Introducing Kids to Coin Collecting

Whether it’s your kids, grand kids, nieces/nephews, cousins, or the neighbors kids; it is the duty of seasoned collectors to teach and encourage the next generation about coins. Here are some fun ways you can introduce kids to the hobby that isn’t too daunting or confusing for a youngster that is just getting started!  


71+utDU1NeL._SL1200_Get a State Quarter Book
Start kids on a collection that is accessible to them! The state quarters collection is a great place to start since they are likely to find those quarters in their change. This is an amazing way for kids to feel the sense of accomplishment that comes along with collecting as well as teaches them to always be on the lookout for interesting coins. State quarter books or maps are cheap and can be found just about anywhere; Amazon, Littleton, Barnes & Noble, and even Walmart.


gamePlay Games on the U.S. Mint Website
You may not know this, but the U.S. Mint has a website made just for kids: H.I.P. Pocket Change. Play one of their seven games; you can design your own coin, learn about the presidents, and more! The Website also has plenty of other resources such as a coin glossary, videos on how coins are made, and printable coloring sheets. This website provides a fun and engaging way for you to introduce a child to your favorite hobby.


Philly-Mint-2017-e1520521720748-1024x575Take a Trip to the U.S. Mint
If you live near Philadelphia or Denver or if you’re going on a road trip, stop by the Mint! At the Denver Mint, children 7 and up can attend and will get to experience a free guided tour. Expect to learn about the history of the mint and the process of minting the coins. The Philadelphia Mint offers a free self-guided tour that takes approximately 45 minutes. Tour highlights include meeting Peter the Mint Eagle, seeing the first coining press, and viewing the coining operations from 40 feet above the factory floor. A visit to the Mint is sure to be an exciting experience for you and a kid. The trip would be sure to spark curiosity for the hobby.


68332Download the Lookzee App
Lookzee is an app we have developed that is specifically for coin collectors. The app allows for profile creation and digitally storing of your collection. There is also an active forum of over 1,000 users you can connect with! The app aides collectors in taking professional style images of their coins and can grade wheat cents through computer vision software. And we are working every day to add more coins to the database. If you’re not very technologically savvy this is the perfect opportunity for your kid to teach you a thing or two about mobile applications. Download for Android or iOS!


71Mnmf-mzYL._SL1200_Get a Penny Portrait Kit
A Penny Portrait kit is a fun way for kids and grown-ups alike to create a fantastic work of art and maybe learn a thing or two about pennies in the process. Each kit includes a poster of Abe Lincoln made from images of actual pennies. With a little dedication, some glue, and 846 of your own pennies, you can have a truly unique work of art that you will enjoy for years to come. The process of collecting 846 pennies to make the portrait will sure to have the kid asking questions about coins.



800_1q8t8wwpnk3drm8xsdjcInvite Them to A Coin Club Meeting
Do you attend a local coin club? If so, a youngster in your life would likely love to attend a club meeting with you. Check with other club members to make sure the meeting will be an appropriate one to bring along a child and encourage other members to bring someone too. This will provide a place for kids to meet other kids that have the same interests. If you don’t currently attend a coin club check out local coin clubs here!


US0025-Washington-Quarter-1932D-580810923df78cbc28c33c64.jpgSend in Their Report Card to ‘Coins for A’s’
Coins for A’s is a program offered by the American Numismatic Association. If the child earns three or more A’s on their report cards they will receive a free coin and initial 1 year electronic membership to the American Numismatic Association. This is a great way to encourage good grades and spark interest in collecting, because what kid doesn’t love free stuff and getting mail!


1280px-Logo_of_YouTube_(2015-2017).svgWatch YouTube
Most kids already spend hours watching YouTube so why not watch it with them? Check out channels such as Quin’s Coins, Couch Collectibles, or our very own founder: Tim Rathjen. YouTube is a fantastic platform to learn from other collectors and get insights from pros. Plus there is hours of free content at your fingertips.


Share Your Passion!
Perhaps the best and most important way to introduce kids to the hobby is to share your passion. They will like seeing you excited and will be innately curious. Remember to start slow and small because after years of collecting what might seem obvious to you, likely won’t be to them. Teach them things like how to properly handle coins, what coins to look for in their change, and the basic vocabulary. Pay attention to what interests them and foster that interest, be it a coin set, type, verity, etc. And remember to let them look at your coins, it may make you a little anxious to let someone so young and inexperience handle your coins but it is important to bring them into all parts of the hobby and let them know that you trust them too. Creating a relationship with a child and your time together spent with the coins is what will make them cherish coin collecting for years to come.  


These are just a couple ideas to get started! What are some ways you have enjoyed the hobby with the children in your life?

How to Get Kids Excited about Coin Collecting


One of the constant subjects of debate in the numismatic community is how to inspire the next generation of coin collectors. How do we spark an interest in kids? The best way to get a child interested in coin collecting is simply to help them get started and show them how rewarding coin collecting can be.



coin-1080535_960_720The first question, of course, is what kind of coins the child should collect. It’s best to start with coins that are easy to acquire, to avoid frustration or impatience. The child’s own interests should be a major consideration as well; no one wants to spend time and effort collecting coins that bore them. Some children may be interested in collecting coins from their birth year, while others may want to focus on a specific historic period. One of the best starter collections is the State Quarter series. They are easy to acquire, and have beautiful designs that even a very young child can appreciate. Other children may enjoy collecting Lincoln cents or Jefferson nickels. The challenge of filling a coin book or folder can add an aspect of play to collecting as well.



piggy-bank-1446874_960_720.jpgThe next consideration is what budget the child may have for collecting. Older children may have paper routes or babysitting jobs, and be able to make their own small purchases; others may be dependent on gifts. Either way, it’s usually best to get the budding numismatist started on coins that are cheaper to obtain. If they are reliant on gifts for their collection, let friends and family members know which coins would be welcomed. For some children, a handful of older coins that they have not seen before may be just the thing to spark an interest in coin collecting.





Taking the interested child to coin shows and exhibits may also help spark an interest in collecting. Help them research the stories behind specific coins, or the people depicted on them. If he or she is interested in art, help them learn about Victor David Brenner, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and other legendary sculptors who created designs for coins. If the child is interested in a particular historical figure, even a fictional one, work together to find out what kind of coins this person would have held. (We have an ongoing series on the blog that does just that!)





Some children may have existing collections that can dovetail with a coin collection. If she is a fan of animals, introduce her to coins with animal designs (Irish coins have some particularly lovely animals.) If he enjoys sports, show him the wide variety of Olympic coins that have been minted by various countries.



Check your local area for upcoming coin shows or clubs. The social aspect of collecting is one of the most rewarding, and most collectors are happy to help young ones get started. Many shows have event and presentations specifically for younger hobbyists.
baby-921807_960_720Finally, make sure the young collector has access to the resources that can help them become knowledgeable about their hobby. Most libraries either have, or can get, books about coins, as well as history books about whatever period the child is interested in. If they are old enough, consider getting them a subscription to a coin collecting magazine. Help them learn the basic terminology of coin collecting, how to identify where the coin was minted, and other basic skills. If there is a mint within reasonable travel distance, arrange a visit and tour.



Coin collecting has been one of the most popular hobbies around the world for centuries, and shows no sign of declining any time soon. With a little help and encouragement, the next generation of numismatists are ready to enter the world of collecting.

Model Cars

A child hurriedly runs downstairs early on Christmas morning to tear open a box shrouded in mystery all tucked under a giant red bow.  Eyes bright with consuming fascination, he pulls out a shiny red tin firetruck.

It seems like just about everyone in the past seventy years has played with a model automobile.  My grandfather owned one when he was a child and I can vividly remember the days when Ken would pick Barbie up in his hot pink Jaguar V8.  There’s nothing new about the model car industry as this constantly evolving fascination with automobiles propagates the model car as a valuable collectible item today.

Model cars and toy cars have been in production just about as long as real automobiles and today are a 1.25+ billion dollar industry. Though thousands of mini-automobiles have been made, the biggest difference between toy cars and genuine model cars is seen in their fine attention to detail.  Model cars are meticulously scaled and designed, whereas purely toy cars lack accuracy in size and detailing.

Stamp & Coin Advertisement

Stamp & Coin Vintage Advertisement

In the 1920’s it was believed that small cars helped the sale of their large counterparts. Dealers would sell models right alongside the real ones, hoping that children would form an attachment to a brand and
therefore encourage adults to purchase the full-size version.  By the 70’s collectible automobiles were as much geared towards adults as children.

From the run-of-the-mill to the exotic, model cars have been made from wood, tin, resin, cast iron, steel and plastic.  Originally much larger than today’s models, tin cars were primarily manufactured in Germany in the early 1900’s.  Some were simple push cars, while others contained winding gears.  In the 1920s the French car company Citroen built notably large models at 1/8th and 1/11th the actual size.  Today, they are typically 1:64.

While cast iron model cars were trendy before World War I, Buddy L Toys popularized the pressed steel model, which allowed for pieces to move independently as these models grew more true to life.  With the market’s increasing popularity, companies such as Matchbox Lesney and Hot Wheels jumped in the model car game, blowing away all competition and broadening the collectible’s accessibility with much smaller, more affordable die-cast models.  Hot Wheels began to produce limited-edition cars which were updated annually representing the manufacturing schedule of actual cars. To date, the die-cast car is the most popular type of die-cast toy ever produced.

It’s safe to say toy cars are still a relevant, booming industry with companies like Hot Wheels continually producing new designs, movies and even mobile games.  However, the model car industry has changed as the baby-boomers and pre-boomers begin to downsize and purchase less. We can only hope that the avid collectors will continue to recognize and share the beauty that is a classic, model car.

Check out some of our own car memorabilia at S&C Etc:

Do you own a collectible model car?  Share your story with us on our social media!
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