Collecting Thematic Stamps
Collecting stamps by theme or topic is an increasingly popular entry point for new stamp collectors. As one country stamp collections become ever more difficult, if not impossible, to complete the hobby is naturally adapting to modern circumstances.
In addition to collecting thematic stamps, there's a growing number of so called "social philatelists" who tear up the stuffy rule books of the past and adopt a scrapbook approach by mixing topical stamps, covers and miniature sheets with additional types of relevant ephemera such as letters, photos, prints, magazine articles, maps and coins. If this catches your imagination then this article will give you more information about social philately in the digital era.
Among the topics most collected none comes close to "animals" and by a long way, birds are the most popular theme adopted by collectors. Some collections specialise in certain types of bird, owls or swans for example, whereas others try to build a collection with every type of bird native to their country represented on a stamp.
For children there is a huge choice of topics ranging from animals, Disney characters, Harry Potter, dinosaurs and many more options to inspire and excite a young mind. In my view,encouraging a child to organise, value and look after a tangible collection of stamps teaches some serious life skills at an early age and can underpin a sense of reality before the Playstation and Smartphone become the only things that matter!
In the end, the theme of a collection and the type of collection you form is limited purely by your own imagination. The key to a good collection is to enjoy it rather than count the cost. If a collection acquires a value over time then that's a bonus but, in my opinion, it is the fun, the knowledge, the places you visit, the chance finds and friendly bartering that make the hobby a pleasure. If all I wanted was to earn money then I'm sure there's less time consuming ways.
Finally, if you trade on eBay or any similar marketplace site, have you considered trading in stamps? By specialising in one area of philately - thematics for example - you can quickly acquire the knowledge and discover the sources to buy in stamp stocks. Stamps are small and weigh little making shipping easy and you will find stamp collectors are generally friendly and honest buyers who will give you few problems.