DIY Cheap Fun Family Trip Souvenir Tradition
This DIY Cheap Fun Family Trip Sounvenir Tradition using vials and a shadow box is fun for the whole family. It is an inexpensive and easy way to accomplish family vacation souvenirs.
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Several years ago, we started a fun souvenir collecting tradition in our family. My husband came up with the idea to start collecting a small bit of sand or dirt from every location our family visited on trips. Each time we go on a vacation we bring several little vials along to collect and fill with a bit of sand, dirt, shell pieces, or tiny rocks. At home, my husband makes a label with a label maker for listing each location on the vials. We place it in our shadow box on the wall as a souvenir of our trip. Our collection is slowly building through the years.
I kept an old shadow box drawer that was my mom’s. She had used it in our kitchen while I was growing up to diplay little figurines. It’s an old drawer used years ago by pharmacies to separate pills. My husband hung it on the wall and we place the little vials we collect in each of the slots. My mother purchased it many years ago from an antique shop. Search local antique shops to find one or check online for an antique shadow box drawer. Craft stores may also carry a display similar to this one to hang on the wall to hold many little vials.
Museum Display Inspiration
This idea originated from a family visit to our local museum where we saw a display with different sand and soil types from around the world. We were truly amazed by the variety of colors and textures of the sand and soil samples in the museum display. It was awe-inspiring to gaze upon the variations as it showed the vast diversity of our gorgeous Earth. The differences in the sand and soil opened our kids’ eyes to the beauty and diversity of our planet. After that museum visit, our souvenir tradition inspiration was born.
Easy to Accomplish Tradition that Kids Can Participate in
This fun tradition is cheap because the vials are quite reasonably priced. The vials are small and easy to transport as they fit nicely in a pocket or camera case when out and about on vacation adventures. Kids can participate by scooping up and filling the vials with the sand, dirt, shells, or rocks. Kids can actively participate to be the scouts on sight-seeing adventures. This teaches them to be aware of their surroundings as they act as the lookout for interesting or unique material to fill the vials with.
Glass Vials, 2 Dram, Pack of 12
Gazing at the shadowbox at home helps my kids remember all the fun and interesting places we’ve visited. It can be a fun way to review and fondly remember all the great family vacations taken together. Kids can be reminded how different parts of our world look different in a geological sense. It is truly amazing all the different types of color of sand and dirt found around the world. I am astounded by how many different colors we have come across in the few short years we’ve been collecting for our family trip souvenir shadow box.
Some souvenir shops sell little vials already pre-filled with tiny polished rocks or sand from the region so we have purchased them to add to our shadow box sand vial collection. Often the location is already painted onto the vial so it’s already labeled appropriately for the shadowbox collection.
My kids are now immediately on the lookout on our trips for unusual colors of sand and dirt to collect. It has become a find-and-seek activity that helps my kids pay attention to the beauty and diversity across our great planet. I just love how it has made them more aware!
Ideas for Places to Collect From
Other places we have collected a sample from include cabins we have rented and camping trips we have taken as a family. We even have a sand filled vial from a favorite park in our own hometown. Beaches and deserts are great places to collect from as are forests and dry river beds. Other ideas for the shadow box include collecting samples from a grandparent’s home or a special excursion within nearby locations. A family doesn’t need to go far to do this because local locations can be diverse as well.
Add other small souvenirs to the shadow box such as polished rocks, arrowhead stones, coins, or carved stone figurines.
Find Unusual and Unique Samples for the Vials
One of the most amazing and unique colors of soil we found was in Virginia. We were driving along in our rental vehicle and we spied red earth near a railroad track. My husband stopped the car immediately and we set about scooping up some of the gorgeous red earth. It was a great colorful addition to our collection.
I hope you enjoyed this post about a DIY cheap fun family trip souvenir tradition. Have fun starting your own family souvenir shadow box tradition. Make it your own and add your own special personal touches and memories.
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This is such a cute idea! I wish I would have started this years ago. I have been using shot glass… not as family friendly though 😉
Julie Hoag says
Thank you! Shot glasses are a great idea too, for adults anyway:) Thank you!
Vicki @ Babies to Bookworms says
I love this idea! How fun to have a little piece of vacation with you at home!
Julie Hoag says
Yes! You are so right, a piece of vacation at home! Thank you!!
I am such a beach sand collector! My children and I also collect rocks when we travel and give them to each other. I absolutely love this!
Julie Hoag says
Thank you! It is so fun and my kids love it too! A great cheap souvenir to remember family fun with:) Happy Travels to you!!