Collections for Kids

Collections can become useful tools in our children education and they can and have many benefits:

  • collecting the item "du jour" is a way for kids to socialize and fit in.
  • It gives them something to do.
  • It's good for his reading. You can encourage the children to search for more information about the items they collect. And this is a great way to improve their vocabulary.
  • It's good for organizational skills and you can teach them how to use spreadsheet programs like Excel to keep track of their items.
  • Sorting and classifying what they have builds cognitive skills. You can also connect facts about the items they collect with related field of knowledge.

Of course, there can be also some disadvantages:

  • the disruptions they've caused on school buses and in schools
  • it can get expensive.
  • sometimes kids collect things for the wrong right reasons. Socially, collecting is a way kids can share what they have with other kids but it can easily degenerate in a new form of a class division. Who has more? "Look at me. I have more. Make sure that collecting will not change in a lesson about "haves' or "have nots".
  • older kids might take higher value cards from unsuspecting young children.

It’s the parent job to keep in balance these two aspects of having a collection and to minimize the potential negative consequences. For example, ask your child to spend his own money on new items. This will teach them a little money management as long as they will not spend all their money on.

Preschoolers might start by collecting natural wonders from their yards, true collections aren't born until somewhere between age 7 and 11. That's the developmental stage when children are able to perform what the experts call “hierarchical classification.”

“Younger children who have collections can only organize them by one attribute, color or animal type, for example”, says Vicki Carr, director of the Arlitt Child & Family Research & Education Center at the University of Cincinnati.

Older children can do hierarchical classification..Also they will be" able to see you can classify things in various ways and are more flexible in their thinking. Preschoolers can just pretty much sort them in one way,” (Ms. Carr).

Warning !

Make sure is the child that’s doing the collecting and not you, the parent. If you enjoy  that specific item you might be tempted to “take over” the process. Have you ever said, "Look, here's another Pokemon card. Do you want to get this one?' It's very difficult to teach children about economics and working for things that you want when it's always given to them.” 

Be involved! 

Considering all things mentioned above it become obvious that the parents should pay attention to their kid collections.

Parents should let the children choose what they want to collect, but they can help narrow their search. Also, the parents should set the spending limits because kids are usually going to want stuff they can't afford.

For example there are so many aviation related items that there's no way an adult, let alone a child, can have them all. Narrow down on a company or specific set.

Keeping the collection in top condition is extremely important if the children consider any investment purposes, or with the future in mind. This can be hard to do if the kids want to collect and play with the items in the same time. The bottom line should be to collect what they like rather than collecting on speculation that it'll make them rich. 

My experience: 

I have guided my son to start collecting die cast planes made by Maysto. They are nice packaged and each have a display stand.

The price was affordable and the collection covered a pretty long time in the aviation history.

Also I bought a couple of albums about the history of aviation in general and of the military aviation in particular. I have asked my son to read about the planes he was collecting and we compared the different features they have.

I did not lost the occasion to show him how he can use a spreadsheet program to organize his collection.

I am fortunate to be able to attend every year an air show in my city so my son will have the opportunity to see the real version of many of the planes he is collecting. 

Return from Collections to Aviation for Kids

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