Collecting things can be a joyful experience or an educational hobby, a serious endeavour or a playful way to spend some free time. There is always a certain thrill when you add something new to your collection and a great deal of pride when you display it to others.
There is a large variety of things that can be collected. They can be stuffed teddy bears, action figures, dolls, toy cars, colourful mugs, comic books, cards, DVDs, etc. Other things that can be collected are stamps, coins, seashells or sports memorabilia, while younger children can collect buttons, stickers, erasers, pencils, bottle caps, etc.
Collecting stamps and displaying them in a special album can be a very informative and educational hobby. One can learn a lot about significant places, historical events, wildlife, sports activities, culture, traditions and famous people of a country by looking at its stamps.
Nowadays, there is a decline in the use of postage stamps, as people prefer to send emails and text messages in place of traditional letters. This has made stamp collecting a bit difficult. However, if you are up to the challenge, ask your friends, relatives and family members to save the stamps from their mail for you. To remove the stamp from the envelope, soak it in water for a few minutes and gently peel it off. Let it dry completely before handling it so that it does not tear.
Once you have a small collection, buy stamp albums that are specifically designed to hold stamps and have a protective material to save them from wear and tear. Organise your collection alphabetically, subject-wise or country wise.
Buy a magnifying glass so that you can look at the minute details and intricate designs and have hours of fun soaking up the knowledge and the beautiful artwork contained within your collection.
Toys are fun
Having a large collection of stuffed toys, dolls, toy automobiles and action figures can be a very joyful experience and make you very popular among your cousins and friends if you share your toys with them.
To start a collection, think about what you would like to collect and retain over a long period of time. Chances are you already have a small collection of your favourite stuff. You can slowly build your collection from there. You can ask your parents to buy your favourite items for you when you get good grades. You can also save your eidi for this purpose.
You can tell your friends or relatives that you prefer certain toys as gifts for your birthday so that it helps with your collection. It will make choosing gifts easier for them too.
Once you have a nice collection, the next two important steps are to preserve them so that they do not get dirty, spoiled or broken, and displaying them in an attractive manner. Ask your mother to devote a shelf just for your collection. To keep them in good condition, always put away your toys after playing with them and don’t handle them while eating or drinking. And make sure to dust them frequently.
Seashells from sea shores
This hobby is easier for those who live near the beach or get a chance to visit the seaside often. Shells are more likely to wash up on the shore after a storm. Use a stick to dig around the sand and unearth seashells and be careful while handling it. It is best to wear gloves and carry a box for your findings.
Seashells found on the beach have to be cleaned thoroughly before they can be stored, otherwise they can give off a bad smell. Avid collectors usually boil the seashell with household bleach and water, dry them thoroughly and then rub some oil on them to bring out their natural colour and shine.
Your seashells collection can be displayed in glass jars, vases and baskets or glued around mirrors, lamp shades and tissue paper boxes.
Cook them up
For those children who love to cook and are aspiring to become great chefs of tomorrow, it is never too early to start collecting recipes and cookbooks. You can collect easy recipes from friends, television, magazines and the internet. You can write these recipes in your best handwriting and keep them in folders or print them. Try out each recipe and grade them according to the level of difficulty or taste. You can also organise your recipes according to the type of dish, such as desserts, snacks, salad, etc.
Collecting quotations of famous people is also a very educational hobby that enhances our knowledge, creative writing and critical thinking. There have been many great poets, scholars, scientists, leaders, celebrities and famous personalities who have expressed their thoughts, ambitions and dreams in words.
Quotes by great and bright minds in history inspire us to change, to grow and to become better human beings. We learn from their mistakes, gain inspiration from their ideas and self-belief and learn to dream big and reach for the stars.
Quotations by great people contain the essence of their wisdom and lifelong experiences in short sentences that can be motivational and inspirational or just funny and entertaining. Quotes can be written in diaries or colourful printouts and can be pasted in journals.
Not all leaves are green
One of the best ways to learn about Nature is to start a leaf collection. It is an inexpensive hobby that can be carried out all the year round. You can collect leaves from gardens, parks, your own backyard or neighbourhood area. Leaves can be dried and flattened between sheets of newspapers so that all moisture disappears before being placed in journals. They can also be pasted on chart papers and covered with clear plastic sheets.
Young botanists can learn how leaves are similar in their characteristics but also different in small ways. By labelling the leaves and writing down few facts about each plant species, children interested in botany can get a head start in their choice of career in later life. Similar things that can be collected simultaneously are flowers and rocks species.
A t-shirt or bat personally signed by Shahid Afridi or a ball with Waseem Akram’s signature on it can be priceless items for children who are sports fanatics and idolise sports personalities.
Collecting sports memorabilia can be an exciting hobby but requires a lot of planning, money and taking advantage of opportunities that come your way. You can get autographs of famous personalities by attending matches in stadiums and approaching players for their autographs. Many television channels and some companies also give away items signed by sports heroes when you purchase their goods.
Coins in a bank
Coins of a country can teach us many things about its history, politics, and society. Coin collecting can be fun and educational and ot increases your wealth at the same time. For a good collection, you might have to swap coins with friends or family members or ask relatives from abroad to give you loose change or even get some money changed from a bank. You can keep a journal with pencil shading of both sides of the coin and a few facts to enhance your knowledge about a country’s currency.
You can keep your coin collection in coin-holder books, glass jars, plastic pouches or even a decorated shoe box with a good lid. Just remember to keep it somewhere safe and dry.
Whatever your interest is, remember that having a good collection of your favourite items is all about having fun and having a good hobby to keep you busy and entertained. It should not be a cause of worry or financial burden for your parents. In case of buying, swapping or trading things with friends, always seek your parents’ permission first. Be creative and have fun!
Did you know?
• The collection and study of seashells in called conchology.
• Philately is the collection and study of postage stamps.
• The collection and study of money and coins is called numismatics.
• The hobby of collecting teddy bears is called arctophily.
• Lepidopterology is the hobby of collecting butterflies and moths.