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Starting a Collection for Kids

To end our blogging session on collections, we thought we should discuss the ways to go about helping a child to start his/her own collection. Children should have hobbies that occupy time that would otherwise be spent in front of the television, computer, or playing video games. Hobbies help to stimulate the brain and exercise creativity, which is very important at the young age when the brains capacity for learning is at its highest. The following outlines some tips and ideas to help your child become a Collection Connoisseur.

As children grow from infant to teenager, they can acquire a lot of “stuff” to play with that will eventually be lost or discarded, or they can choose to collect. Children who collect begin to develop life skills early on such as money management, proper care of fragile or important items, the cultivation of ideas, effective decision making, bargaining skills, and of course, they will most likely learn something educational! The parent will come to find out that this “collection phenomenon” is really well worth the time, energy, and dollars spent.

 The first step to building your child’s collection is to help them identify the type of objects that they would most enjoy collecting.  Kids can be drawn to an array of items, not just the average toy, game, comic or television show character. Think about the child’s interests, what they enjoy doing on a daily basis, the things they get excited about, and somehow turn that interest into a collection. For example, if your child really loves science, help them to start an insect collection. Or, if your child loves arts and crafts, start a sticker collection together. There is a countless amount of items to collect in the world, so just let your imagination run wild!

Once you have decided on the genre of the collection, you should engage the child and ask their opinion on where they could find the first item for their collection. Work together to acquire that very first piece, which often becomes the most important and prized possession of the entire collection. Help them to make a list of all possible items that could be a part of the collection and, slowly but surely, guide them and teach them how to find each one. 

Some individual tips to help the process include:

1. Refrain from keeping items in the box – mint condition should not be a factor

Keeping the collector’s items in the box can take away the most appealing part of the collection process for the child – playing with and handling the object. It is pretty hard for a child to get excited about a cardboard box.

2. Don’t make it a competition

Children will deal with multiple different kinds and levels of competition as they grow up, collecting should not be one of them. This process should be easy-going and enjoyable. The longer it takes to finish the collection, the more time the child will have to learn and grow. Drawing out the process can actually make the result more desirable!

3. Go “Picking”

Start taking the little ones to flea markets and antique shows when they are old enough to refrain from touching the valuables. Teach them the importance of being careful, and encourage them to look/feel items by asking for permission from the adult. Give them a budget and communicate the importance of sticking to it.

Garage sales are also a great place to look for treasures, and kids are great at them! They will be able to identify the hot items with their keen eyesight and height (they are eye level to most tables). Again, give them a budget and let them spend it on their own.

4. Lead by Example

Ask other collectors to “share” their collections and processes with the kids. Give them a tour, so to speak, mapping out the process and let them ask questions. This will impress the child and motivate them to work hard toward their own collections now that they will know what the end result could possibly look like.

5. Proper Care

It is extremely important that your young collector be aware of the proper care procedures needed to preserve their items and keep them in excellent condition. Show them what to use, how to use it, and how often the cleaning should be done. This will teach them the importance of care and perhaps even rub off on their entire bedroom! Also emphasize the importance of putting the items away and the best ways to store them.

6. Display

Ensure that the child has a place to display their collection. A bookcase, a shelf, a box, etc., are great ideas. Showcasing the items will allow the child to show them off to friends and to be proud of what they have accomplished.

7. Activities and Clubs

Try to find out if the child’s interests and collection items fall into the values of a specific club or association. Many of these organizations can be found online. Find out if they accept younger members, or join yourself and keep the child up to date. Interacting in a group setting of people with similar interests is a great way for a child to develop people skills and to share their passion. If a local organization isn’t available, create one yourself!

8. Pass it on

If you have your own collection, try to see if you can entice your child to become interested in it as well. This would be a great way to share something with the child and combine your common interests. In the future, you could pass on your own treasures to the child or build onto it together. Perhaps, someday, the child would even pass the collection on to their own children and the items would last for generations!

Starting a collection for your child is a great way to learn, share and grow. These tips can be applied to the collection of “Stik-em” accessories as well. Kids will love collecting the fun and colorful shoe details, and will learn a lot while doing so. We hope that these tips and ideas will help you and your child make the most of their Stikii experience. For more information, please visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/stikiishoes. Don’t forget to become a fan by “liking” us!

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