DIY,  Kids,  Projects

DIY Little Passports: Planning 12 Destinations

It’s our second year around the world here at the World Explorers Club! We ended up naming it that last year when I did a surprise DIY Little Passports project for my daughter every month for 6 months. Now we’re ready to upgrade to a full year (12 months). She still doesn’t know who sends her the packages (me), only that she gets to open them every month. Keeping everything a secret is a big part of the fun for me, besides getting to put together playful and learning activities for my daughter. Read on to see how I pre-planned the 12 destinations!


3 Things I Learned From 6 Months of DIY Little Passports

  1. Printing at home would make this so much easier, but I don’t have a printer so I use a legit typewriter for all her letters, address labels, and craft instructions. Instead of planning trips to the local copy shop, I will skip printed sheets this year since I notice my kid favored open-ended crafts rather than the pre-printed coloring pages and activity sheets.
  2. Gathering a souvenir last minute is tough! Looking locally at the right price is even tougher. I often pushed a month’s package to the following month while I searched, then waited for it to arrive in the mail. Even items that I watched online for months ended up selling out and doubling in price, so I should have bought it earlier even though it wasn’t for that immediate month. This year I took care of souvenirs first, and it often doubles as a STEAM activity! (Details below.)
  3. Not knowing what you’re teaching or when you’re teaching it up until the month is almost over is stressful. Racking up late fees from holding onto library materials because I still had to finish missing stuff from the package cost time and $$. This year I scheduled all the destinations for each month before the first package ever went out, and did some preliminary research for each place so I’d already have things to talk about in the letter and didn’t need to borrow items last minute. Basically, I wrote an outline for each destination letter.

If you’re wanting to get started on your own DIY Little Passports for your child, here is what I did!

Step 1: How Many Months Will Your “Subscription” Be?

How long do you want to commit? Each month will add lesson planning, and the cost of souvenirs and activity materials. Doing the 6 months to start last year was really successful and my kid did not want the packages to stop coming, so I decided in December to start fresh in January and do a full year. To make it easier for me, I purchased all the souvenirs at once so that everything was already decided and I didn’t have to stress about it.

Step 2: Choosing Destinations

I had a bunch of materials like postcards, stamps, and stickers from last year’s DIY Little Explorers, so I based many of my locations on those that already came in the eeBoo World Traveler Pretend Play Set that we didn’t get to do last year. I also chose places where we have family heritage, places that my husband served 2 years at as a missionary, and places that I personally wanted to learn about.

NERD ALERT! I made a spreadsheet with my 12 destinations, plus an extra “Welcome” month so I could keep track of everything!

Step 3: How Much Should You Spend?

Do what’s right for you! I couldn’t afford the cost of a convenient pre-made subscription, but I’m ok with DIYing so I can have the benefits of something like this for my daughter. Right now the Little Passports World Edition is $16/month plus shipping. The value for the price didn’t seem there for me since a lot of the souvenirs were stickers or itty bitty trinket type stuff, and I just wanted better of what my daughter would like for my money.Last year it was tough to find quality souvenirs under $10, so I figured if I spent an average of $12/month, by DIYing we’d save $50 plus shipping and tax costs, AND we’d get an extra introductory month with a welcome gift! I spent $146.08 ($2.08 over my budget), here’s what I got…

Step 4: Souvenirs and/or Activities

Using my handy dandy spreadsheet, I figured out some souvenir ideas and went shopping! Amazon was my go-to, but I also found STEM kits on sale and fun food items at TJ Maxx, or items for better pricing on eBay. There’s also an online site I wanted to buy from (I’ll post a link once I find it)! Some months have smaller items to offset the cost of some of the pricier ones. For more ideas, check out my Pinterest Board!

Step 5: The Welcome Package

Now that you’ve got a box full of souvenirs, start your packages!


Christmas was a great time to announce the “subscription” to her as a gift in a card and her awesome world map in a gift wrapped tube. Sorry I didn’t get a great pic of it.

We got her world map laminated and attached with poster hangers to her wall. Even her brothers loved checking it out. She loves referring to it as we learn about new places! It only labels most countries and some capitals (for example, Hawaii is on the map but not labeled). The illustrations are interesting and kid friendly (our favorite is a whale with a suitcase and a hat in the middle of the ocean), and the colors are very bright and exciting just as exploring the world should be!Most of all, have FUN learning about the wonderful people and places of this great Earth with your little one! I love the learning/teaching aspect with my kid where we get to explore art, history, science, geography and more together. I get so much satisfaction from seeing her enjoy what I’ve put together. Check out all the other places we’ve explored in this DIY Little Passports project here!

​ Love, Kat

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