What does your child collect? My eldest is currently amassing badges with the greatest avidity. Last year it was stickers. The year before that: snail shells (can’t say I miss that one).
She’s not alone. All kids seem to have an urge to hoard. Usually, it’s something simple and easily procured, like interesting stones or pine cones. But sometimes, the hobby can focus on something a little more, well, imaginative.
We asked the Kidadl Facebook group to share their collecting stories and photos. You didn’t disappoint.
“My Son Collected 100 Hubcaps”
I thought my daughter’s badge collection was beginning to take up too much space, but Kidadlr Katie has a containment challenge on a different scale. Her son has accumulated over 100 discarded hubcaps.
“My son is autistic and patterns/shapes have always appealed to him,” she tells us. “Aged 2-4 he was crazy about clocks and windmills... it progressed to hubcaps… Some of the hubcaps we found abandoned at the side of the road were pretty grim, others in great condition.” It’s a hobby that’s now engaged the local community. “Locals began hunting around for them and letting us know when they spotted one. For his 6th birthday, I emailed a car garage to see if they had any old hubcaps and the owner Nikki Cowan was an absolute hero and invited my boy in to choose some for his collection.”
Katie’s never heard of anyone else who collects hub caps, and the collection may well be unique. “They also make good frisbees,” she adds.
Champagne Cork Soldiers
I may have pulled a face at my daughter’s snail shell collection, but it did at least have the benefit of costing nothing. Reader Soline’s 5-year-old son has a hobby with a very different price tag: collecting champagne corks! “[He] draws faces on them and says they are soldiers,” explains Soline. “Given we don’t drink champagne every day (sad isn’t it?) the collection grows at a moderate pace, which is definitely a positive!” His cork army looks rather formidable arranged on this Lego board.
The Bravest Of Hobbies
You know those really dense rubber balls that bounce really high and tend to gravitate towards breakable objects? I shudder in fear whenever my daughter brings one home. But imagine having a house full of them. That’s the reality for Kidadlr Claire, whose child collects what we used to call ‘power balls’. Claire buys one every time they pass one of those small toy machines outside shops, where “Little ones are 20p, bigger ones 50p.” She reckons to have spent hundreds of pounds on bouncy balls… and probably the same amount replacing broken crockery.
Keyrings are a common collectable. Every tourist attraction sells them in the gift shop, alongside erasers, pencils and badges. But Kidadlr Jo’s son has unlocked a particularly special collection. “My son collected keyrings as part of his collector’s badge for cubs, but as it was during lockdown it was quite a challenge. I have a breast cancer support group and the lovely ladies from all over the UK posted him keyrings! He got over 150 of them and lots of little notes of support and stories about the keyrings. It was amazing!” Somebody should send him a giant keyring to keep them all on.
The Natural World
Collecting bits of nature seems to be almost a default setting in small children. For my daughter it was snail shells, but for Denitsa it’s sticks and stones: “The bigger, the more likely to be brought home”. Julia, meanwhile, has noticed a bit of scope creep: “It used to be small pebbles, which was cute. But the other day he came home with half a breeze block in his bag!!!” Kidadlr Wietz also has a budding geologist for a child: “Rocks… we have hundreds and from all over the world. He arranges them in size, and has storage boxes for it. It started when he was about 3 (he is 8 now) and he can tell you where each rock in his collection is from. No joke.” Finally, spare a thought for poor Liz, whose child apparently collects “Earthworms”. If you cut the collection in two, do the separate halves live on?
A Phantom Collection
Kidadlr Sophie’s daughter has a prized collection of bottle tops. Or so she believes... “For years, my daughter has been picking up beer bottle tops on the pavement. She thinks I’m collecting them for her but I always throw them straight in the bin. Every now and then she asks to see her collection and I have to distract her!” Well that’s one strategy for keeping things manageable.
What Else Is In Your Cupboards?
The list of collectables is surprisingly diverse. Here are just a few of the other objects that Kidadlr kids covet.
Sue: “My daughter has collected snow globes since she was little. I still get them for her when I travel and also when I see special ones. She's 25 now.”
Claire (of bouncy ball fame): “And Ty beanies... but I like them myself so not too fussed about them lol.”
Lucia: “Gem stones from gift shops.”
Wendy: “I've always thought collecting decorations for the Xmas tree is a good idea, if only I could get round to doing it.”
Does your child have an unusual collection? Let us know over on the Kidadl Facebook Group.
You Brought WHAT Home? The natural wonders that kids collect.
Best Pokemon Gifts For Kids (gotta catch them all)
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