My Little Curator

“Collect things you love, that are authentic to you, and your house becomes your story.” -Erin Flett

IMG_5553Big Brother is obsessed with making collections. These collections are carefully selected items that have won the esteemed titles of being his favorite toys.  But sometimes they are just random objects from around the house and not at all toys.  He will spend hours arranging and rearranging the order and display of these collections. He will group them by size and color and place them just so.  Now it goes without saying that after the amount of time he has devoted to the care for these items it is imperative that Little One DO NOT TOUCH IT. In fact, one of the main reasons these prized items have entered into his collections is so that he can protect them from Little One because, “he is really good at hiding things and I just need to know where these things are”. It all started with these collections forming at the foot of his bed every night before going to sleep.  His collections are branching out to his desk, shelves and other tables. Recently, Big Brother has started curating collections in Little One’s room, too. I’ve been surprised to see that some of Big Brother’s more valued pieces from his own collection have been placed in Little One’s collections. Truth be told, Little One has no idea what a collection is and does not understand what the random pile of objects on his table are all about. But I can tell that Big Brother is very proud of all his curated collections and really wants Little One to take an interest in and value it the same way.


There’s so much going on with this new hobby. Big Brother is refining his organizational skills, figuring out ways to categorize, sort, and count these treasures. Be sure that he knows the exact numbers of each item and how he placed them the night before!

Ann McGreevy, an educator in the New England area, wrote the article, Treasures of Children*, about did her study of children’s collections and the impact they have on nurturing a child’s interests and talents. She writes:

“Encouraging collections and collecting with children is a valuable way to nurture potential talents and interests both at home and at school. One has visions of the budding young naturalist searching for butterflies or the amateur anthropologist digging for old bottles in a junkyard.  We learn a good deal about children’s minds by carefully observing what appeals to them and what holds their attention.”

Her study found that collections, especially those made of things found in the natural world vs man made, store bought items can be important because it encourages children to learn to “develop their senses, powers of observation and imagination. They also learn to unwind and relax.”

I love how he represented his two favorite colors by placing crayons in this collection.
I love how he represented his two favorite colors by placing crayons in this collection.

In addition to the treasures and trinkets in his collection lately, when we’re not buried under many feet of snow, Big Brother is often a rock and stick collector.  I am really excited about this new passion of his and try to ask lots of questions to get him talking about it. I would love to find some books, possibly story books, about collections and things that people collect. It’s on my library list, but if you happen to know of a book that we would enjoy…please share! Do your kids collect? Do they find joy in organizing, sorting and the counting of treasures? I’d love to hear about it!

IMG_5874*Treasures of Children by Ann McGreevy can be found in the journal Early Child Development and Care, Vol. 63, pp. 33-36

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