South African parents have had their fair share of collection crazes over the last couple of years. First it was Pick n Pay’s Stikeez, followed by the Super Animals cards, Checkers Little Shop, and Checkers Little Garden. Although many of these collectibles may now be forgotten at the bottom of their children’s toy chests, the phenomenon poses the question – does it benefit a child to build a collection of some sort?
In her research paper, Children and collecting, International Educator Marlene Richie answers this question with a resounding yes. “Collecting has psychological, emotional and educational benefits for children,” she explains. “It is a natural human function, which seems to originate from the hunting and gathering needs of our ancestors. Parents and educators can use collecting as an educational tool.”
Ed Decker, author and blogger for the lifestyle website Rewire Me, shares the sentiment and points out that collections enhance pattern recognition. “Categorising objects enhances our ability to recognise common characteristics and detect gaps in a pattern.” He also notes that collections tend to build observational skills. “You tend to become more observant of details in the things you collect, which can make you a better finder and seeker in general. Objects and their features that might have been lost in the background before you became a collector will stand out.”
Edublox decided to leverage the benefits of collections for the Online Tutor program to inspire and motivate children to work consistently and actively on the platform. Susan du Plessis, Head of Educational Programmes at Edublox, elaborates: “Edublox Online Tutor is our online offering, and this fun game-like program has cognitive and reading exercises set in subworlds like the Mermaid Isles and Bandar Galaxy. Since the program launched in 2017, we have incentivised children with Educoins, a fictional online currency, with which they could buy a variety of characters for their online collection.”
The local Edublox franchisees noticed that children could benefit from an actual physical collection, of which they could hold the spoils of their hard work in their hands – and the Edublox Online Tutor Sticker Book was created. The books will be available at Edublox offices across Southern Africa in the third term of 2018. “We are really excited to introduce the sticker books to our Edublox learners. Adding a collectible to the online experience is a win-win,” Susan concludes.