Stamp Collecting Gives Kids a Sense of Values and Much More
Personally I believe philately is a great hobby to encourage kids to get in to. The reasons are quite subtle in many ways, but include:
Education. Name me a GB stamp collector that can't name all the Kings and Queens in order since at least Queen Victoria's reign? Most will easily tell you the dates of their reigns and when they celebrated their Jubilees also. What years did the British Empire Exhibition take place in Wembley? What year did Concorde retire from service? What year did the Forth Road Bridge open? Name some famous British authoresses. I could go on and on but the chances are most regular collectors of British stamps can answer hundreds if not thousands of such questions simply because of the knowledge they gained collecting postage stamps.
Sense of values. Building a stamp collection means you will get to understand how to look after the condition of items over the long term. It also helps to understand the relative rarity of things and how to value tangible items. You will quickly learn to keep things organised and easy to find. You read catalogues and learn about the logistics of a postal delivery service. Kids can learn to swap and trade items that possess far more intellectual value than cartoon character stickers! In short stamp collecting kids can learn some important skills in life.
Encourage an interest. There is nothing a parent can do better than support a child whenever they show an interest in any given subject. Thesedays there is hardly any subject that can't be integrated with stamp collecting. Thematic stamp collections are not often sepcific to the stamps of one country but revolve around the subject matter in stamp designs. Does your kid love dinosaurs? Have a passion for cars? Care about wildlife? Dream of piloting planes or exploring Space? All of these topics and many, many others can form extensive - and cheap to build - stamp collections which will inform, educate and inspire a child.
I could go on and on but, suffice to say, I never struggle for ideas of what to buy a young stamp collector on their birthday or come Christmas!
The hobby continues to attract older participants quite easily in my experience. As they garner the skills and experience of life they begin to appreciate the value of certain collectables I presume. Few stamp collectors saw the value of their investments fall lately! So why don't more parents promote the hobby to their youngsters? Maybe they just don't think about it due to the constant marketing efforts done by the video game manufacturers!
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