Parents’ trash can be kids’ treasure. Children can make a treasure out of almost anything, but whatever it is can be the start of a collection. And collecting is another way to build readiness skills. The most obvious one is categorizing: to what group do all these things belong? Another is sorting, for instance, these are all the red ones, or big ones, or the soft ones. There’s vocabulary and talking about the collection, organizing skills, memory, planning for how to add to the collection, and caring for it. A child may have to choose what to add to the collection and what to leave out. There’s all kinds of thinking that comes into play when collecting. Play, of course, is the significant word. The collection and collecting need to be enjoyable.
What are some possible collections? Rocks, seashells, sports cards and coins are quite common, but there’s also buttons, round things, postcards, toys, stuffies, shiny things, marbles, caps, hats, signatures, feathers, dragons, the possibilites are endless. One year a kindergarten student showed his collection of pieces of driftwood shaped like navy ships. Just imagine all the knowledge that had to be acquired beforehand for that collection. A grandmother helped her granddaughter with a flower collection; what wonderful connections and memories for both of them. Collections can be a variety of items all from one place or from another culture. The collecting can continue for only a short time or for years, eventually get discarded with the trash or become very valuable. The learning and the fun are worth even more. What collections do you have?