What to Collect?
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for pre-teens

Part of the fun of collecting stamps is that you can decide what to save!! You might need some help from an adult, but just remember, there are no special rules you have to follow. Of course, we know you will follow any rules of your parents or guardians. Like cleaning up any mess you make, or making sure your stamps are kept in a safe place, rather than on the garage floor! And, of course, school work is more important!

To help you decide, here are some ideas for the kind of collection you might start. Actually, you can start several different kinds, if you want - as we said, it is all up to you.


To start with, you might want to just get all the stamps you can. There might be some stamps in the house. Aunts, uncles and grandparents can help. Any relatives in other countries? If you are old enough to go to a stamp club with an adult, you might be able to get some stamps there. There are also stores that buy and sell stamps - but be sure to have an adult with you when you visit them because it works better that way.

What other place sells stamps? The Post Office, of course! Next time someone is going to the Post Office, go along and ask if they have any information about stamp collecting. You might even want to buy a few of the pretty stamps they sell to keep in your collection.


Let's say you live in Kansas and you want to collect only used stamps of the United States. Or, you live in Manitoba and want to collect only Canadian stamps. Or, you live on Scorpio-4 and you want to collect stamps of the Klingon Empire. Oops, maybe a bad example?

Click on this stamp.

This stamp is from New Zealand, a country where the seasons are opposite to the seasons in Canada and the United States. When we are having fun with snowballs, they are surfing.


Some people like to collect stamps that have pictures that all pertain to the same subject. A collection of this kind is sometimes called a "topical collection" - birds are a "topic" - get it?

These can be a lot of fun, and can also be done without costing much.

Take birds, for example. There are thousands of different stamps showing birds. Space craft are not so common, but there are still many stamps showing those. Sports is another topic shown on the stamps of all countries.

When you want to get fancy, maybe you would like to collect stamps of just one sport, like soccer. Or, maybe just stamps of the Olympic Games.


Stamps often are marked, or "cancelled", by the post office to show that the stamp has been used, and to prevent people from using them again. Most often, post offices used a kind of hammer wet with ink to hit the stamp, leaving a circle that had the name of the town or city and the date on which the stamp was cancelled.

Have a look at the stamps you have. Some of the cancels might have the name of the town or city they came from. Some will have the date. Can you find one with your birth date on it?


Why don't you make up your own mind about what to collect! You will be surprised when you are older to find that other stamp collectors sometimes save really interesting stuff! Maybe your stamp collection will be even more awesome?

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