I’m convinced that collecting is in the blood. Just as infants are intuitively drawn to explore novel and familiar objects with their hands and mouth, you may have noticed how babies and children playing with the treasures in a Treasure Basket frequently appear to sort the items into different piles – the significance of which sadly we will never know. I also firmly believe that in the right hands (and mind) anything and everything can form a collection and provide satisfaction and meaning in the way it is arranged. Like the shiny drawing pins which I’m guessing were hastily removed from my son’s door judging by the paper signs strewn all over his floor.  I ventured to ask if he knew where the pins were as walking barefoot was in danger of becoming hazardous and he replied with evident satisfaction “They’re here guarding my shark’s teeth!” True to his words his lining up schema had metamorphosed the humble drawing pin into protection for his precious shark’s teeth. His arrangement of special pebbles and finds, which may look like clutter to the untrained eye, to this 6 year old is tantamount to a shrine! I marvelled at the ingenuity and wonderful fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination needed for the feat of balancing the pins without piercing fingers and wondered whether this is how the idea of barbed wire came to be?

On walks to the river through the industrial estate passersby will see another favourite form of collecting in motion. With eyes peeled on the dusty ground for scrap metal, the intrepid metal detectives transport their hoard of finds on bike and scooter, making for some unusual sights and sounds. Back at home their greasy finds are cleaned ready for use, display or simply left forgotten in the graveyard of useless things found in the utility room.

And now it seems our puppy too has the collecting bug. With walks incomplete without another stick or bone to add to the collection accumulating in the front garden. Yesterday’s log was so huge he looked ridiculous!  So important is this urge that even though evidently keen on a walk and all that that entails, on finding the right stick he has taken to stopping resolutely until allowed to return home, be it 5 metres or 50 meters away!

Now I don’t normally mix blogging with mentioning our resources, but with collecting at the forefront of my mind – we’ve just developed two great new collections, and the comments of Teach Nursery ringing in my ears “Wow I love them. How do you go about deciding what to put in the collections? They’re brilliant”, I thought I’d make an exception. There’s definitely something very appealing and satisfying about developing collections of sensory-rich resources. Maybe it’s the opportunity to look at everyday stuff with child-like eyes and appreciate its awe and wonder or perhaps sheer escapism. What’s clear is that my children also share this passion so the looming summer holidays are destined to bring lots more collecting opportunities with or without sun.

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