Souvenir Collecting an Old Tradition
Souvenir collecting is a tradition that dates back hundreds and thousands of years. Often when families would travel they would bring back with them a piece of something they had encountered as they ventured into a new land.
The souvenir is coveted, not for its monetary value, but because it is a proof. It is a proof that someone has visited another land and brought back a piece of history, or an artifact native to that land to show for it.
Why It’s Important to Allow Your Children to Collect Souvenirs
Souvenir collecting, if done right, can be a very positive experience for your children and teens. A souvenir does not have to be expensive to be coveted by your family. In fact, a lot of the souvenirs you can get are free! Your children and teens will love showing off a souvenir they received from your travels, because it is unique and is a great conversation starter. It is also something you can use in conjunction with photographs and brochures to remind your teens and children of places you’ve visited and to inspire meaningful thought and conversation with them.
What Kind of Souvenirs are Appropriate?
The answer to this question depends on where you’re visiting, your budget, the cultural importance of the item as it relates to your family’s trip, and your child’s age. Younger children often enjoy collecting things such as rocks, because it is a rock they’ve never seen before and they know they cannot obtain back home. Older children may want to visit souvenir shops, but you should encourage them to stay within their budget and buy something that has personal meaning to them; something that will remind them of the trip they have taken with their parents and siblings. Stamps, old coins and hand-crafted artwork and sculptures from natives are often offered at low prices and can make a great decoration for your teen to bring home and hang in a frame on their wall if it’s a picture, or place atop a dresser or bookcase if it’s an artifact
My children definitely have their personal favorites: one of my sons enjoys collecting shot glasses from every city we visit and our younger son shares this interest with his older brother; who he looks up to and admires. Our daughters love collecting as well. One collects snow globes at every city we stop in, another collects postcards, and another collects plates. Our youngest daughter is 2 and too young to begin collecting yet, but we can’t wait to see what she will collect when she does!
Why your Children Love Souvenirs (and you will too!)
Your children and teens will also love showing off a souvenir they received from your travels, because it is unique and is a great conversation starter. They’ll impress their friends with artifacts they’ve never seen before and over time your family can develop a mini-museum within your home that showcases the travels you and have your family have taken. Souvenirs are also something you can use in conjunction with photographs and brochures to remind your teens and children of places you’ve visited and to inspire meaningful thought and conversation with them, perhaps even inspiring them of future places to go and places they’d like to return to for another look.
Encourage your children to obtain souvenirs, so that they can bring back a little piece of their journey back home, which will invoke memories that will last for a lifetime.