Collect hat pins

Our kids, especially Tommy, love gift shops. Since every National Park Visitor Center has a gift shop, we feared that these stops were going to require us to take out a second mortgage. The first National Park we visited after our purchase of the motorhome was Zion National Park. The kids immediately made a beeline for the gift shop and started fondling all the possibilities. Near the cash register I noticed a basket with Zion National Park hat pins that cost about $4 each. The ranger informed me that most of the National Parks sold these pins and that many people made collections out of them.

As most kids do, ours love the thought of starting a collection so I showed them the pins They loved the idea, and the rest is history. At first they put these pins on fishing hats which they proudly wore. As they collected more and more pins, however, the hat became too heavy to wear.

Today they have over 120 pins from the various places we've been to, which they have displayed on a felt banner in their rooms. Besides controlling their desire to consume in the gift shops, these pins are a tremendous way to remember places we've been to. Also, it lets me get out of each gift shop for $8 for the two of them.