Post Crossing and Stamp Collecting: Educational ways to Entertain the Family
With schools around the world already closed, or closing, it is a testing time for parents and children.
When the kids learn that “Schools out” does not mean they get to spend all their time with their friends, having sleep overs, or more likely, having their mates round and sitting in their bedrooms playing the latest game on the computer, they are not going to be so enthusiastic about not having to go to school!
The thought of spending all day in with mum and dad, or for mum and dad, the thought of having to entertain the kids all day, with no outside influence, is going to be challenging.
You cannot go to the local playground, you cannot participate in your usual activities, and you cannot go to visit relatives!
So just how are you going to entertain yourselves?
Stamps could be the answer!
Stamp collecting is an old person’s hobby, it’s what grandad did, how can you get the kids interested?
Whilst no one expects to convert the kids into budding philatelists during this world pandemic there is so much more to the world of stamp collecting than first meets the eye.
Did you know that stamp collecting is an excellent way of learning about different countries and their achievements, as well as teaching yourself about the kings and queens who have ruled over the people of the world.
Before stamps you would post a letter and the recipient would have to pay the postman who delivered the envelope. The U.K. was the first country in the world to issue stamps and in 1839 the Postage Act was passed and in 1840 the Penny Black, the stamp everyone has heard of, was issued. This was the first stamp that required the sender to pay, rather than the recipient.
If you are interested in the history take a look at Empire Philatelists Brief History of the Postage Stamp
Once you have completed the daily activity of climbing the walls, here are some ideas, packs, and fun games that the whole family can do together:
This is great fun and connects all of us around the world. Do you remember the old “pen friend”?
The goal of this project is to allow anyone to send and receive postcards from all over the world!
It is a simple idea, you send a postcard to a randomly selected Post Crosser and then you receive one back from a different, randomly selected, member from around the world. You then register this on the website with the Post Crosser ID. You can write a message on the card, tell them about life in your country or simply say “Hello”
Who doesn’t like to receive mail?
You will need
1) Postcards - Amazon sell packs of 50 for £8.
2) Postage to send the postcard. Search eBay for “Face Value Postage where you can get stamps cheaper than the Post Office.
Go to www.postcrossing.com and register for a free account and follow the instructions
Walk to a post box and pop your postcard, complete with message and stamp, in the post box.
Soon you will be receiving postcards, and messages, from around the World, all with stamps of interest for you to look up and study.
Benefits of this activity:
- Stimulate the mind by compiling a message to a stranger.
- Getting outside for a bit of exercise and fresh air.
- Striking up a friendship Worldwide.
- Learn about different areas of the world and their local stamps.
Stamp Collecting for Kids and Young Adults
Stamp Active is a voluntary organisation that promotes stamp collecting for young people of the UK.
It is free to join and if you send them a large stamped addressed envelope you will receive a starter pack for stamp collecting.
Decide which theme you want to collect, stamps with flowers, birds or animals, stamps with activities such as football or skiing. There are stamps with images of anything you can think of. You just need to find them.
Stamp Active also has some downloadable cards for you to complete. For ideas on themes to collect download your card here and look out for the stamps to complete your card.
You can purchase Kiloware to get your stamp interest off to a flying start.
Kiloware is a philatelic term for bags of stamps sold by weight, which include a mixture of reigns and eras, in mint and used condition, from countries of the British Commonwealth.
Buying 100 grams would give you approximately 1500 stamps for the whole family to sort and get involved in completing the theme cards or just sort in countries and research them.
Benefits of this activity:
- Something the whole family can do
- Educational: Learning about different countries, who their Kings and Queens were and which commemorative events they celebrated.
- A hobby that can be visited each day, much like completing a jig saw
There are also many Facebook groups for stamp collecting so join one of these and get help with your new interest.
For those not in the UK, who want to join your countries youth stamp collecting group, follow this link for similar organisations.