Kids are notorious for collecting all sorts of things, whether the items they’re collecting make sense to an adult or not. This is one reason parents always need to check the pockets before putting jeans in the wash; – there’s no telling what little gems may b e waiting, such as a rock, shell, insect or amphibian! Collections can be small or large, simple or very complex, all depending on the kid and their interest level. Some of the popular items kids collect are listed below.
- Rocks – Kids of all ages enjoy collecting rocks. Smaller kids will collect any kind of rock, while older kids may look for specific types, such as agates, quartz or fossil rocks. Some kids enjoy finding rocks, classifying them and putting them in display cases. Others like to put them in jars, and some kids will build a collection on a window sill.
- Stamps – Since the first postage stamp was issued in Britain, the Penny Black, people have been collecting stamps. This hobby became very popular with kids in the 1860’s and today there are over 25 million stamp collectors in the United States. Kids will ask friends and relatives to send them mail from their travels so they can put the stamps in their collections. The postal service provides a variety of commemorative stamps and books in which to collect them.
- Bugs – Every spring and summer kids can be seen with their bug collecting nets out in fields and vacant lots hunting insects for their collections. Some kids prefer to specialize in one type of insect, whereas other kids just like all bugs and subscribe to the more the merrier mindset. For squeamish moms, this can be an unsettling hobby, especially if their help is enlisted in euthanizing and pinning the bugs.
- Shells – For kids who live in locations where shells are easily collected, this is another favorite hobby. When kids are fortunate to live in areas where a variety of shells are available, the collections can be quite extensive and beautiful. If your child is an avid collector, make sure that the shell is handled and cleaned properly so that you don’t end up with an incredibly stinky room from rotting mollusks!
- Postcards – When kids travel, they often enjoy collecting postcards. Sometimes the cards are souvenirs of the area visited, but there are some kids who also like to specialize in cards with certain pictures on them, like those with horses, cats or dogs. Collecting postcards can be a wonderful way for kids to chronicle their travels.
- Feathers – From big turkey feathers to little parakeet feathers, some kids have an affinity for collecting all different types of feathers. Unfortunately what most parents don’t know is that it is actually illegal to collect feathers due to the migratory bird act of 1918. This law was created to protect birds and their parts – eggs, nests and feathers – from people who captured them for commercial exploitation. Now that you know, it’s better to take a picture of your child holding the feather and collect the pictures, leaving the feather where you found it!
- Key chains – Every now and then kids will go on a keychain craze, and they will go crazy trying to find all sorts of key chains to add to their collection. These collections can get quite big. Some kids like to specialize in collecting particular key chains, like collecting ones that are related to sports, while others seem more interested in quantity.
- Butterflies – This goes along with the bug collection, but there is something special about collecting butterflies. There are all kinds of tools available to help kids catch, keep, and display the butterflies. Butterfly collections can be a beautiful way for your child to learn about nature.
- Dolls/stuffed animals – Many little girls love collecting dolls. In fact, this is a hobby that can last a lifetime. Some girls collect a specific type, such as fashion dolls or baby dolls or stuffed dogs or cats. Others just like what they like and collect whatever appeals to them.
- Toy cars – Lots of little boys enjoy collecting small cars. For some kids, every time there is a trip to the store it means another car is added to the collection. It could very well be that someday some of those little cars may be worth something!
Collecting can be a great hobby for a kid, and if parents get involved then working together can be a great bonding experience. If your child hasn’t started collecting anything yet, you may want to consider getting them started. There are plenty of resources online to enhance any collection your child may decide to launch.