My son is 6 years old and one of his new fascinations (and there are many of them) is to watch as I sort through cards for countless numbers of hours. A few months or so ago, I decided to try and get him involved a little bit by having him help me put cards into binders. As he was loading them into their respective pages, I would ask him questions about the different things he saw on the cards. It's amazing to see some of the things that younger eyes tend to find. This brought me back to when I was a kid and started collecting.
A couple weeks later, I tried his hand at busting packs. While he isn't the most coordinated at 6 years old yet, he got the hang of it after a few mishaps. Luckily they were only 1997-98 Pinnacle hockey and I was only really looking for hits since I completed the set already. Overall, though, he had a blast doing it. Especially since he got to keep a handful of the cards that he really liked for himself.
Between watching all the football games last year on the Red Zone channel (as well as any Steeler game being televised) and hockey games on TV this year, he has become a little sports fan. I am always finding him playing back previous games on the On Demand feature from Comcast. He then gets all excited when players score TDs or goals as he watches, eventhough we already know the outcome. I can't tell you how many times he has watched the Super Bowl and Winter Classic. But, I'm not complaining.
The other night while watching the hockey game, we sat down with a stack of goalie cards and started to play a game where I would give him a stat and he would try to find who was the winner. We went through, height, weight, wins, shut outs, etc. We even pulled out a map of the world and started placing flags in the countries where the players were born.
So not only is he becoming a sports fan, he is become a card collecting fan. Two birds with one stone I guess. At least it isn't those god awful Pokemon or Bakugan or DragonBallZ cards like most of the kids his age collect. As I tell my wife...he is working on his reading skills with the narratives on the card backs, math with all the statistical data, and geography with the map game we play. In other words, who needs school when everything you need to know you can learn by collecting cards.