Trading cards for kids are fun, developmentally appropriate, and a worthwhile experience for kids. Kids can learn so many lessons and stay off of electronics in the process.
There are many different types of kids trading cards that may appeal to your children. They will become interested in trading cards for different reasons.
Many kids get “into” cards because of their peers. Kids might be talking about Pokemon cards on the bus or football cards at recess or lunch at school.
Yes, it’s tempting to try to let your child’s interest pass before letting them amass a collection; however, there are so many wonderful things about collecting these types of cards.
We explain why and how to get started in trading cards.
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Advantages of trading cards for kids
For one, it gives kids something in common with kids they might not have been friends with before.
When children can bond over trading football or baseball cards, they expand their social circles and get to know kids they might not have had anything in common with before.
Second, kids learn responsibility and to care for their collection. They may start being interested in earning money to buy cards.
Even better, it gives them something to do – besides electronics – as they get older.
Kids enjoy sorting and organizing their cards and playing games with them. They are every easy to bring along on car rides.
Younger children may enjoy making up games with Pokemon cards, Yi-Gi-Oh cards, and Magic: The Gathering cards. As they age, they enjoy learning the actual rules to these games. Like with playing board games, they will learn critical thinking skills, taking turns, and strategy.
They will learn point values and important math skills with trading cards such as Pokemon and Yi-Gi-Oh cards. Even if they don’t play trading card games, it’s fun to collect and trade them.
Another benefit for starting a card collecting hobby is there are low barriers to entry. Trading cards are inexpensive and can be stored in a box already at home.
If they get more serious about collecting cards, they can get a special box or use a binder with some plastic trading sleeves. They also don’t take up a lot of room and are portable. Trading cards for kids make great gifts.
How many trading cards do you need?
Most packs of trading cards cost around four dollars. If your child saved money or received a pack or two of cards they are interested in, you can see how likely it will be they are interested in them.
However, much like with many developmental toys, Lego building, Trio, Zoob, Lincoln Logs, etc., more trading cards means more fun.
Think of it this way, if your child has 50 Lego bricks, he/she can only do so much with them. However, with 2,000, there are many more possibilities. It’s the same with trading cards for kids. So while your child may own a pack of Pokemon cards with 10 cards, it will be exponentially more fun with 50 – 100+.
What kids need to get started collecting trading cards
While you should let their trading card collection evolve over time and let them figure it out as they go, here are some tips to get started.
An interest in a certain type of card
What is your child interested in?
Popular cards include Pokemon cards, football cards, baseball cards, basketball cards, YuGiOh, and Magic.
There are also wrestling cards, soccer cards, college sports cards, and hockey cards. There are Star Wars cards, Club Penguin cards, and other specialty trading cards for kids as well.
Find out what types of cards your child is interested in.
A few packs of cards
One or two packs is great to start. Perhaps the Tooth Fairy leaves a pack or Santa leaves some in the stockings. Maybe your child can earn money toward them.
If your child shows interest, get them a few more packs.
Maybe you will get lucky and find trading cards at a garage sale or Goodwill like my kids have found. For years, my kids’ put Pokemon cards and football cards on their birthday and holiday wish lists.
If it seems your child is getting interested in them and/or wants to start trading with other kids, they should have more cards. They will need 75 – 100+ cards at the very minimum.
If your children have enough cards, they can have fun sorting them. In addition, they can play games with them. They may even make up games with their YuGiOh or Pokemon cards.
Again, trading cards are sort of like Lego bricks. The more they have, the more fun it is and the more they can do with them.
At the same time, much of the fun with trading cards is collecting them, trading them, and planning how to get them. Giving your child 1,000 cards right from the start doesn’t let them experience what’s fundamentally fun about collecting trading cards.
They need enough to get started but let the collection evolve naturally from there based on their interest and involvement. Don’t take the fun away over the longer term by overdoing it from the start.
Somewhere to keep the cards
Set your kids up for success by allowing them to have a system that works for storing the cards. Keeping a card collection helps them learn organization and responsibility.
In addition to keeping them organized and safe, you will also want them to have a way to transport their cards.
You may have to use trial and error to see what works best for the way in which your kids use their cards.
Some kids may want to keep their cards in stacks in boxes while others may enjoy seeing them all face-up in a binder. They may want to keep their special cards somewhere else. In addition, they may want to have a place for a certain trading card deck or for cards they want to bring somewhere.
Be flexible when it comes to kids’ card storage ideas. You want to make it easy for them to use their cards so they will play with them more.
As they acquire more cards, ask them how they would like to organize them. They may have seen the way friends organize their cards and already know what would work for them.
Some ways to organize trading cards include tins, boxes, and binders. Whatever system you and your child choose, it has to work for him/her.
- Will your child be bringing the cards in the car?
- Will he want to spread them out to play or will it be better to organize them in a binder?
Tins: If your child gets a Pokemon tin, that’s a great place to store dozens of cards. Have your child put a rubber band around it when he/she takes it outside the home.
Shoe box: A shoe box or other box is handy, especially in the beginning.
Plastic trading card box
A plastic box made to carry and store trading cards is a great way to store, sort, protect, and access cards.
It will protect them from spills and make it easy to tote in the car, to stack evenly in a closet, etc. It even has a carrying handle.
The best box we’ve found is a small plastic box that holds 1,100 cards. It has five dividers and is great for a large collection or to house multiple collections.
These boxes are made for trading cards and are great for storing and sorting. They stack well on top of each other.
Oftentimes, my kids put several different types of cards in the box to take with them in the car to sort, discuss, trade, and play with.
3-ring binder with trading sleeves
You can buy a specialty trading card binder or use one you already have. Some of the specialty binders for trading cards are very wide. Your child may rather have two thinner binders rather than one big one. Again, be flexible as the hobby evolves.
The important thing is the plastic trading card pages which hold all types of standard trading cards. These plastic pages hold nine cards on each page.
These pages have sleeves which fit all regular-sized baseball, football, basketball cards, Pokemon cards, etc. You can find them at Target or Walmart in the trading card aisle.
Trading cards go in and out of popularity
The fact that cards will be “in” and then “out” is something to know and expect. Don’t be upset with your kids when they put their once-loved trading cards aside.
It’s like with anything else: Your child will be interested in things more at certain times and less at other times.
It will often depend on what their peers are interested in at school.
The difference with Pokemon cards and football cards, etc. is that usually they will come back “in” again.
Depending on the age your child starts to collect the cards will let you know how many more years you have left with them.
In our experience, it seems like most kids start aging out of Pokemon cards by third and fourth grade. However, when my boys were older, they would play all day, so every child is different. During summer break when my kids were in 5th grade and 7th grade, they played with their Pokemon cards a lot.
There are teenagers who still enjoy them. However, the big talk at school will generally not include Pokemon trading as kids get into the older grades.
You may be surprised to know there are Pokemon events at bookstores and Pokemon tournaments at game shops which attract teenagers, young adults, and people in their thirties who play Pokemon. It seems that football cards start being popular when in kids are in 2nd grade. These seem more timeless. Kids in older grades are often still interested in them.
However, a difference with sports cards instead of Pokemon cards is that kids seem as happy with older Pokemon cards, even from their date of origin: 1995 (great to find at garage sales, Goodwill, etc.), but it seems with football and sports cards kids either like certain teams, certain types/brands of cards, and certain players. Often this often just includes current players though they will be happy to collect rookie cards and legends.
Save kids’ trading cards
Encourage your kids to keep their trading cards for later use or for when they are adults. They don’t take up room, and stored properly, they will last.
Don’t give away, sell, or donate your kids’ trading cards. Even if they aren’t playing with them now, they may again. Save them for as long as you can. Pokemon isn’t going anywhere. Save them for their kids.
Trading cards for kids
Trading cards for kids can be a great developmental learning experience as your children get older.
Encourage your child’s card-acquiring interest, however short-lived.
Just as when they first decided they wanted to try t-ball or soccer, your child is learning more about the world and their place in it. Maybe collecting cards will be something they stay interested in and want to continue pursuing.
There isn’t much you need to get started collecting trading cards.
Not only is it a timeless hobby, it keeps them off electronics. It’s something to talk about with their friends.
Also, it will keep them occupied even as they age out of their toys. Chances are, they will circle around to them again. Even if they don’t play with them often, they may have fun looking through them when they are older. It helps to let them be kids for as long as possible.
Remember to keep the cards even if your children don’t play with them. Bring them out over school breaks and other times when they have time to play. They may enjoy them.
We are keeping my kids’ trading cards. My kids may forget about them now that they are older but always circle around to them.
There is a great article on www.gogreentravelgreen.com called: What Kids Learn from Trading Cards that explains more advantages. It lists 18 reasons kids should get trading cards because they are such amazing learning tools. Bookmark it, and check it out!
Kids trading cards
Cards for kids are worthwhile. They will gain skills while having fun playing. There aren’t many toys that work across many ages. Trading cards for kids is a hobby that’s timeless.
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