Teaching our Kids History through Collecting

I have often listed an item and thought this would be a great kids collectible. I grew up in a family that while we neve went without we did not have a lot of disposable income. Except on vacations when we each got 5.00 to spend anyway we wanted. On those trips we would often gather travel souvenirs that later would be lost in the car, the campground or at home. We were not collectors, my mom believed in less is more and had grown up in an era when things were used until they wore out then they were donated to someone else to use some more.  Then as adults we saw the collection craze, Beanie babies, Cards of all kinds, matchbox cars, Barbies, pottery and so much more.  

When I first got into the business everyone was collecting - Auction sights were flooded with items everyone pulled from their grandmothers attic and what once was scarce was no plentiful. 

The market tanked, or maybe it's more that people completed their collections and suddenly it was not so much fun - not being on the hunt, not looking for that very last item on your list. 

At once time cookie jars were priced out of the reach of most collectors . Yes cookie jars - 300, 400 or even 1000 for some rare items. 

That's all changed with the advent of online shopping and the idea that all things are collectible.  I don't see that as a reason for antique and collectible dealers to dismay. Instead I see it as an opportunity a reset of sorts.   There is so much available now , so many interesting items and a generation here and another on the way that has no concept of the historical references we make. 

Teaching a child to collect, not hoard, gives them them something they can do with you.  There are things that they can collect from almost every interest area available.  Have a child artist, they can collect vintage art, or art supplies.  My neighbor has a grandson who is fascinated by civil war exhibits, here in the south we have re-enactments that he loves, he could collect old tin soldiers, paper products from the era. Do you have a saver? Help them collect banks , or perhaps an animal lover can collect all things dog or cat or monkey.  Even your game addicted teenager can google and research games that are worth money vintage games electronic and otherwise and go on the hunt.

The trick is to teach them to moderate, to plan their collection to not buy it just because it's of the theme they wish to collect but to choose wisely. Then use the opportunity to tell them about the history of the item. Here's where the internet helps, let them research or help them research. Talk about the era it comes from. 

I am going to make an attempt to speak more about this over the coming weeks. I work full time outside of my etsy shop but this topic fascinates me. Why not teach our kids to be green in a new way. 

Search Etsy for some examples of banks, 

Or Vintage Toys 

Or better yet start the weekend by heading out the door - keeping social distance!  and  shopping some yard sales.   Get the kids up and out here in the south it's 70 degrees and the sunshine is good for the soul.

#Kidscollecting #vintagetoys #kidsactivities

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