As a child and young adult, I loved Panini stickers. They were a perfect combination of things I love including soccer and collecting. As I’ve grown older, though, the love for collecting Panini soccer stickers — whether it’s for World Cup or European Championship tournaments — has remained strong. But now, as a father, I have an even greater new-found appreciation for the incredibly fun and addictive hobby.
On several occasions this past month, I’ve sat down with my three children (aged 8, 5 and 3), and grabbed a box of Panini Euro 2012 stickers. It’s wonderful to watch the sparkle in the eyes of my young children as they open a new sticker pack. Even though they have little to no interest in the tournament, kids love stickers. And they quickly grasped the joy of opening the packs to find “special” stickers — the team crests, images of stadiums, historic black-and-white images and photos of players-in-action. They also enjoyed the quest of trying to complete filling in a whole collector’s album, which is not as easy as it sounds.
If you have children or have a niece or nephew or relative who would enjoy soccer stickers, I thoroughly encourage you to take part in collecting Panini stickers. Heck, if you’re an adult, it’s incredible fun, too. But it’s even more special when children are involved. Here are a few reasons why:
- It’s a wonderful family experience. In today’s age of adults and children distracted by gadgets and television, it’s so nice to participate as a family in something that we can all enjoy. Sitting around the table and opening packs together, as well as working as a team to put the stickers in the album, has not only been a fun experience, but it’s a rare moment to have spend some quality family time together.
- A reward system. Getting kids to clean their rooms or put their toys away is not easy, but the Panini Euro 2012 stickers this summer have worked incredibly well as a reward for their help around the house.
- Learning numbers and counting. I’ve often found that the best way to learn is by having fun, and Panini Euro 2012 stickers are a perfect way to accomplish that. For my 5-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son, both are in different stages of learning numbers and — for my 5-year-old — to learn to count or recognize numbers in the hundreds. Having them help out with the stickers is a great way for them to learn without them even realizing it.
- Learning about geography and the rest of the world. My 8-year-old daughter has been particularly interested in learning about other countries from around Europe, and the world, so the sticker album is a perfect way to do this — not only to see the team crests and flags of each country, but to read the different translations of each country’s name at the top and foot of every page, where the words are translated into French, Italian, German, Turkish and other languages. Living in a country with a very poor focus on geography, the Panini Euro 2012 stickers help to open my child’s eyes to the rest of the world that’s out there.
- Learning problem-solving skills. If you order a box of Panini Euro 2012 stickers, you’ll receive 50 packs, each containing 7 stickers. It’s a good problem to have, but my 8-year-old daughter was faced with the task of trying to figure out the easiest way to get the 350 stickers in the sticker album. With the order of the stickers all jumbled up, and some containing doubles, she stepped forward to sort all of the stickers into piles of hundreds. After that, she then re-sorted the piles of hundreds into piles of tens, and placed them in chronological order. After doing all of that, putting the stickers in the album was a breeze. It’s not rocket science, but it’s a fun task for an 8-year-old to accomplish, as well as having her instruct her young brother and sister how to help her out.
The lesson to be learned is that collecting Panini Euro 2012 stickers is fun for everyone, no matter how young or old you are. If you live in the United States, I don’t believe the stickers and album are available in stores this summer, but your best bet is to order them online.