Whether it’s baseball cards, rocks, souvenir spoons or dolls, people collect all sorts of things. In fact, collecting is one of the most popular hobbies in the world. There’s virtually no limit to the kinds of things you can collect.

Why do people collect things? There are probably as many reasons for collecting things as there are things to collect. It can be a very interesting and important hobby in many ways.

For example, collections can tell stories. Just talk to any collector. There’s a story behind just about every item in a collection.

It might be the collector’s story — how the collector found the object, how much it cost or what it means to the collector. If it’s an old object, there may be interesting stories about previous owners or what life was like years ago.

Collecting can also teach you many things. Very old objects can teach you about history and important people and events of the past.

Newer objects can teach you about current events and modern technology. Even rocks and leaves can teach you about nature and science.

So what kinds of things can kids collect? Just about anything you can think of!

What interests you? What do you like to do? Most people collect things because it extends an interest they already have.

For example, do you like sports? If so, you could collect baseball cards, autographs or other memorabilia. If you like the great outdoors, you could collect rocks, shells or fossils.

If you’re a big music fan, you could collect old records, instruments or posters of your favorite musicians. If your family travels a lot, you could collect postcards, maps, souvenir spoons, license plates or even snow globes from the places you visit.

Of course, before you decide to start collecting something, you should give it a little thought. Will you be able to find items for your collection close to home?

Are the items you would like to collect expensive or free? Where will you store or display your collection?

Some objects are very expensive to collect. Fine art, jewelry, sports cars, antique furniture and rare books may be things you want to consider collecting when you have enough money to pay for them!

Expensive items are often better collected over a long period of time to reduce the cost associated with collecting them. Of course, even though these items may be expensive to collect, they can also be very valuable one day.

The late actress Elizabeth Taylor’s extensive jewelry collection will be sold at auction soon, and experts believe it may be worth as much as $30 million!

Not all collections are worth a lot of money, though. For example, a personal rock collection you organize from rocks you find in the woods during hikes may not be worth much money. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have value.

Almost all collections will have significant sentimental value to their collectors. Sentimental value is the personal value a collector places on his or her collection, based on the memories associated with the objects.

There are many free or inexpensive things you can collect that one day may have significant sentimental value to you. Some of these things could include old family letters, used stamps, shells, photographs, buttons, marbles, postcards, pins, bottles and coins.


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    • You’re so very welcome, Amya! We’re really excited to hear that you learned some new things about collecting from today’s Wonder of the Day®! Thank you for letting us know! :-)

  1. That video was awesome. I have some collections that are: my little ponies, cars two and cars. Thanks for another great wonder! :)

    • Those are WONDERful things to collect, cherigurl555! Thanks so much for visiting Wonderopolis today and for leaving us this comment! :-)

    • We know LOTS of Wonder Friends who collect cards of all types, David! Thank you for sharing what you collect with us today! :-)

    • That’s really cool, Jonathan! Thanks for telling us about your collection! We bet your classmate, David, would like to know more about your Pokemon cards…he collects them, too! :-)

  2. Wow, Wonderopolis. I think that all collections are valuable. Some day, when they stop making the product, it will be really valuable and you can sell it for lots of money, or you can also keep it if it has sentimental value to you. Thanks for making me wonder, Wonderopolis.

    • We’re glad you WONDER, Carlos! We’re also glad you visited Wonderopolis today and shared your opinion on collections being valuable…thank you! :-)

  3. I love collecting wrist bands! I collected many of them as I would love to wear! It’s a great idea to collect memories of family. I will soon try to implement it.


    • Thanks for sharing your personal connection to this Wonder of the Day® about collections, Amoolya! Have a WONDERful day! :-)

  4. Hey,I have a great collection!
    Yu-Gi-Oh and pokemon cards!
    Of the last count, I had 508 pokemon cards!
    Also, you should do a wonder about if girls can watch boy shows like yu-gi-oh and pokemon. I am a girl and I watch them!
    5th grader, YuGiOhNinja!!!!

    • WOW! That’s quite a collection of Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon cards, YuGiOhNinja! We bet it’s AWESOME to see all the different ones you have! Thanks for sharing your personal connection to this Wonder of the Day® and also for suggesting an idea for a future Wonder! We appreciate your opinion! :-)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • Are all collections valuable?
  • How much is sentimental value worth?
  • What kinds of things can kids collect?

Wonder Gallery

vintage stamp_shutterstock_18855127Vimeo Video

Try It Out

Check out the Smithsonian Kids Collecting interactive tour for a glimpse inside the Smithsonian’s amazing collections of rocks and minerals, stamps and coins. You can also watch videos about real collections of unique items, such as turtles, miniature houses, lunch boxes and snow globes.

Ready to start your own collection? Some of the cheapest — and most valuable — things you can collect are precious family memories. Being able to look back one day and recapture moments from your childhood can be a treasure that is truly priceless.

How can you collect family memories? It’s easy! Use your family’s camera to take photographs.

Whether it’s a special trip to the beach, a leisurely hike in the woods, a picnic or just hanging out in the backyard, begin to document the special times you spend together as a family.

If you can’t take photographs very often, remember these same events by writing about them in a journal or diary. These “mental snapshots” can be just as powerful as photographs if you write from your heart about what these special times mean to you.

Care to share your collection with us? We’d love to read about and see some pictures of your special collections. Email us stories or pictures, and tell us what the items in your collection mean to you! You can also share with us on Facebook and Twitter!


Still Wondering

Use Illuminations’ How Many Ways? lesson to teach children how to estimate the value of collections of pennies, nickels and dimes.


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Tomorrow in Wonderopolis you’ll find out why it’s sometimes a good thing to be grounded!

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