Stamp collecting for children is a good educational hobby
One of the best hobbies for kids to develop is stamp collecting because it is exciting, educational and good fun too. Many philatelists and full-time stamp collectors began their hobbies at a young age, but the love of postage stamps always remains right through adulthood. There may be periods when one’s interest in philately wanes but it never ceases altogether. Once a stamp collector, always a stamp collector is the popular maxim. Stamp collecting is inexpensive and can help children to develop many skills so it should be encouraged whenever possible.
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Learning about different types of postage stamps
Stamps usually depict famous people like former presidents, popular musicians, world leaders and so forth but a young collector will be on the lookout for new, vibrantly colored and exciting subject matter on their collectibles. Stamps can be large or small and are usually square in shape. A great attraction for kids when they start collecting stamps is odd shaped stamps. Odd shapes include hexagonal, triangle, circular, diamond and even stamps that have holes drilled through their middle. The subject matter is the next consideration for a collector and there are many beautiful nature images of fruit, trees, birds and many other creatures as well as a plethora of fauna themed stamps. You will require a book or album as a means of storing your stamps.
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Collectible postage stamps
Popular among children philatelists are stamps and sets such as Disney cartoon character stamps and The Simpson’s postage stamps. For the older kids the comic book heroes are popular stamps to collect. The best time of the year to encourage a child to start collecting stamps is at Christmas time. This is because so many of the world’s postal services issue new festive stamps at that time and many homes receive dozens of cards and stamps, which are just waiting for an avid collector to gather them for an album. A stamp album is a great gift and you can buy a set of themed starter stamps for as little as $5 to get your offspring or nieces and nephews interested in this wonderful hobby. Starter sets are available from the USPS, Royal Mail, Canada Post and An Post who represent the postal service of the U.S., Great Britain, Canada and Ireland respectively. Most postal services actively encourage children to begin a stamp collecting hobby and they often provide great historical information concerning the country where you live.
Franked Postage Stamp
World cup celebration postage stamp 1998
Postage stamps that feature sport
For a young sport’s fan the opportunity to collect sport related stamps from around the world is limitless. Your entire stamp collection might just feature one particular sport; such is the quantity of stamps issued that are concerned with sport. It may be possible to sub divide your collection into specific categories such as Olympic or World Cup postage stamps. Other sporting categories worthy of collecting might be boxing, baseball, judo, cricket, football, basketball or rugby stamps. Stamp collecting can be combined with other more robust hobbies so whatever your interest you will find postage stamps that compliment your sport.
The image above shows a World Cup stamp issued by La Poste (French postal authority). It is clearly franked and is a rather unusual stamp due to its circular shape and good use of color. Another factor that makes this stamp a valuable historic addition to a stamp collection is the fact that France won the F.I.F.A. World Cup in 1998 (on home soil) when they defeated the mighty Brazil by 3 goals to nil.
Look out for new stamp issues that coincide with major sporting events like the Olympic Games. In an Olympic year stamps get issued depicting famous gold medal winning athletes. Scenic stamps, too, are issued showing the Olympic village and the surrounding cities of the host nation.
Items needed for children to begin collecting postage stamps
For very young kids the main requirement is a book to hold the stamps, with perhaps some encouragement from an adult. The items below are all optional as stamp collecting is still one of the cheapest hobbies to take up.
- Small tweezers
- Stamp Album
- Stamp Hinges
Very few items or tools are needed to start collecting. There is no need to buy an expensive stamp album either as a regular note book will do just as adequately. A scrapbook works really well too and kids can title each page as their stamp collection grows. Stamps have a magic of their own and collecting them is an ideal hobby for any child to take up and it is my belief that parents should encourage their children to develop a hobby or two.
Gift for Stamp Starter
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