The school playground became alive with huddles of exchangers, with specials or the last few in a collection suddenly acquiring new status, with the prospect of multiples in exchange. Capitalism was rife. We learned about real life exchange rates.
Visits to grandmother were eagerly anticipated, as she, very kindly, also had retired neighbours organised to keep any cards, so visits could mean a pile of newbies, which were scanned immediately, after offering grateful thanks and a kiss, of course. The chatter in the corner was punctuated with “Got, not got, got, got…” until the pile had been explored.
After this, each was turned over to read the information beneath. Where words were difficult, there was an adult on hand to ask. In that way, the collecting of cards also proved useful in developing as a reader, in a world where books were not as common as today.
Christmas and birthdays might bring forth Observer books, on different topics, or perhaps an I-spy to encourage looking around. We were encouraged to look at the world, but, we also had the freedoms to do the exploring and to look at the world for ourselves.
We do need to offer the current generation the wherewithal to look around and to be interested in the world around them. After all, it will be theirs in turn.