My five year old daughter, Julie, has been "collecting" stamps for a few months now. I gave her a few spare cover albums I had collecting dust, and she went through a box of covers I had set aside to one day put on E-bay, pulling all the ones that interested her and placing them in her albums. It was fun to watch her trying to build a collection like daddy's. She has been asking me when I could take her to a stamp show.
This weekend was the time. There was finally a show in Sacramento, the Easter Seals benefit show, that was perfect for her. There were 8-10 dealers selling stamps, but the main attraction were the tables and tables of 2 cent stamps laid out throughout the room. These had thousands and thousands of used stamps. There were pint sized containers that you could use to put the stamps in, and she filled one to the brim! She went for flowers, horses, dogs, and birds. Not just one of each, but as many as she could find!
Originally, I had thought we would be there about an hour. We got there just after the show opened at 10, and I thought we would leave around 11:15 or so, get lunch, and go home. Well, that plan wasn't going to work. She spent over 3 hours at the tables, then wanted to grab a quick lunch at the show, and go right back to looking at stamps. We didn't leave until after 2:30, close to 4 and a half hours after we got there. The last time I went to this show alone (probably 10 years ago) it took me about a half hour, since I ignored the 2 cent tables and merely shopped the dealer tables for Israel stamps, finding almost nothing, and I never bothered to go back. Now, however, it looks like we will go back every year.
Not only did Julie find about 600 stamps for her collection, we also shopped at the table of donated supplies. We bought her a bunch of stockbooks and glassines, as well as another cover album. I even managed to pick up a pair of nice sheet albums for a dollar a piece. I think we spent a total of $35, including the $12 we spent on lunch at the show, but it was worth every penny. Julie called it a perfect day, and now we are spending some time together putting the stamps in her stockbooks. If I could only get her to understand that she doesn't need 50 of the same stamp in her album...