After a busy day exploring the world around them, children return home tired but happy, pockets filled with ‘new treasure’ and the start of their next collection. Their new treasure could be an imaginative new toy to play with, the bouncing ball that they promised to keep safe for a friend, or even a small rock that they’re sure is really a dinosaur fossil.
No wonder then, that when it’s time to load up the washing machine, you always need to double-check their pockets with a cautious smile, putting their collectibles carefully to one side for another day. But emptying their pockets doesn’t have to be a laborious chore! Keep a special ‘Jar of Wonder’ near the washing machine so you can keep your kid’s collectibles safe in one place.
This jar will serve as a reminder of the adventures they have every day – and it also means you’ll know just where that special item is when they urgently need to find it in a few days’ time!
You can also get your little ones to help you empty their pockets, sharing the stories they’ve collected during their day. They’ll enjoy helping you out with the washing and you’ll love hearing their tales.
A Global Celebration of Kid’s Collectibles
Kids will fill their pockets with all sorts of bits and pieces over the course of a day! What you’ll find will all depend on where your children have been learning, exploring, and playing. We asked mums from across the world to share what they’ve collected from their children’s pockets recently. Here are some of their tales, taken from all over the globe.
Tales from India
Kids often have pieces of orange crayon hidden in their pockets from carefully colouring in pictures of the Hindu monkey god, Hanuman, explained one mum. Another mentioned finding a fake spider and an elastic band in her son’s pocket that he’d used to tease his friends at playtime!
A different mother shared her child’s love of collecting up the beautiful leaves from the giant Peepal tree in the playground, and how she also loved tucking away colourful bracelets for safe-keeping after a long day pretending to be a bride, receiving many gifts of jewellery and bangles from wedding guests throughout the ceremony.
Collections in Vietnam
Phuong, mother of two, shared fond tales of her children collecting pretty shells on a family holiday. She described how her girls spent hours playing on the beach collecting their favourite shells in their pockets, only for her to happily find them later when she was doing the washing. One busy mum talked of finding empty snail shells in her seven-year-old daughter’s pockets after a stay with her grandmother.
Her daughter, Hai Anh, loved the muddy adventures with her grandmother on the shores of West Lake in Hanoi. She would spend hours collecting up the empty shells while her grandmother grew water spinach and other vegetables on her small gardening plot. Another mother often found deflated balloons tucked away, out of sight, in her son’s pockets following a secret water-fight with their neighbours – despite warnings from mom to stop the water balloon fights!
Children in Indonesia seem very inquisitive and creative, with their pockets often filled with pieces of pretty ribbon. They tie these strands into bracelets or simply hold them out as they run, so that the ribbon swirls and whirls around them.
One mum found a top-secret hand-drawn treasure map that her little one had drawn out when playing with friends. Another parent shared stories of stone and rock collections, or ‘dinosaur fossil collections’!
Bonanza in Brazil
Parents in Brazil tell tales of on-going collections of pencils and stickers, and rarely a laundry day passes by when they don’t find another half-used sheet of stickers in their little one’s pocket!
Crayons and hair slides also are frequently found stuffed in pockets for safe-keeping. Some parents also had found coins in their children’s pockets after a day of their kids playing at being shopkeepers, ‘buying and selling’.
Collectibles in the UK
Nicky, a mother of two, is always finding buttons and beads in the laundry – her daughter is always making bracelets and necklaces. If she sees a button on the way to school, she’ll pop it in her pocket to add to her collection. Her youngest son is always putting toy cars in his pocket, swapping them with his friends when he goes around to their house to play. She once found three in one pocket!
Washing Tips – Avoiding Collectibles in the Washing Machine
Whatever they collect, why not celebrate your kids’ adventures by creating your own family ‘Jar of Wonder’? Fill this container with all those items that almost ended up in the washing machine, and make washing clothes easier and more fun at the same time!
There’s a good chance your kids will pick-up some hard-to-tackle stains during their daily adventures – a true sign of their day of discovery! Here are some washing tips to help. If your little ones end up with ink on their best white cotton shirt from a day of drawing or colouring, lightly sponge the stain using methylated sprits (available from most supermarkets or pharmacists) – just remember to check the label for care details of the stained garment, and always conduct a test on a hidden area of fabric!
Then, put the garment in the washing machine and wash as normal using Surf Excel. Rust on a favourite skirt isn’t a problem either. Unless the fabric is fragile, just dab with a little lemon juice, then place salt on the stain.
Let stand for thirty minutes before washing on your usual cycle with Surf Excel. Remember before using any new stain removal technique to check the label for any instructions, and always conduct a test on a small area of fabric first. Find more stain solutions here!