I’ve written before on the topic of ‘flow’, children and embroidering life with rich experience – large and small. And we managed all four this morning, thanks to a cheap packet of world stamps.

The agile, and occasionally restless, mind of my now seven-year old daughter was completely and delightfully absorbed in sifting stamps from España, Nederland, Polski and the long forgotten Deutsche Democratik Republik.

Some of these stamps were around when I was her age. And the fiddly licky hinges haven’t changed either. Throw in a cheap album and she was completely absorbed in finding countries, licking hinges and sticking in stamps – despite her brother’s periodic attentions.

We learnt some geopolitics – there are 200 odd countries to find, different political systems from democracies to dictatorships and some memorable symbols and landmarks – from the Statue of Liberty, to St Martin from Czechoslovakia on his snowy white horse.

And all for a tenner. Stamps trumped her Nintendo for prolonged attention and ‘flow’ and we learned some things too. Cards, chess, stamps, books – the old favourites are still the best for kids sometimes.