According to antiques and collectible expert Terry Kovel, it's been shown that kids who collect do better in school. They learn to manage money, acquire organizational skills and learn more about history. When chatting with her about getting more kids involved, she had lots of thoughts and shared some pearls of wisdom.
Don't Expect Them to Love What You Collect
Just try to convince a youngster to collect a particular item and the battle is lost. They will have to discover their own passion, think gentle guidance! Kovel suggests trying to steer the youngster away from the fads and the "flash in the pan" type of collectible. Many times a fun collection can revolve around something like an old TV show or cartoon character, think the Brady Bunch, Dukes of Hazard, Mickey Mouse, perhaps Superman or Spiderman. Lots of items that are tied to these characters can be found, such as games, toys, figures, lunch boxes, etc.
Take Them to Shows and Stores
Have rules. They can't enjoy the show if they are too small to see the top of the table, for example being pushed around in a stroller. But when they are big enough -- Kovel said "we had a rule, when they went into a store they had to clasp their hands behind their backs. They also had to ask if they wanted to see anything. You just can't let a kid loose in a show. Kids are good about stuff, they recognize the toys you might not, such as McDonald toys." And many times if a youngster is interested in something, the dealer will give a better price!
No Mint in Box
Terry reminded us that mint in the box is no fun! Let them open it up and look at the toy. Don't buy for investment, buy for fun!
Clubs and Associations
Kovel mentioned that several associations work at attracting the younger members of the family. She mentioned that bottle digging is many times a family activity and bottles shows are always full of kids attending. Many dealers have free bottles they set aside for the kids. The Red Wing Collectors have also catered to them with a special auction and seminars.
Teach Them About Your Collection
They don't need to love your pieces to appreciate them. Kovel stressed that as a collector you have to make sure that your kids know enough about your stuff if they are to make decisions later on. e.g. "These dumb bottles on the wall are very valuable."
Start with your kids when they are young and you'll have a family affair that can last a lifetime! You'll always have a passion in common, even when you don't collect the same thing.