Photo Rock Placecards and Family Memory Car Game

rock placecards

I love baking for Thanksgiving but it’s always tricky to find something to keep the kids occupied while I’m knee-deep in pie dough and cornbread stuffing. Then of course, there’s the drive to Thanksgiving. I’ve been partnering with Ford to share family car games that don’t involve devices and it’s been a really fun challenge. Henry still loves the maps we made in the first post and looks at them all the time. We’ve played the mystery ride game a couple times as well, he especially loved the word search. I’m excited to add this family memory game to the collection of games for the car as well. This is a great project for Thanksgiving because these rocks are something fun for the kids to make while you’re busy in Thanksgiving food prep, and they also serve at placecards for the big dinner itself, and a fun car game for the drive home.

rock placecards

Here’s how to make them and the family memory game to play with them…

This content was created in partnership with Ford to help make creativity a part of every drive this holiday season.

rock placecards


1. Spray paint river rocks white for the kids to decorate. We bought a bag at a local garden store. The flatter the rocks the better.

2. Have the kids cut out small photos (photos printed on paper from your printer work best) of person coming to dinner and using modge podge ‘glue’ them onto the rock. This is really easy for kids to do. We mostly found images from family members’ instagram accounts and shrunk them down to the right size.

rock placecards

3. After the glue dries, add more modge podge to the top of the rock. placeholders33

4. With a bright pen, write names of each guest in script on the back of each rock after the modge podge dries. Kids can write the names themselves if they’re old enough or they can decorate the rocks with other colors and designs as well if they’re younger.

place holders thanksgiving

5. Place one on each place setting at the Thanksgiving table.  You can put the written side up and then surprise them with the photo on the back. Or, if kids are setting the table that might not be reading age yet, place them photo side up so they’ll know where everyone goes. A fun, personal way to make every guest feel special at the table.


So here’s the fun part! Throw the rocks in a muslin bag and on the way to Thanksgiving dinner (or on the way home) you can play this fun family memory game in the car. Each family member can pull out one rock and tell a funny story or favorite memory they have of that uncle, cousin or grandma they pulled out of the bag. If it’s a really large Thanksgiving gathering you could review names and interests about each person so you can have things to talk about when you arrive.


This challenge by Ford to unplug during family car trips has been a really transformative experience. It’s opened the door for more meaningful exchanges in the car and me realize how reliant we are on technology when there are so many other ways to connect. The other day we went apple picking with my parents down south and spent the entire car ride playing 20 questions. It was so much fun — we laughed our heads off for the full hour and a half trip. Tucking our devices away will definitely be a tradition we’ll be trying to keep up. Do you think you could try it too?

Photography by Liz Stanley. Assisted by Sara Albers


I totally need a refresher on the relatives we’re having Thanksgiving with this year. Yikes, I’m the worst with names

Comments are closed.