Why does my child enjoy collecting?

Kids are natural collectors. They collect action figures, dolls, baseball cards, seashells, stamps, coins, comic books, stickers, model horses, fossils, rocks, and anything else that captures their interest. They trade collectibles with friends, learn the value of favorite items, and work displays. While some children are causal collectors, others are intensely involved. One boy who collected baseball cards spent hours each week organizing his collection and studying the players’ game statistics.

Children become interested in collectibles in a number of ways. A teacher might spark involvement with lessons on dinosaurs or national flags. A child’s friend might talk him into becoming a co-collector so the two can trade items. A book, a TV show, a trip to an exciting place, or a gift can start a child’s hobby.

Some kids collect because their parents or siblings do or used to. When a child sees how excited his parents are about a special piece of pottery or a political button, he may be inspired to state his own collection. Even parents who don’t collect now can inspire their child with stories of their old childhood collections: the pleasure of trading stickers with friends, working on a train layout, or gathering action figures or Legos. Most parents now regret having thrown out those collections.

If your child is starting a collection, there are lots of ways to help and encourage him. The most important is to take an interest. Ask him to tell about parts of his collection and listen to his stories about special finds. You may be astounded by how much he knows.

You can help him find books, articles, shops, or exhibitions that specialize in his hobby. One girl bought rocks and gems inexpensively at collector’s shows and museum stores. A mother and child searched flea markets and garage sales together, looking for old magic tricks.

You can find or buy your child pieces for his collection, or tell inquiring relatives which items he would enjoy receiving. You also can help him store and display his items. Depending on his hobby, he could use scrap books, picture frames, a bulletin board, cases, or shelves. He might decide to make his own custom display. One child hung his key chain collection on a heavy piece of cardboard cut in the shape of a key. Other kids arrange their animal or doll collections in scenes using homemade props. Whether your child makes an elaborate display or just piles his collection up, he’ll enjoy showing it off and sharing it with others.

He’s likely to eventually losing interest in his hobby as he enters the teenage years, but don’t get rid of his old treasures. Keep them as souvenirs or as items to pass on to a younger sibling, or simply for your child to enjoy again once he’s grown.

Picture Credit : Google