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1 minute reading time (295 words)

Your Child’s Collectibles Can Support Academic Skills

Does your child like to collect things? If so, turn those seashells, rocks, action figures, comic books, toy dinosaurs, into useful objects that promote math and Language Arts skills.

Here are three ways to involve math with collectibles:

  • Start by counting the objects different ways. He can count his collection by ones or skip-count by putting the objects into sets of two, five, or 10. Also, have him practice counting backwards, to zero, from the total number.
  • Help your child classify her collection. For example, if she collects seashells, have her sort them by size, color, shape, or markings.
  • When he wants to add to his collection, create a list of jobs he can do to earn and budget the money for new items.

To build Language Arts skills, try the following:

  • Have your child choose an object from his collection and tell or write a short fiction story about it. For example, tell how one of his action figures got “lost” from the others. Together, brainstorm ideas to get started. Or, he could write a short nonfiction story, telling details about the action figure and how he received it.
  • Increase her understanding of describing words by helping her list at least five (or more) different adjectives about an item in her collection. If she likes to collect stuffed animals, for example, some examples of words might be big, small, furry, soft, old, new, faded, cuddly, colorful, etc.
  • Take two or three of his small toy dinosaurs to the library and help him find nonfiction books that match. Help him read why his favorite Stegosaurus has plates on his back and spikes on his tail.


Collections are a wonderful activity for children.  They can also be a great tool for organizing and reinforcing academic skills.

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