Have you been on a family vacation recently? Perhaps you have one planned in the coming weeks or months. Whether you head to the beach, the mountains or an amusement park, there’s one thing you’ll likely do regardless of where you are. What are we talking about? Buying souvenirs, of course!

For example, if you’ve ever visited the ocean and spent time on the beach, you probably wanted to remember that time when you return home. So you might have gone to a souvenir shop to buy a small token or two to take home to help you remember the time you spent on the beach.

You may have purchased a seashell or a sand dollar. Perhaps you bought a t-shirt with the name of the town where you stayed. Or maybe you picked up a beach towel, a jar of sand or even a refrigerator magnet.

These are all examples of souvenirs. The word “souvenir” comes from the French word for “remembrance” or “memory.” Sometimes souvenirs are called by other names, such as mementos or keepsakes.

A souvenir is valued not for the item itself but for the memories associated with it. Souvenirs remind people of the places they’ve been and the wonderful experiences they’ve had.

A souvenir can be a mass-produced trinket from a souvenir shop, or it can be something found or collected by a visitor. For example, a souvenir from a mountain hike might be a pine cone collected along the trail.

Some common types of souvenirs include the following: clothing (especially t-shirts and hats), postcards, key chains, refrigerator magnets, stickers, figurines, mugs, plates, spoons and miniature license plates. Some people collect certain types of souvenirs. For example, someone might collect postcards from all the places they visit. They might display all the postcards at their home in frames or a special book.

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    • Great question, Korean! Some souvenirs represent the place you visited, like a seashell from a beautiful beach! Other times, souvenirs are photos or journal entries from a trip! :)

    • Hi Lilly, we’re sorry to hear that this Wonder gave you the chills – the music was beautiful but a bit eerie! Thanks for being brave and WONDERing with us! :)

    • Hey Jack, we Wonder what your favorite souvenirs are? If you created a book of your favorite pictures, what would you include in it? :)

  1. THOUGHT: I never new that word was French
    PREDICTION: I don’t have prediction
    CONNECTION: I went on vacation last summer and got a souvenir
    WWOTD: I don’t have any mementos

    • It’s so great that you learned something new today, Kylee! Did you know the word for “friend” in French is “ami”? :)

  2. THOUGHT:I liked the passage I didn’t like the video.
    CONNECTION:I have bought a souvenir before.
    PREDICTION:I think tomorrow’s wonder will be about mountains.
    WWOTD:I have a memento of my grandma.

    • We are glad you shared your comment with us today, Tiffany, and thanks for reading all about souvenirs today! We’re WONDERing… what was the souvenir you purchased? :)

  3. THOUGHT:Does a souvenir have to be a physical object? Can it be a kiss?♥♥♥

    CONNECTION:I got a souvenir from Vietnam, it was a wild pig’s jaw! It is very sharp!

    WWOTD:I have a memento from Indy.

    PREDICTION:I think tomorrow’s Wonder is about Mount Everest.

    • It can be anything that means something to you, Tam! What a SUPER question! Thanks for telling us all about your awesome souvenir, too! That sounds super cool! :)

  4. THOUGHT;That was a cool souvenir
    CONNECTION;My dad has a souvenir from Mexico
    WWOTD;I keep my sports stuff on a shelf to bring back memento
    PREDICTION;It is going to be about mount everest

    • Hey Timothy, we Wonder if you have a favorite souvenir of your own? We have a super cool seashell collection from a trip to the beach! :)

  5. comment: I didn’t really understand the video

    connection: I do not have a book like that

    wwotd: I have a memento

    • Hi Deven, we are glad you’re here today! The Wonder video shows a picture book of mementos… but it’s written in French! The pictures and words say “Happy Birthday”! :)

  6. THOUGHT: What was the video trying to do show us pictures I didn’t get it

    CONNECTION: My connection is that I drew some pictures like that when I was 3 or 4

    WWOTD: Mementor reminder of past events.

    PREDICTION: MY prediction is that the next thing it is going to be about attack on September 11,2001

  7. THOUGHT : It was about what his daughter drew him.
    CONNECTION : I draw my mom pics all the time.
    WWOTD : I always save a pic of my dad.

    • That’s awesome that you enjoy drawing pictures for your family, London! What’s your favorite thing to draw? Do you use markers, crayons, pencil, pens, or maybe even paint? :)

  8. THOUGHT:I really didn’t like the video.
    CONNECTION:I have souvenirs from places I went before.
    WWOTD:I keep a picture of my sister as a memento.
    PREDICTION:I think tomorrow’s wonder will be about the tallest mountain.

    • Thanks for WONDERing with us today, Elizabeth, even if this Wonder video wasn’t your favorite! :)

      What’s your favorite souvenir from a trip you’ve taken? :)

  9. Thought:Who made wonder?

    Connection: I love drawing.

    WWOTD: Memento – I remember a picture of me and my sister.

    Prediction: I bet today will be a good day.

  10. Thought: That video was weird!

    connection: I went to Jackson county. I got a souvenir from Jackson.

    WWOTD: memento-reminder of past events.

    Prediction: it probably talking about the tallest mountains.

    • How cool, Brandon, we’re so glad you shared your connection to this Wonder! What kind of souvenir did you bring home from Jackson County? :)

  11. THOUGHT:I liked the video but I didn’t get the video.

    CONNECTION:WHEN I went to New York City I picked up a t shirt that said I love NY.

    PREDICTION:I predict that tomorrow’s WWOTD is about mountains.

    EXAMPLE:I keep a picture of my family and me as a memento.


  12. THOUGHT: That was cool.

    CONNECTION: I’m the same,I like buying items before I leave somewhere.

    PREDICTION: I predict that tomorrow’s wonder will be about mount Everast.

    EXAMPLE: I keep a picture of my favorite dog as a memento.

    WWOTD: Memento means” reminder of past events”.

    • It’s cool that you are collecting lots of souvenirs, Jenna, thanks for telling us all about them! We hope you have a terrific Thursday! :)

  13. THOUGHT:Souvenirs must be really important because if you keep for a long time you can look at them when you grow up and remember all the good times you had when you where young and you can show them to your children.

    CONNECTION:I have a souvenir that is from Georgia and it is a souvenir Coke bottle.

    WWOTD:I still have a memento of me when I was born .

    PREDICTION:I think tomorrow’s wonder will be about art and how it’s made.

    • Souvenirs are super cool, Kaylen, we are glad you agree. They help bring back great memories of places we’ve visited and trips we have taken!

      Thanks for telling us about your WONDERful souvenir from Atlanta, Georgia! :)

  14. THOUGHT;I think the video was dumb but I kind of get what they were reaching for.
    CONNECTION;I have a souvenir from the concert I went to see.
    WWOTD;MEMENTO-reminder of past events.
    EX;I keep a picture of my dog that passed away 4 years ago.
    PREDICTION;About the tallest mountain.

    • What concert did you see, Kylee? We love listening to music and watching live performances – it’s so much fun! We hope you will come back to Wonder with us again soon! :)

  15. THOUGHT: What is the video about I mean I know it’s about memories but who?
    CONNECTION: I have a ring that my auntie mom gave me I still have it.
    PREDICTION: tomorrow wonder’s going to be about Mount Everest.
    WWOTD: our lesson today is about memento you might be thinking about the candy this memento is about memories.

    • It looks like today’s Wonder video was all about a friend’s birthday – the words were in French and they said, “bon anniversaire”, which means “happy birthday”! We are so glad you learned something new with us today, Janiya! :)

  16. THOUGHT:I don’t like the video.
    CONNECTION:I use to draw like that but now I’m real good at drawing.
    WWOTD:I keep a picture of my dad and I as a memento.
    PREDICTION:about mountains.

  17. A souvenir can be a cup from a foul ball you caught in a baseball game it’s something you treasure in your opinion and something you’ll keep forever

    • You’re right, Ashton, thanks for sharing all the different types of souvenirs! We are very proud of you for helping us Wonder today! :)

  18. THOUGHT: I think that NY is a place that has lots of memories.

    CONNECTION: I remember yesterday we watched a video of the twin towers collapse what mean rude people.

    WWOTD: I keep a picture of my dad as a memento.

    PREDICTION: I think tomorrow’s wonder will be about mountains.

    • You’re right, Destiny, New York is a very cool place with lots of history! We have been thinking of all those affected by the events on September 11, 2001. We hope you will keep doing your best to make the world a WONDERful place! :)

  19. Hi Wonderopolis I Liked Today’s Wonder!!! :D :D

    I Was Wondering About Wonderopolis, Is Wonderopolis A Group, Or 1 Peson?!

    OH OH It’s That One Mountain Whats It Called…….Uuuuum……..Mount
    Everest! Ya!!!! :D :D :D :D

  20. I went to the beach and got a teeshirt and a cup with a beach.

    I think next it’s going to be about a mountain.

    this was a great video one

    • How cool, Emily! What a fun place to visit – the beach! How WONDERful! :)

      We think you’re on the right track for tomorrow’s Wonder, Emily! Great work! :)

    • Hi Kayla, thanks for WONDERing with us today! We’re glad you read our Wonder about souvenirs today. We Wonder if you have ever kept a souvenir from a favorite trip you have taken? :)

  21. I don’t get the video. But I got drawing. I used to draw big mountains and show it to my family. Tomorrow is the rocky mountains at Colorado. Really what is this video about?

  22. Connection: I made my mom a souvenir for her birthday. She said it was super special because I made it.

    Prediction: I predict tomorrow’s wonder will be about Mount Everest.

    I learned if you make your own souvenir it is super special.

    • WOW, that’s a very thoughtful gift, Ameerah! Way to go, Wonder Friend! We are very proud of you- thanks for telling us all about it! :)

  23. I have a connection it was about when I stayed in Panama City in Florida for a week. The souvenir I brought home was a rock from the sea. I think the next wonder of the day will be about a big mountain.

  24. Connection:My connection is that I have a souvenir,my souvenir is a necklace that has a zebra print and says KIYA :) on it.

    Prediction: Have you ever gone to Mount Rushmore ?

    I think that It was really cool that you said,”Perhaps” instead of saying like…..
    That was a good video also.

    • WOW, that sounds like a super cool souvenir, Kiya! What a special way to remember your trip! :)

      We hope you have a WONDERful day, Kiya! Perhaps we’ll Wonder with you again soon! :)

  25. We kind of knew what this word was but now we are 100% sure. Thank you for this wonder! Some souvenir’s we have collected are:
    Key chain
    Dollar bill
    T shirt
    toy taxi from India
    Car from Turkey
    Sea shells from the beach
    Fridge magnet from Alaska
    dog from Taiwan

    Grade 1H

    • HOORAY for WONDERing with Ms. Hennessy’s Class! It’s so very cool that you shared all the different types of souvenirs you have been WONDERing about! What a SUPER list! Thanks for visiting us, we’ll see you again soon! :)

    • WOW, what a spectacular Wonder, Mr. Jensens Class! We Wonder… are you studying space right now? We think there are some WONDERful future scientists in the class! :)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • What is a souvenir?
  • What are some common types of souvenirs?
  • Can you make a homemade souvenir for your area?

Wonder Gallery

I Love New York - Coffee MugshhBoston T-shirts and Park Street Church Steeple, Boston, Ma., New England, USACountry tag stickers on a travel suitcaseVimeo Video

Try It Out

We hope today’s Wonder of the Day created some fond memories for you! Explore one or more of the following activities with a friend or family member to make even more:

  • What souvenirs do you have from previous vacations or visits to special places or events? We bet you might have more souvenirs around the house than you think. Go from room to room, looking for souvenirs. Keep an eye out for anything that has the name of a place or event on it. What all can you find? Talk with your friends and family members about what you find. What memories do these items bring to mind?
  • What local attractions do you have in your area? Perhaps a historic spot people like to visit? Or a beach? Or an amusement park? Whatever you have nearby, pay it a visit and be sure to keep your eye open for souvenirs. What types of souvenirs are available for sale? How much are they? Which ones do the best job of reminding you of your trip?
  • Ready to make your very own souvenir? Perhaps you have friends or relatives coming to visit you soon. If not, pretend you have guests visiting from a faraway land. Your guests will definitely want a souvenir to help them remember their visit to your area. Given what you learned about souvenirs in today’s Wonder of the Day, what kind of souvenir would you recommend for your guests? Keep in mind those types of souvenirs that you could make yourself. Think about what your guests would do in your area. What did you take them to see? What would they want to remember forever about their time with you? Do you live near the ocean? Perhaps you took them swimming and had a picnic on the beach? You could make them a keepsake box filled with sand, shells and a small container of ocean water! Maybe you live near a forest. Did you go hiking and enjoy nature’s beauty? Collect some leaves and press them as a keepsake. The possibilities are endless. Think about what is unique and special about your area and turn that experience into a memento someone could keep with them to remember their visit!

Still Wondering

Visit Smithsonian’s History Explorer to see a Souvenir of the Opening of the East River Bridge, May 24, 1883. By the late 19th century, the United States had established itself as a world leader in the area of civil engineering. Perhaps no project better symbolized America’s technical prowess than the awe-inspiring Brooklyn Bridge, which connected the nation’s largest and third largest cities — New York and Brooklyn, respectively — in 1883 across the turbulent tidal strait known as the East River.

Test Your Knowledge

Wonder What’s Next?

Join us in Wonderopolis tomorrow as we search for the world’s tallest mountain!

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