Stamp Collecting for Kids
The nice thing about stamp collecting as a hobby for kids is that it can begin with only a minimal investment and can build on hobbies and interests they already have.
Kids often become interested in stamp collecting because they receive a piece of mail that has an interesting stamp affixed to it. From there, they may begin to notice other stamps or seek them out. From there, a junior philatelist . or stamp collector . is born.
To help a kid who.s interested in collecting stamps, you might ask them about the types of stamps they want to collect. They can build their collection around a common theme or interest, or they can just collect stamps that attract their interest. For example, they might especially enjoy finding out about the many different types of people, events, places and hobbies that appear on stamps, both in the United States and around the world.
You might also suggest a stamp collection as an educational project. For example, 2009 marks the 50th anniversary of Alaska's statehood, which will be commemorated with a new stamp. It could be interesting to do a project about Alaska and follow that up by purchasing the stamp. This could also lead to a project of collecting stamps that focus on each state, or stamps with a postmark from every state. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
You can also ask others to save interesting stamps for your children. Someone who works in an office may receive a large amount of mail, increasing the likelihood that they.ll run across an interesting stamp. You may also have friends and neighbors who know people in other countries that can collect international stamps for your kids. Once you begin to spread the word that your family collects stamps and is interested in receiving stamps, you may be surprised at just how many people will share them with you.
You can also help your child to purchase stamps directly from the post office. Commemorative stamps are larger than every day stamps and often feature fun art work. The United States Postal Service website is a great resource for information about stamps and stamp collecting. There, you can show your child pictures of stamps past and present.
A simple way to store stamps is to affix them to loose-leaf paper in a binder, although acid free paper is the best choice for preserving stamps for the long term. If you have more money to spend or greater interest, you can also purchase a stamp album especially designed for collecting stamps for your child. Stamps can be attached to the pages using simple white craft glue or, better yet, by using special hinges or mounts designed to preserve the stamp. Any kid who becomes serious about the hobby will soon want a special album, a pair of tongs to handle stamps and to learn how to soak stamps off an envelope to add them to their collection.
In addition, the American Philatelic Society has a special branch called Young Stamp Collectors of American. This organization is a wonderful place for kids to learn about stamp collecting. They offer a number of free publications with information about the hobby, as well as discounts on purchasing supplies.