Thursday, July 12, 2007

Rabbits at the Post Office?

Well, actually it was a rabbit trail that we stumbled upon during a trip to the local post office. I am not sure who coined the phrase "rabbit trail" but I have seen it used by some amazing women and I love it! Hop, hop, hop. It's how my brain works naturally!

My children (whose capacity to remember the tiniest details is rivaled only by their inability to remember to put their clothes in the hamper every night) surprised me again by asking the nice lady at the counter which stamp won the contest. You know... THE CONTEST!

I had to explain to the obviously intelligent just very confused woman that my children were referring to the online Star Wars Stamp contest that was the talk of the blog world last Spring. She kindly told them that she had no idea which stamp won the contest, but that you could purchase a sheet with all of the stamps for $6.15, which we did. I owed her something for the brief terrified moments when she looked as though we were all going to sprout third eyes right there at her window.

On our way back to the car, the girls asked what we could do with the stamps we bought, The Professor asked if we could look for the winner on the Internet and BigBoy asked if we were going to the zoo. Oh look... is that a fluffy little tail I see disappearing around the corner?

The winner of the contest is...

announced here and apparently first prize is getting a whole sheet to itself sometime this Fall.

In the meantime, we have all of these really cool Star Wars stamps... way too cool to put on the return envelope for the electricity bill. Maybe we should start a stamp collection? Do you smell carrots?

The postal service actually came up with a fun way to help kids get started. This Curious George Stamp and Sticker book would entice even a grownup like me. Amazon offers this boxed set for beginners. The USPS also offers a mini collecting book which looks like something you could easily make on your own. But that variety wants you to lick and stick your stamp to the page. Is that the best way to display the stamps we collect?

Well, let's see... excuse me, could you move your ears? I can't see the keyboard. I think we would need to talk to a philatelist. This UK site has the most complete list of resources, but some of the links were dead. This site gives you lots of excellent information. Stamps 4 Kids really is for kids and offers wonderful information like how to make your own stamp album, getting started and a truly amazing page on "selvedge art". Do wait for all the pictures to load! They are totally worth it!

That page got me thinking about stamps as works of art. Did you know there is a National Postal Museum? I didn't. And did you know that the USPS created an award winning game for children to "have fun learning about the USA in this unique educational trivia game that features stamp art to tell the American story". Snowball... get off the computer desk.

Speaking of stories... how about books on the postal service or just mail in general? Here is a list of books for the preschool crowd and this one covers the 5-9 age range. I am sure there are many others that our friendly neighborhood librarian could help us discover. Hmmmmm... libraries? Dewey decimal system? Card catalogs out, computer terminals in. WOAH!As you can see, the ideas are multiplying like well...rabbits... around here. Come on Floppy! Let's go.


  1. Awesome ideas, Matilda! And thanks for the info. on the winning stamp - I had completely forgotten about that!

    Hmmm ... you have me thinking about stamps now. At one point Bookworm was gung ho to collect, but we kind of dropped the ball. Thanks for the inspiration and great ideas!

  2. I highly recommend making your own stamp books. While the Post Office has some beautiful books, with the stamps included, they are very expensive. It also takes the fun out of "collecting" because you're just inserting the stamps in holders and putting them in the book. I like the idea of finding the interesting stamps myself, and I think the kids would too. I bet Marta Stewart has some ideas for making a book. Or you could probably buy a small scrapbook. Good luck. What fun!

  3. How great!
    Thank you for letting us know, Mathilda. :)

  4. This is a topic of a lot of interest to my kids...once we sent away for one of those stamp collection starter packets...and received a big one with lots of beautiful stamps! these were from all over the world and many had cancel marks...but still...yep, to me it is another art form. I love stamps and am glad that they serve another purpose, to beautify the world!

  5. How cool! My husband is an avid stamp collector (has been since he was a little boy) and our son is quickly following in his foot steps. We have some of those very same Star Wars stamps, but I knew nothing of the contest. And thanks for the links to those booklists...amazing!

  6. What a fun rabbit trail!! Great links and info! Blessings!

  7. Very cool rabbit trail, Matilda!
    You just never know where those things will pop up...

  8. I got a kick out of the post office employee being clueless about the contest. At our post office they were very aware of my kids' interest in the Star Wars contest. In fact one of the clerks said to come back at the end of the contest and he would give my youngest son the large Star Wars postal poster they were using for promoting the contest. It's now hanging in his bedroom.

    I also just posted some rabbit trail ideas at 4 Real.

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