Science Experiments for Kids

lab 2

Children are naturally curious and without exception all children love learning about science as it means learning all about the world around them. Science surrounds us; in nature (learning about how plants grow), baking cakes (where plenty of chemical reactions occur) or making a model volcano (chemistry and geography). Learning about our bodies helps with understanding the world of biology.

Conducting some simple science experiments at home will help develop your child’s inquisitive mind. Plus they’ll learn how to use equipment such as magnifying glasses, microscopes, magnets, scales, sieves etc safely and correctly. They can also observe changes like melting an ice cube, frying an egg or growing cress. Predicting is another skill set that science experiments require; what do they think will happen? Maybe most importantly, planning skills are essential. Which steps should be followed before carrying out the experiment?

With a little imagination, you can carry out some experiments at home too. The internet is a great resource for finding out how to do some great but simple experiments at home with your kids. Our favourite kitchen experiment is to make a volcano. Here’s how:

You will need:

  • One small plastic bottle
  • Brown modelling clay
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • White vinegar
  • One plastic container
  • Washing up liquid
  • Red food colouring

1. Take the plastic bottle and mould the modelling clay to make a volcano cone shape around it.

2. Place your volcano onto a tray. Squirt into the bottle about 2 tablespoons of washing up, 1 tablespoon of red food colouring and 2 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda.

3. Lastly, pour in the vinegar and watch your volcano erupt! To do it again, wash out your volcano and start again at step 1.

Alternatively, you could buy a science kit to help you discover all about rainbows or how to make slime!

volcano-image

 

Our New Allergy Designs

‘Allergy’ is the most common chronic disease in Europe and it’s no wonder perhaps that parents are concerned about what they can do to reduce the risk of food allergies affecting their baby or child. One of the most important things you can do as a parent is to alert anyone who is looking after your child, including staff at their nursery and school.

My Nametags have developed a set of ‘allergy’ label designs which you can customise with your child’s name and apply to their bag, lunch box, water bottles, milk bottles or anywhere else you feel they may be effective. You can design your set of My Nametags labels here.

Around 90% of allergic reactions are usually caused by just a few foods.

The key foods are:

Image of a milk allergy tag

Dairy                                     

              

Image of an egg allergy tag

 

 

 

Eggs

Wheat allergy tag

Wheat/Gluten 

illustration

Nuts

Fish allergy tag

Seafood 

Image of a shellfish allergy tag

Shellfish

 

 

Other foods that cause allergies fairly frequently are soy, sesame, kiwi and pulses. High histamine levels in tomatoes and strawberries often cause rashes on the skin after eating but it is rare for these foods to be “allergens”.

UK-IE Sulphates R

 

Sulphates (SO²)     

Sulphites are preservatives added to food and drinks to extend shelf life. Sulphites can cause unpleasant symptoms including lung irritation and asthma. An allergic to sulphites is normally extremely rare.

UK-IE Celery R

Celery

Allergic reactions to celery (sticks, leaves, spice and seed), when they do occur, can be severe. People with celery allergy should also avoid celariac.

UK-IE Soya R

Soya    

Soya is a food protein derived from the soya bean, which is a legume. Soya beans may be eaten fresh but are more usually dried. They are often called edamame when fresh or frozen. There are two types of soya allergy: immediate and delayed.

UK-IE Sesame R

Sesame

The incidence of sesame seed allergy appears to have risen dramatically over the past two decades and this rise is probably linked to its increased use. Other seeds can cause allergic reactions but sesame appears to be the most common to do so.

UK-IE Lupin R

Lupin

The seeds of the lupin garden flower are crushed to make lupin flour, which can be used in baked goods such as pastries, pies, pancakes and in pasta. It is common in gluten-free products.

illustration

Dander (fur)

We love our pets but sometimes the dander from our furry friends can cause allergies. Pollen can do likewise, so we’ve got allergy designs for those too.

Image of pollen allergy tag

 Pollen

Meet Our Mythical Creatures – Win a Set!

We’ve been working hard at My Nametags HQ to bring you some new mythical designs – mermaids and unicorns! We hope that you like them as much as we do.

To celebrate we are giving away two free sets of My Nametags colour sticker labels to two lucky readers. Find out how to enter below!

UK-IE mermaid R

MERMAID FACTS

A mermaid is half human half female with a human head and the tail of a fish. Did you know that mermaids appear in the folklore of many cultures worldwide? Mermaids are sometimes linked with floods, storms and shipwrecks. Most children will know Disney’s famous mermaid, Princess Ariel. Did you know that Ariel is based on the title character of famous children’s author Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Little Mermaid’? And that the colour of a mermaid’s tail shows her mood? Now you can have your very own mermaid nametags and customise them with your child’s name, favourite colour and background.

UK-IE-Unicorn R

UNICORN FACTS

Unicorns are legendary creatures that we have been fascinated by over the centuries as far back as the ancient Greeks. In European folklore the unicorn is often described as a white horse or goat-like animal with a long horn and hooves.  But in fact, unicorns can be any color, from jet-black and brown to dazzling gold, brilliant red or pure white. A unicorn’s horn is said to have magical powers such as healing sickness and turning poisoned water into pure drinking water. Unicorns have featured in many books and films such as The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Stardust and Harry Potter to name a few. Which background will you give your unicorn? Countryside, seaside or lots of different magical colours?

UK-IE-Unicorn blue RUK-IE-Unicorn pink R

Competition Time!

To celebrate the launch of these new designs we are giving away to sets of nametags featuring them. To win a set just send an email titled ‘Mythical Nametags IE’ to marketing@mynametags.com before 20th May 2018. Full T&Cs below.

Terms and Conditions:

  • The two winners shall be drawn at random by My Nametags.
  • Entrants must be residents of the Republic of Ireland.
  • Entrants must be aged 18 or over.
  • Competition closes at midnight on 20/05/2018.
  • Winners will be notified either by email within a week of the closing date.
  • The winner will have 7 days to respond after which time we reserve the right to select an alternative winner.
  • There are no cash or other prize alternatives available in whole or in part. We reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value in the event of unavailability of the intended prizes.
  • The entries that are incomplete, illegible or fraudulent will be deemed invalid. No responsibility will be accepted for entries lost, corrupted or delayed in transmission.
  • Bulk entries made from trade, consumer groups or third parties will not be accepted.
  • Data is being held under the terms of our privacy policy and our company terms and conditions – please click links for more information.
  • Entry into the competition authorises My Nametags to contact you, and publish your name on our blog should you be the winner.
  • The winner will receive one set of My Nametags colour sticker labels and must include one of the designs highlighted in the blog above.

Meet Our New Sport Icons

We had to let you know that we’ve got seven new sport icons for you! You can decorate your trainers, boot bags and even footballs and make sure they don’t get lost! Take your pick from gaelic football icons to ballet shoes, ice-skating or even fencing!

Image a sporting iconImage of a sporting icon

We think your little ones will love these sporty icons. Pick either a boy or girl running with a ball, choose typeface, colour and background and you are ready to go!

Image of an ice skating boot

Ice-skaters, whether it’s a regular thing or just occasionally will love the new My Nametags ice-skating boot icon. Our stickers will truly stick on anything from your boots to socks and jumpers.

image of a karate jacket

Maybe martial arts is your thing? Karate, Taekwondo or Judo. We think this martial arts uniform and belt will do the trick.

labelpreview

 

We’ve added these gorgeous ballet shoes which we think will any fans of dance will love. Use them to stick inside your ballet shoes, on your ballet bag or even on the care label on your leotard.

badminton iconBadminton as we know it today was first played in the mid-19th century and it was first played at the Olympics in 1992. Don’t forget to label your racket, water bottle and shuttlecocks!

Image of fencing icon

Or perhaps fencing is your thing? Did you know that the sword is actually called a ‘foil’? And that fencing has been played at every Olympic Games since 1896?

Be a Tasty Cook – Win a Recipe Book!

Image of Tasty cook bookWe are so excited to share a couple of recipes from the brand new official cookbook from Buzzfeed’s  popular global food channel TASTY and PROPER TASTY, which shares the best and most loved recipes of 2017, as voted by the public. There are over 80 mouth-watering recipes with staying power and we’ve got one copy to give-away!

Here are a couple of recipes to get you started extracted from Tasty: Latest and Greatest (Ebury Press, £14.99), photography by Lauren Volo.

To win a copy just send an email titled ‘Tasty Competition IE’ to marketing@mynametags.com before 1st February 2018. Full T&Cs below. Check out more of the mouthwatering cooking videos @buzzfeedtasty@buzzfeedpropertasty PLEASE NOTE – THIS COMPETITION HAS NOW CLOSED.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich

(Makes 8 sandwiches)

With a healthy dose of cayenne in both the marinade and the flour dredge, this sandwich packs the heat along with the crunch. Just the juicy chicken fillet, piled onto a lettuce and tomato-lined bun, would have been enough to amaze, but the dilly, lemony yogurt sauce puts this one over the top.
 Image of a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich
BUTTERMILK  MARINADE
475ml/2 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
DILL  DRESSING
350ml/1½ cups plain Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons dill, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons lemon juice
20g/¼ cup  grated
Parmesan cheese
 SEASONED  FLOUR
250g/2 cups plain
(all-purpose) flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1½ teaspoons cayenne
1 tablespoon garlic powder
Peanut or vegetable  oil,
for frying
 TO  SERVE
Softened butter  for buns
8 brioche burger buns
Butter lettuce
2 tomatoes, sliced
METHOD
1  In a medium bowl, combine all the buttermilk marinade ingredients.  Toss in the chicken thighs to coat. Marinate for at least 1 hour in the fridge, or overnight.
2  In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the dill dressing. Cover and let sit for at least 1 hour in the fridge to chill.
3  In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients for the seasoned flour. Dip the marinated chicken in the flour mixture until the chicken is completely covered.
4  Heat the oil to 180°C  (350°F) in a deep pot. Do not fill more than half full with oil. Carefully fry the chicken for 7 minutes, or until cooked through. The internal temperature should reach 75°C (165°F), and the chicken should be golden brown and crispy. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate or wire rack.
5  Heat a large frying pan or skillet. Butter the cut sides of the burger buns, then toast on the hot pan until browned and crisp. Build the sandwiches with the toasted buns, lettuce, fried chicken, tomato slices, and dill dressing.

Giant Cinnamon Roll
(Serves 12)

 If you’ve never made a breakfast pastry, this would be a great first one to try. Because if a regular cinnamon roll is awesome, this one beats the world.
Image of a giant cinnamon roll
DOUGH
115g/½ cup unsalted butter, melted, plus  extra for greasing the  pan
475ml/2 cups whole milk,
warm to the  touch
100g/½ cup sugar
1 pack fast-action dried
(active dry) yeast
625g/5 cups plain
(all-purpose) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
FILLING
175g/¾ cup soft butter
150g/¾ cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
FROSTING
115g/4oz soft cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
140g/1 cup icing
(powdered)  sugar
METHOD
1  Generously butter a 25.5cm (10in) cast-iron frying pan, skillet, or cake tin (pan).
2  In a large bowl, whisk together the warm milk, melted butter,  and granulated sugar. The mixture should be
just warm, registering between 40°C (100 and 110°F). If hotter than that, allow to cool slightly before proceeding. Sprinkle the yeast evenly over the warm mixture and let sit for 1 minute. Add  520g/4 cups  of the flour to the milk
mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined. Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
3  After 1 hour, the dough should have nearly doubled in size. Remove the towel and add an additional  100g/
¾ cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Stir well, then turn out onto a well-floured surface. Knead the dough lightly, adding additional flour as necessary, until the dough just loses its stickiness and does not stick to
the surface. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 1cm (½in) thick. Fix corners to make sure they are sharp and even.
4  In a small bowl,  combine the filling ingredients and stir to combine. Spread the filling mixture evenly over the rolled-out dough, spreading right to the edges. Using a pizza cutter, make 3 horizontal cuts to divide the dough into 4 long, evenly sized strips. Starting from the bottom, roll the first strip up right to left. Take the first roll and place it back on top of the next strip, starting again on the right side and rolling up right to left, building on the first. Continue with the remaining strips until you have a giant cinnamon roll.
5  Place the giant cinnamon roll in the prepared pan or cake tin (pan) and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot and leave to rise for 30 minutes. The cinnamon roll should expand to the edges of the pan during this time.
6  Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F/gas 3).
7  Uncover the cinnamon roll and bake for 45 minutes. Cover the roll with foil to prevent the outside from burning, and bake for an additional  35 minutes.
8  While the cinnamon roll is baking, prepare the frosting. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, butter,  milk, vanilla, and icing (powdered) sugar until smooth.
9  Remove the cinnamon roll from the oven and let cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes. Once cool, remove from the
pan and drizzle the frosting over the roll before serving.
Competition T&Cs:
– The winner shall be chosen at random on 2nd February 2018.
– My Nametags will contact the winner no more than 30 days after the competition closing date.
– The prize is one copy of Tasty: Latest and Greatest.

Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2018

image of a yoga poseJanuary is the time of New Year resolutions and new beginnings. Hence, it is the perfect time to start a new fitness regime or reignite an old one. We thought you’d like to read all about the hottest fitness trends for 2018 as surveyed by The American College of Sports Medicine.

(Don’t forget to label all your kit from trainers and yoga mats to water bottles and skipping ropes with our extremely versatile stickers which will stick on virtually anything). If you need to order some iron-on or stick-on nametags we can get them to you super quick go the My Nametags website here.

 

 

 

1. HIIT image of weights

High-intensity interval training has remained at the top of the pile as it is uber popular in gyms all over the world. HIIT usually involves short bursts such as 40 seconds of high-intensity exercise such as running on the spot followed by a short period of rest such as 10 seconds. Most HITT classes are 30-45 minutes or less. It’s very easy to do-it-yourself at home too using an app which times you.

2. GROUPS 

No matter what your fitness level, if you’re in need of extra motivation group training is the one to go for. Take your pick from aerobics and spinning to even dance classes. Group classes have been around for a long time but it was only in 2017 that group exercise training made the top 20.

3. WEARABLES

Coming in at number 3, wearable technology includes a whole host of items such as fitness trackers, smartwatches, heart rate monitors GPS tracking devices and smart eyeglasses (designed to show maps and track activity) that were introduced only a few years ago. Wear one of these devices and take your fitness up a notch! – Misfit, Apple iWatch, Garmin, EFOSMH, Pebble Time, Juboury, Samsung, Basis, Jawbone, and Fitbit. Take your pick!

Image of a fitbit

4. BODY WEIGHT

Body weight training appeared for the first time in the survey in 2013 and was in number 2 position for 2017. Although body weight or resistance training has been around for centuries, health clubs and gyms have made it popular around the world. It’s a very inexpensive way to exercise as most programs require minimal equipment.

5. STRENGTH

Strength training continues to be extremely popular in all areas of the health and fitness industry. Weight training has become more widely used than ever with men and women both young and old using them to improve or maintain strength.

6. EDUCATED, CERTIFIED & EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONALS

As more and more health and fitness professionals become certified it is easier to find someone who can help you get fit. Do your research and choose the person with the right training.

7. YOGA

Yoga has edged up the rankings to 7 from 8 in 2017. There are so many different types to choose from – Power Yoga, Yogalates, Bikram Yoga to name a few. The sustained popularity of yoga seems to be that it reinvents and refreshes itself every year making it an attractive form of exercise, says the ACSM.MNT - resistance

8. PERSONAL TRAINERS

More and more students are studying kinesiology suggesting that they’re preparing to move into the world of personal training. If you’re the type of person that needs motivating then one-to-one coaching is the one for you.

9. FITNESS PROGRAMS FOR OLDER ADULTS

With the baby boomers retiring there is a growing market of older adults who are retiring healthier than other generations. Health professionals are creating age-appropriate classes to keep older adults healthy and active.

10. FUNCTIONAL FITNESS

Fitness programs designed to complement your everyday life is important. It’s not just about looking good in your clothes, it’s functional – can you run after that child if they’re heading towards the road. Functional fitness trains your muscles to improve all aspects of everyday living including core strength, stability and balance.

Going Global Video Competition

My Nametags are delighted to have been announced as a runner-up in Google’s “MSMEs Going Global Video Competition”.

 

The competition was launched in partnership with The World Trade Organisation and The International Chamber of Commerce to highlight the importance of internet technology in developing our business. We have now sold our labels to 127 countries across the world from our base of eight, country specific websites.

 

Google’s competition attracted participants from all across the world, from the United States to Mauritius. Entrants included brands dealing in fashion, fruit and even banjos!

 

Find out more about the competition here: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news17_e/sbc_12dec17_e.htm

 

You can view our entry below:

Making Maths Fun & Practical for Kids

Without doubt the best way for children to truly ‘understand’ maths concepts is by using a very practical approach. This way you will bring maths to life so children can make sense of why the subject is important. Playing simple, fun games at home can reap benefits for your children in the classroom, teachers say.

Number Pairs/Bonds

Knowing your number bonds or pairs off by heart such as 8 + 2 = 10 or 16 + 4 = 20 is one of the key learning steps for your child, says Sarah Sinclair, primary school teacher. An easy way of reinforcing these are to make up a set of cards 0 to 20 and you can play all sorts of games. Memory games, snap, addition and subtraction, find the pair etc. Alternatively Sarah recommends Orchard Toys Magic Cauldron game.

magic cauldron game

Times Tables 

Learning your times tables can be a real chore but this book is a classic and will teach your child while they colour. All the pictures hide a shape that can be revealed by colouring in the multiples of a certain number. Age 6+ The Multiplication Tables Colouring Book by Hilary McElderry.
Colouring book

Division, division…

Division really means learning about sharing. One of the best ways to do this is to gather items you can use to count with such as grapes, conkers, cutlery, buttons etc. Then ask your child to share them equally between 2, 3 or 4 or more people. Make it fun by dividing up an apple or pizza and ask your child to share it. If there are any are left over this will prompt a discussion about ‘remainders’ and that not every number can be shared equally. Alternatively, there’s a great Pizza Fraction Fun Game you can play that helps with division and understanding the concept of fractions.

Pizza Fraction fun game

Weights & Measures

Quite possibly the best way to illustrate weights and measures is to cook with your children. My children from an early age have loved making cakes, getting out the scales and measuring the flour, sugar and butter. Even better once it is baked you can practice your division skills by sharing it out!

Cake Slices

Telling the Time

Simply reading a bus or train timetable can really help children understand the concept of time and the 12 and 24 hour clock. Or if you are in the car using a sat nav ask your child to work out how long the journey will take and how much longer it will take if you stop for 30 minutes etc. At home using a play clock can also help reinforce the concept of time. We love this one from Melissa & Doug Turn & Tell Wooden Clock.

melissa and doug toy clock

Shopping & Money

One of the best ways to introduce the idea of money is to talk about it when you go shopping. Get them to work out how much two items in your trolley will cost together. Ask your child to use their pocket money to buy something in a shop and work out the change as it all involves adding and subtracting and working out which coins/notes to use. All children love playing shops. Invest in a Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register with Euro Money and you will have hours of fun.

cash registerWord Problems

Parents can help by breaking up word problems, perhaps by drawing a timeline or splitting it into bullet points, says Tash Rosin founder of Teatime Tutors. Even if your child is confident with their number pairs, presenting the sum in a word problem will add a whole different dimension. By illustrating the word problem you will be able to help your child spot which calculations they need to perform to solve the problem.

illustrating word problems

Get Outside This Autumn

It’s so easy once the nights draw in to forget about the great outdoors but research has shown that spending time outside is very beneficial. Not only will you and the kids get some sunshine and stock up on vitamin D before the winter months, being with nature is known to help with everyday stress and anxiety.

Autumn Leaves

Here’s our round up of the best things to do outside this autumn.

Get Creative

Go for a walk and find lots of different autumn leaves on the forest floor. Try to find as many different leaves as you can and have fun identifying them all. Then take them home and use them to create your own art work from pictures with real leaves to forest creatures with faces or turn them into a forest crown.

Leaf-Hunt

 

 

Build a Den

Kids love nothing better than creating their own woodland hideaway. Use branches, leaves and twigs to build a sturdy den. “Remember, never cut anything down or damage the wood to construct your den”,  say our friends across the pond, The Woodland Trust. Here their top tips for building the best den! 

  1. Find a good foundation – look out for a strong tree with suitable knobbly bits.
  2. Build your framework – find a couple of large branches and wedge them against the tree or use the trees branches instead.
  3. Build the walls – collect more branches and rest them against your framework. Pack them closely so they are strong and secure
  4. Protect from the elements – use smaller branches and twigs to cover your den. Push them into any gaps so that your den shelters you from the wind and rain.

den building

Clean a beach

Children love going to the beach and are often fantastic at picking up litter. Combine the two and find things to recycle on the beach. Or join forces with an organised beach and river clean. Clean Coasts organise regular events across Ireland and have some great advice.

beach clean

Make a Bug Hotel

You can attract beneficial insects and other creatures into your garden and add to garden biodiversity by building a bug mansion or even a more humble abode! To cater for a variety of bugs put your hotel where it will get some sun and shade, perhaps partially under a tree or hedge. Build a firm base. Try to use recycled or reclaimed materials. You can fill the gaps with dead wood, old bamboo canes or hotels drilled into blocks of wood make good nests for solitary bees. Straw, hay, dry leaves and loose bark also make great places for beetles, centipedes, spiders and woodlice to stay. 

Bug Hotel

 

Go Camping

If the weather is good head off for the weekend to spend days and nights outdoors camping! Catch the last of the autumn rays and toast marshmallows around the campfire. Children love being outdoors. Find your perfect campsite on Camping Ireland.

camping

Our Eco-friendly credentials

Here at My Nametags we are constantly striving to be as eco-friendly as possible from encouraging our employees to cycle to work to heating the office with recycled water.

We know you love our labels but thought you might like to know a few of our eco-friendly credentials

Trees

 

eco labels

 

 

 

 

 

All of our labels are free from BPA and Phtalates which is better for children and also for the environment. As you know, the print on our My Nametag labels and stickers is extremely resistant. Our iron-on and stick-on labels will stay on and therefore won’t pollute the environment.

 

new packaging

 

 

 

 

 

Check out our new eco-friendly packaging! We thought you should be the first to know that we are going to upgrade our packaging. The pack that you receive your My Nametag labels in will be made of easily recyclable card instead of plastic.

 

label your stuff

 

 

 

 

 

By labelling all your things from clothes and shoes to bags, pencil cases and mobile phones you are as a family much less likely to lose stuff. This means you can save the environment by not having to buy new items. This is especially true of easily lost items like water bottles. Our mantra is reduce your waste, buy less, reuse more because you have labelled your things!

 

need labels now

 

 

 

 

 

If you need labels we can get them to you super quick whether you choose stickers or iron-ons. My Nametags labels are bright, hard-wearing and waterproof. To buy and customise our labels go to www.mynametags.com to see our full range of designs and products.