Lifestyle & Human Interest

Creative Artist's Adorable Series: The Inside of Preschoolers' Pockets


The contents of someone’s purse, briefcase or pocket can be quite informative. They can tell you if the person is messy or neat, careful or carefree, and what their interests are.

There are plenty of bridal shower and girls’ night games based on what you carry in your purse with you, but when you’re just a tot, you don’t always have a life’s worth of detritus collected to haul around with you that necessitates a purse.

When you’re a kid, pockets will do — and if you’ve ever done a young kid’s laundry, you know exactly what sorts of things lurk there.

One photographer is taking this phenomenon and turning it into a photo series. It’s a whimsical and cheerful idea, one that many are enjoying and recognizing.

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Melissa Kaseman is a photographer from San Francisco who started this project after realizing how telling the contents of a pocket are: they’re honest, heartwarming indicators of who a person is and where they’re at in life. She realized this after she started to collect all the things she found in her late mother’s pockets.

She has a son named Calder, in preschool, who has a knack for collecting odds and ends throughout the day and stashing them in his pockets for safe-keeping.

As she emptied his pockets at the end of each day, she decided to hold on to the items that had been stowed away and capture them in her work. She told The Huffington Post that she saw it as a sort of imagination inventory.

Do your children collect things throughout their day?

“The magic of childhood is so fleeting,” she said, “and these objects I kept finding in Calder’s pockets represent a chapter of boyhood, his imagination, and the magic of finding a ‘treasure.'”

“I like the idea of the photographs being a taxonomy report of a child’s imagination, specifically Calder’s. I hope he carries the wonderment of discovery throughout his life.”

“I feel like the treasures show that art, color, and form play a major role in how Calder views and learns about the world,” she continued. “A simple object can hold so much weight in one’s mind.”

And you can see the imagination in the collections she’s shared. Some days the contents are more nature-based, with flowers in various stages of wilt, feathers, everyday pieces of bark and a variety of twigs.

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Other days the collections suggest certain color themes or activities, as Perler beads, shredded balloons, snips of felt and pipe cleaners nose their way onto center stage.

This is a cute way to capture a moment in a child’s life and hold on to something of their simplicity and wonderment. Have you ever thought about this when cleaning out your kiddo’s pockets?

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking