Hobbies and Collections of Kids in Israel

It has been my observation there is a difference in hobbies and collections of American kids compared to Israeli kids.  Here in Israel, collections are small items that don’t take up a lot of space.  Just as there is a cycle of seasons and holidays, there is what seems to me to be a cycle of collections throughout the year. This is a non-scientific observation and all data is based on my experience as a parent and as a classroom teacher.  The study has been on-going since 2010.

In no particular order:

Collections for girls: Paper napkins, stickers, and trading cards.

Collections for boys: 5 Evanim (little metal cubes the size of a thumbnail used in a game similar to Chinese jacks.), go-gos (pits from dried apricots used for a game), and klafim (trading cards).  The cards are not only traded but the boys bang their hands on the floor to get the air current from the banging to flip the cards over.  All you can hope for is that you have understanding downstairs neighbors when it’s that time of year.

The trading cards are inexpensive.  The is ALWAYS a new series out.  Currently my daughter is collecting American Girl Doll cards.  My son is busy with his go-gos so I’m not sure which series is popular for the boys.  In the past there was Rabbi Ovadia, nature’s majesty with animals of the world, and travel destinations.

All these items to collect are small and don’t take up much space.  This is a good thing since there isn’t much storage space in Israeli apartments.

Once upon a time I collected penguins, koalas, stuffed animals, stickers, stamps, buttons, post cards, button pins, Wacky Packies. and dolls dressed in world costumes to name a few of my collections. (Not all at the same time).  My oldest, nearly 18,  had baseball cards, Lego sets, baseball trophies, Beanie Babies, and Orioles paraphernalia to name a few things in his stashes.  Notice the difference between these two American collections and the simplicity of the Israeli ones.   The Israeli collections take up much less space. The Israeli collections don’t need special display options or need to be dusted.

For those making aliyah, I highly recommend thinking long and hard on how many collectibles are coming with you. Select a few favorites, photograph the rest for the memories, say goodbye to the giveaways, and pass them on.

Collections have their developmental and aesthetic benefits.   I have evolved from the ‘must add another to this collection’ mentality to one of ‘less is more’. Have a collection, but keep it under control and in perspective because in the end, it’s just stuff and too much stuff is clutter.

Thanks for reading.

Karen, T.K.K.

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