As adults, many of us have had an inner-collector emerge at some point in our lives. For some of us, it may be sentimental holiday ornaments. For others, it could be a particular type of figurine. Some may have even started a (valuable) baseball card collection as a child that continues well into adulthood.
A lasting interest in such a collection starts a good conversation. While some parents may view a child’s room as simply being overtaken by a herd of plastic animals, jars of seashells from the beach, or a growing number of American Girl® dolls, this isn’t necessarily just clutter at all. Collecting is an exciting exercise in creating a world that’s all his or her own. It can help them bond with friends, start conversations, socialize better, gain responsibility, become an expert in something, and learn about money.
This leads to the question, what is a good collection for your child to start? Which options can really make the most of the mentioned benefits? Let’s take a look at some of the following suggestions for a new collection.
1. Vintage Toys and Books
This is a fun one because it also involves you as the parent and your own childhood! Tell your little one all about the toys you used to play with, and books you used to read. Even have them ask their grandparents about the toys they used to play with…and let the search begin! You may still have some of your own in storage, but also try yard sales, eBay, Amazon, etc. This type of collection is educational, and can also truly be a family affair.
2. State Quarters
The state quarters are a great segue into the coin collection realm, which can be a lifelong interest. It’s also a way for your children to learn about the 50 states. Consider getting a display folder or book to organize the coins, or even the collector’s map, which is a big seller on Amazon. In addition, there are helpful online resources and books that thoroughly cover the history and development of the state quarters series.
Whether it’s a souvenir from a trip to Disneyland, showing support for a local team, or a way to celebrate an upcoming holiday, gathering various pins can become a wearable, useful collection. If the options seem a little overwhelming, consider narrowing it down to a certain category; for example, your child may be interested in just collecting Disney character pins.
This one may sound a little basic, but think about it. It’s an inexpensive way to keep mementos from different places your family has been (camping, hiking, etc.), and you can even use a Sharpie® to mark where each rock came from, along with the date. It’s also educational in an archeological sort of way, driving interest in a new area for your child.
Lastly, there’s a reason stamp collecting has stuck (pun intended) around for so long. Stamps are printed in endless designs that may interest kids, and many stamps depict historically or culturally significant people, places, or events. There are many ways to arrange a collection, and new stamps are always as close by as the local post office. Misprinted stamps or stamps that are from a batch with few left in existence are considered rare. While rare stamps can be pricey, they are also exciting for children to find. Kids can decide to start a specific type of stamp collection that includes only stamps of famous people, animals, places, or events.
No matter which type of collection best suits your child’s situation and individual interests, he or she will benefit from a meaningful and useful activity that can span the course of years. And with a little luck, you just never know; an item that was added at some point in time could end up being that Honus Wagner baseball card gem. Well, maybe that’s a bit far-fetched, but the important thing to remember is that a collection can always offer value far beyond dollar signs.