so that it's quick and easy to keep the game going.

1)  Separate a deck of cards to only include numbers 1-9 or however many lanes there are in your races.

playing cards for self adhesive photo frames

2)  Count the number of participants.  If you have 18 participants, you'll need at least 2 cards for each number.  

3)  Each playing card costs $1 to purchase.  Guests buy in at the beginning of the races by purchasing one poker chip for a each dollar.  Many start with $10 or $20 worth of chips.

4)  The cards are shuffled and placed face down.  A player puts in one chip to draw a card from the deck.  I typically fan out the cards so that the player gets to choose whichever card he or she would like, but they are face down so that they never know which number they are buying.

5)  Start the first race on your TV.  The decibel level within the house is 100% related to the number of kids you have cheering on their dogs!

6)  The first dog to cross the line is the winner.  If two people hold the numbered card representing the winning dog, they split the pot.

7)  Continue each race in the same way.  At the end of the races, we "cash out" the poker chips for actual money.  Kids have often left our house with much fuller pockets than when they entered.


Homemade Horse Races

This is a fun game that every member of the family can get involved with.

1)  Draw the silhouette of a horse's head on a piece of cardboard. 


2)  Cut out the horse's head and attach with glue or tape to yard stick or other long "pole".

3)  Give each family that will be attending Thanksgiving a "horse" to decorate as they wish.  

4)  On Thanksgiving day, draw a race track on your driveway with chalk that includes six lanes. Each lane should have 6 spaces or more to move forward around the track.

5)  Choose an "announcer" who will also roll a pair of dice.

6)  Each die represents a lane on the track. When the dice are rolled, the lanes that are represented by the two numbers that appear will move forward one space each.

7)  The horses proceed down the track and then turn around and come back.  The winner is the first to cross the line after having gone down and back.

8)  Encourage the kids to cheer on their team, and you'll be surprised at how involved they get!

9)  You can also add in some wagers - Beth says her family would put in $1 per race, and the winner took all!