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November 17, 2011

Because Gift Shops Give Me the Creeps

When I was growing up, I remember going to national parks, aquariums, and taking factory tours with my parents. As a kid I thought it was so interesting how the tour always managed to end in the gift shop. How neat!

As an adult, gift shops kinda creep me out, to be honest. You may have enjoyed the most beautiful hike through a cave system, or learned about rare species of butterflies...but then to be confronted by over-priced trinkets, over-sized stuffed animals, and magnets is not the lasting taste I want to remind me of my adventure.

And as a parent, I don't want a magical adventure to end in tears because I refuse to buy said trinkets, stuffed animals, and magnets.

Our girls are still a bit young to fully understand the tradition I'm imparting, but I'm encouraging them to collect postcards. Having collected them myself as a kid, I think a postcard is an awesome reminder of almost any kind of adventure. It's easy to store, and at usually less than $1 each, it's economical, too.

To reinforce our adventures this summer, I helped the girls each start a scrapbook to keep their postcards. When they get a little older, I hope they'll journal about what they saw. Until then, I've tried to think of little art projects they could do to complement their postcards.

Here are the pages from our visit to an aquarium this summer...

I cut out fish shapes in various sizes and colors and let the girls glue them to a piece of card stock, representing the many different types of fish they saw swimming together.

And here, from a state park we visited with Granddaddy and Emme...

The girls' favorite part of the visit was riding the train. I used my Cricut to cut the letters CHOO-CHOO, and had them glue them under their postcard.

And here, from our first visit to the zoo...

I cut pieces to make grass, a tree, and a sun, and had the girls glue them down. I bought them each an inexpensive pack of stickers with zoo animals. My sticker-loving girls really had fun with this one.

The girls have had a blast crafting, and they love to look at their scrapbooks. And I love that we not only have a reminder of what we did and when, but a sample of the girls' handiwork at the time, as well.

I'm linking up with Charlene at Adventures-in-Mommy-Land for "Hey Mom, Look What I Did".

Head over to check out what other moms are up to with their kiddos this week...and check back with Charlene often, as she posts so many great crafty ideas every week.


Marcia (123 blog) said...

Okay wait!!!! When did you get a Cricut?

I noticed how you just ever-so-casually mentioned it :)

Love your scrapbooks - do you let them play with them without supervision?

championm2000 said...

Collecting postcards instead of cheap toys (that break before you leave the parking lot) is a great idea!

Your book is impressive, btw!

Heading over to check out some of the other crafts to file in the folder: "things to do once the babies stop eating everything."

Anonymous said...

This is a really great idea. I love how simple and easy it is to put together, yet filled with lasting memories=)

Deanna said...

Very cute idea, Mandy! I'm impressed with A & B's scrapbooking skills. : )

Gift shops are terrible, I agree...I think we will do our best to shuffle past them too!

Charlene said...

I love this idea...especially since I have so many kids to buy those stupid trinkets for. We usually give them a couple bucks each and let them spend it on what they want in the park, whether its a game, food or gift shop item.

I really should start scrapbooking again, but I have way too many other things on my plate LOL

Thanks for sharing on Hey Mom, Look What I Did at Adventures In Mommy Land...hope to see you again soon!

Anonymous said...

what a great idea!! then you can get postcards from places you visit, too. everywhere has postcards! :) we might have to start doing that. of course, that would mean that i have to take the kids on outings!! hahahaha.

Barbara Manatee said...

I had a postcard collection as a kid, too! In fact, I wonder if its still in the closet in my old bedroom at my parents' house...??? I had a full shoebox of them!

I bet the girls LOVE looking through those photo albums!! Great idea!

Jen said...

I LOVE this idea!!

Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

What is a cricut and why don't I have one! Love this shops are all junk anyway.

cat said...

Oh I love this idea! Brilliant!