Building a collection is such a great activity to work on individually and as a family. We have enjoyed working on various collections over the years and have learned so much as they often spur new directions in our explorations. Here are a three ideas that have helped us in our collection of collections.
my tiniest collection - 3 woodpecker feathers
we currently have collections of:
smashed pennies from our travels
my little pony figurines
restaurant crayons (?)
dolls and doll clothes
sugar cubes from around the world
my feather collection is stuck in one of my found birds nests
2. Offer ways of both storage and display.
A collection can easily become a junk pile if it does not have a useful way to be both stored and displayed. We often keep our collections in tin and cigar boxes, plastic bins, shoe boxes, entire drawers and tote bags.
For display, think creatively. I like a series of glass fish bowls, a hanging banner or even a temporary table surface. Old letter press trays can be found at antique store rather cheap. Shadow boxes from the craft store can be painted or stained in any creative way.
Ask your kids to make a museum or dinner centerpiece with their collection. And invite people to come over and share their collections or just enjoy yours. It is fun to bring things out of storage to enjoy.
some collections are temporary
3. Allow collections to have a life cycle.
It is important to let kids take charge of their collections on their own. There is no easier way to kill a kid's interest and passion than by trying to take control of the project by demanding limiting perimeters or even by being overly enthusiastic.
When we took our daughter, a budding philatelist, to a local stamp shop to meet the owner, it was nearly soul crushing. Instead of encouraging her novice enthusiam, he immediately started explaining how she needed to focus her collection on only one country and should invest in a particular $100 album. There was no room for her interest or discovery. Thankfully, we all agreed his restrictions were unreasonable for the type of stamp collecting she was interested in.
4. Take the time to look at other collections.
We have enjoyed collections of citrus labels, Coca Cola memorabilia, gems and rocks, cigar bands, local shells, pins, marbles, doll furniture, historic costumes, old cars and more.
It is always invigorating to be around enthusiasts and learn what intrigues them about their area of speciality and passion. Because, in the end, we are not only learning about a new subject matter, we are also learning about how to craft an engaged and curiosity driven life.
In the comments, share with us about your collections...
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