What Makes Childhood Magical? Part15: Collections

The Magic of Making A Collection

As adults, we forget that magic for kids can be something very ordinary, everyday, and simple, like making a collection. Every time we go out for a walk, Little Sister soon stops to pick up a rock or two to tuck into a pocket. If she happens to be wearing something without pockets, she will hold it tight in her hand before eventually asking someone to carry it for her. All pockets have to be checked diligently before putting any clothes in the washing machine! For her, rocks are very special.

making a collection for childrenMany children will collect rocks or something else such as buttons, stickers, shells, driftwood, shiny foil, pine cones, matchbox cars, dinosaurs, or other items. Not only are these important to kids, but they help with early learning and development.

making a collection for kidsWhen children make a collection, they practice paying attention to what they see and they learn to search for their particular items. They check the characteristics of things they find to see if they would match their collection items or not. Sometimes, kids have to choose among objects because they can not collect everything. We all need to practice making decisions and this is especially true for young children. Vocabulary, explaining, organizing, displaying, counting, categorizing, grouping, deciding, etc are just some of the kindergarten readiness and life-long skills that kids develop.

Collections can begin in childhood but continue for years, even becoming part of an adult’s career. I’m sure many researchers and scientists collected rocks, bugs, or nature items, when they were children. Occasionally, collecting also requires creative problem-solving with regards to finding storage solutions. Egg-cartons, fishing tackle boxes, and craft containers are possibilities for storing collections. Many, many adults have collections such as ball caps, old cars, vinyl records, stamps, books, teacups, coins, marbles, and clocks, to name just a few. I think it would be safe to bet, that the wonder and joy in collecting began in childhood, wouldn’t you?

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