The kids and I spent last Friday morning at Royal 2010 which is a stamp exhibition. There were over 40 different booths set up, and a special youth program booth as well. We spent most of our time at the education book with two wonderful program leaders. They explained stamp collecting to us, how to handle stamps, and even a bit of stamp history. The children were each given a reusable bag full of supplies.
I will go over what they received a little later in this post.
They also gave each child a $10 coupon to use at any of the stamp dealers in the main show hall.
Each child was asked what they thought they might like to collect, topical stamps or stamps from a particular country.
Once they chose something, they were shown how to put used stamps in a small container of warm water to loosen the stamp from the paper, then how to dry the stamp, how to handle it with tongs and why that was important, and finally how to safely stick it with a special mount in a stamp album.
There were many boxes of "used" stamps that they could choose from and take home.
My children enjoyed this so much. Adrienne has been collecting stamps for a few years, picking up stamps that she liked at the post office. We have also been saving stamps from letters we have received over the years.
Celeste and Andre were both new at this, and were very interested. I was surprised how much Celeste enjoyed it! The lady that showed us everything told me that Celeste was at the perfect age (6) to get started and that this could become a life long interest.
Celeste set up everything from her bag to show you what they received at the show:
tongs to handle the stamps (not show)
a few special stamp album pages
"the world of stamps" book
world stamps collecting book
my first stamp collecting album
Celeste used her coupon to buy two Hello Kitty stamp sheets and a beautiful butterfly stamp. She also received more flower stamps from the education booth and a day of issue envelope for a Canadian flower stamp series.
Adrienne added to her collection at the show. She decided to start collecting stamps with old ships on them. She also was given a day of issue envelope that went with her theme of ships.
Andre really liked these animal stamps that the educator showed us and was so surprised when she told him he could keep them! What a great start for his collection.
He found shark stamps and dinosaurs stamps in the vendor hall that he liked and used his coupon to buy them. The kids were so pleased to have these coupons. The education session was great and they had already received a bunch of stamps already, but to be able to go out into the vendor hall and choose something themselves was very special!
This weekend, Celeste and Adrienne have been busy getting stamps wet to seperate them from the paper:
Stamp collecting can be a fun hobby for kids, and very inexpensive. I think as homeschoolers it can have an educational part to it too, learning about geography, different cultures, currency, history, etc..
I found a lot of useful information that reviewed what the kids were taught at the exhibition here.