Why personalised labels are a school must-have

Labelling your children’s things for school has always been important. A previous study we did found that the average child permanently loses nine things per school year. If we think about 10 million school-aged children, this adds up to an eye-watering 90 million lost items every single year. This not only has a negative environmental impact but also a financial worry to parents having to buy replacement items for stuff they’ve already bought once! If you are one of these parents you will certainly want to read on. We are exploring the reasons why personalised labels are a must-have for school.

Cost

Lost property is a big problem in schools, and has been for a very long time, kids always lose stuff, it’s natural but what if those lost items were returned to the children? Wouldn’t that be great? On average parents spend £2000 replacing items that are lost throughout a child’s life at school. That’s a huge expense on top of the existing school costs. A personalised label will help ensure the kids stuff makes it home, our labels have room for 3 lines of text so a child’s name, class and parents phone number can all be added to the name tag, greatly increasing the chances of that item being returned to its owner

Safety

Now more than ever we are conscious of how easily germs spread from one item to the next and when we think of everything a child touches at school, it shows us just how easily it can happen. Adding a personalised label to all your child’s school supplies means that they will easily be able to identify their own things, and hopefully help them not touch other people’s things. 

Waste

Items that are left unclaimed in a school’s lost property box end up going to landfill which we know has a severe impact on the environment over time. Not only that, when you buy two or more of a certain item that also translates to resources being used to produce each of these things. We can help to reduce the amount of lost property going to waste by adding a personalised name label to our children’s school uniform and other equipment. When items are labelled, they are much more likely to be returned to their owners.  

Kids can design their own

Children have the freedom to design a label that is unique to them. We are proud to have thousands of design combinations to choose from with all kinds of icons from unicorns and cupcakes to tractors and footballs, as well as different backgrounds, fonts and font colours, the choice is endless. You will surely be able to create a label that your child will not only love but will help make sure their items make it back home. 

To design your own personalised labels for your child for school, visit our website

Don’t forget to follow My Nametags on social media, for the latest news, competitions and more

What type of school label is right for me?

With children going back to school you may have started compiling a list of all the things they need for the new year. If labels are in that list (and it should!) you may be finding it hard to decide what kind you makes more sense to get so we have broken it down for you. 

Colour Stickers

Our most versatile name tags. Colour sticker name tags are a good option if you are looking for a label that can stick on everything. They can be used on clothing (on the care label) and all stationery, books, and even lunchboxes and drinking bottles. You can personalise them with your chosen background, icon, font and font colour so you can create the perfect label for your child. Each set comes with 56 labels each 30 x 13mm in size. 

Iron on Labels

Iron on labels will be the best option for clothing. You can label school uniforms, jumpers, blazers, shirts, PE Kits, anything your child is likely to take off and lose. Our Iron on labels can also be used on socks, coats, scarves and gloves. You can personalise them with your chosen background, icon, font and font colour so you can create a label that suits your child. The labels can be applied directly onto the fabric and will last even after being repeatedly washed. 

Maxistickers

Our Maxistickers make personalising your child’s items even more fun. Perfect for bigger items such as lunchboxes, notebooks, water bottles, shoes. A set has 21 maxistickers in several shapes and sizes – circles, squares and rectangles all on one set! Each label also comes in a slightly different design (within a theme) so it’s a great option if you are looking for a bit more variety.

Ministickers

The more stylish and discreet option, our ministickers are perfect to label smaller objects that are even easier to lose. They are ideal to label lots of items quickly – all the pens, pencils, markers, rulers. Because they are smaller they are also a great option for older kids as they don’t come with an icon and have a solid background. We’ve got 4 different colour themes to choose from and you are able to add a first name or a surname (as it’s smaller you are only able to add one line of text). A set has 175 ministickers and each is 16 x 6mm.

Labelling your child’s things is incredibly important, it helps them easily identify what is theirs, helps reduce lost property in schools and nurseries and helps avoid you having to rebuy things. They also encourage your children not to share things with other children, leading to a reduction in the spread of germs which, at the moment, is very important.

Visit our website to find out more about My Nametags and our personalised name tags

What is the real cost of our children’s lost property?

We all know children lose stuff…toys, socks, stationery, cuddly toys, books, shoes… in fact children in Ireland permanently lose 13 possessions every year on average, that equates to a staggering 13 million items lost per year in total! This can add up to quite a considerable amount of money, but have you ever stopped to think about the environmental impact of these losses….

The Real Cost of Lost Property 

We recently discovered, through research undertaken on our behalf by Censuswide, that 500 tonnes of plastic waste is generated by children’s lost toys in Ireland every year. That is the equivalent of over 30 million plastic bottles ending up in landfill* which really is a staggering figure. 

Some other interesting findings revealed by the research in relation to the items lost by Irish children each year included:

  1. Toys were identified as the most commonly lost item by children in Ireland (47%), closely followed by socks (36%), stationery (30%) and cuddly toys (23%) – all of these items have quite a high proportion of unsustainable materials, including plastic. 
  2. ¼ of Irish parents admitted that their child most commonly lost reusable plastic water bottles

Where do our lost items go? 

The research also revealed exactly what it is we think happens to our lost items and of course what actually happens. 1/5 of Irish parents surveyed stated that they felt that lost items would always be returned to them, while just 9% recognised that their lost property would probably end up in landfill. However, those surveyed also revealed that over 66% of the time their lost items are never found which would suggest that as many as 2/3’s of lost items could end up in landfill, which is not good news for our environment. 

So, what do we do when items are lost? 

Well, research found that over 1 in 10 of those surveyed admitted to replacing the lost items as soon as possible using online shopping platforms. This approach adds to the environmental impact of lost property, particularly when considering the additional emissions generated by delivery. Interestingly, only 24% of parents said they currently take certain measures to help reduce future lost property, such as using name labels. 

Commenting on the research findings, Lars B. Andersen, Managing Director at My Nametags, comments: “Children’s lost property is a significant problem, not just for parents who have to replace the lost items, but for the environment too. We all know there is a climate crisis, and everyone is doing their bit to reduce their impact on the planet, whether that is eating less meat, reducing use of single-use plastics, or installing energy-efficient light bulbs. However, there remains a gap in our knowledge about the impact that lost property could be having on the environment. Clothing is a key example of this. Many fabrics used to create children’s clothes and accessories include synthetic fibres made from plastic. As a result, when these items are unnecessarily lost, it can have a big impact on the planet.” 

So, what can we do to help reduce our lost property & make our clothing last longer? 

To help parents reduce the environmental impact of lost items, we have put together a list of top tips for preventing lost property and ingenious hacks to make clothing last longer! 

Create designated places in your children’s bag for each item

Create a certain spot for their lunchbox / water bottle / stationery / copy books – this will make it easier for your child to notice if any items are missing . Keep small objects in a pocket or purse with a zip rather than using your pockets 

Use name labels

Especially for items that are regularly taken out of the home to school or nursery, labelling items makes it easier for people to return them if they become lost. Also consider adding a phone number as well as a name to more valuable items 

Do a double check

Do a double check before leaving your house, school or anywhere else and get your child in the habit of double-checking that they have everything too!  It’s easier to find lost items when they first go missing than later down the line 

Attach a smart finder

For more valuable possessions, consider attaching a smart finder which will track your item wherever it goes – this is particularly useful for phones or even keys! 

If you or your child does lose something, try not to worry

Stay calm and think back together where you were when you were last using the item 

Be more organised

Designate particular boxes or folders for certain items by labelling them (i.e.: box for jigsaws / soft toys / homework / important documents) and then get in the habit of using these boxes and folders daily 

Top tips for making clothing last longer & reducing your clothing waste

Quality over quantity

Where possible, opt for a few quality pieces over lots of low-cost items. Cheaper garments tend to be made from synthetic fabrics which will wear much quicker and have a negative impact on the environment 

Don’t overfill the washing machine

Overfilling a washing machine not only means clothes won’t wash properly but they will also rub against each other more which can cause damage and fading

Reduce the amount of fabric detergent

Using large amounts of detergent can increase the fragility of some fabrics, such as Lycra, and can cause them to become stiff

Wash dark clothing inside out

To avoid dark clothing fading, wash them inside out to preserve the colour. This also works for graphic t-shirts to prevent the print from cracking and fading

Fold instead of hang

Hanging heavy items like woollen jumpers can cause the fabric to stretch and create misshapen clothing 

Donate

Instead of throwing out clothing you no longer wear why not donate them to your favourite charity shop .

Recycle unwanted clothing

Many stores are now accepting clothing for recycling so bring instead of binning your clothing bring it to your local store recycling outlet instead 

By making simple and small changes, such as the tips and hacks mentioned above, we can all play our part in helping to reduce the amount of waste that is created and in making a very real difference to our environment, not just for ourselves but for future generations too! 

Schools out for Summer – Fun activities to do with the kids

Summer Holidays are almost here, whether your summer will be action packed or laid back, we’ve got some ideas to help keep the children happy and entertained this summer. 

Go to the beach

What could be more fun than a day at the beach, weather permitting of course. Although we cannot guarantee that the sun will be shining, we are certain the kids will enjoy building sandcastles, swimming in the sea and being out in the sunshine and fresh air.

Have a picnic

Enjoy a lovely day out in the sun with family and friends. Bring the kids to a scenic spot with all your favourite snacks and enjoy the outdoors, make a day of it and go for a long walk to burn off some of that extra energy. Check out some picnic inspiration here

Make some treats

Summer calls for ice cream and did you know it is surprisingly easy to make your own? The kids will have fun making it, and they’ll definitely enjoy eating it! You can find lots of easy ice cream recipes online.

Set a challenge

It could be something as simple as reaching ten thousand steps a day, or learning a new dance routine or even reading their favourite book. Parents can make it educational or activity focused, or both if they want to! Setting little challenges throughout the summer holidays is a great way to keep the kids engaged and focused on something while they are off school. 

And don’t forget, when they are all ready to go back to school, we are here for all your labelling needs!

Follow My Nametags on Facebook & Instagram for our latest news, competitions and much more . 

Top 5 tips for applying iron on Labels

Children have a tendency to lose clothes. They feel warm so they take their jumper off and leave it in the playground, they sit next to their friend and confuse their PE t-shirt with theirs. It’s normal! But it is still annoying when you have to buy the third hat this week… That is where our iron-on labels come in!

Jumpers, t-shirts, trousers, coats, hats, everything gets identified. Our iron-on labels are a fun, easy way to label all your child’s clothing and uniforms. The nametags are waterproof, can go in the washing machine, dryer and are designed to withstand the active day-to-day of a child. We are also the only label company that offers you a 10-year guarantee.

While our iron-ons are quick and easy to apply, we thought we would share some of our top tips to ensure you make the most of the iron-on name tags and that they stay on for a long, long time.

1.    Make sure the clothing is ironable before applying the labels

Iron-on labels need a lot of heat to be applied correctly and some fabrics such as acrylics or other synthetic materials cannot withstand such heat, so we recommend you do not use the iron-ons on these materials. If you still want to risk it though you can lower the temperature of the iron and iron the labels onto the item for longer, however this may not always work.

2.    Turn off steam setting on the iron

Nowadays all irons use the steam setting, but the water from the steam could get into the hot-melt glue of the labels and weaken it so you should turn this off. It is also worth noting that the silicone paper is waterproof so the steam will likely come up and hurt your hand. When you do turn off the steam you might find that the iron is not heating to the max temperature, if this is the case empty out the water in the iron so it can reach the highest temperature.

3.    Carefully place the label on clothing and ensure you use silicone paper

It is important to use the silicone paper we have provided to ensure the labels do not melt. Simply place the silicone paper over the carefully placed label and try not move the iron as much as possible.

4.    Turn up heat to the max temp

By ironing on the labels, you are essentially melting the hot-melt glue onto the fabric so you need to make sure the temperature of your iron is hot enough. You want to have the iron on high heat which on most irons means selecting the three dots or a linen/cotton setting, either way the maximum dial should do it! If you have a newer or cheaper iron that does not get hot enough you need to ensure you hold it for a little longer. Usually, the ideal temperature for the hot-melt glue to stick would be around 150-170 °C.

5.    Adjust the time you iron on the label according to your iron

If your iron does not get to the temperatures indicated when on high heat you must hold it for slightly longer. As we mentioned in the previous point your iron will successfully melt the hot-melt glue when it gets to temperatures from 150 to 170 °C and is held for 8-15 seconds but irons are not all the same so you may need to hold it for longer. Newer or cheaper irons especially tend to not get hot enough so if after you try to apply a first label you find that it is not sticking properly try holding it for longer but do not forget to check if the fabric can withstand the temperature.

Once you get the hang of it, you will see how you will not want to use anything else, labels that do not stay or the time consuming sew-ons will be a thing of the past! 

How Labeling a Rotation of Toys Furthers Creativity and Focus

Guest post by Dawn Castell

There are never enough toys. Kids may have toys busting out of their playroom, yet they think they need more. The truth is that they just need to rotate those toys. There is an art to labeling and creating a special rotation of toys. Creativity and focus flow while they get their hands on “new” toys. You get to declutter and smile that you don’t need to buy more junk. Everyone wins.

Why Rotating Toys Matters

A baby milestone chart will tell you that children learn to love toys as young as possible. They start to chew on toys and fiddle with things at a few months old. As a parent, you start to buy toys to see this joy come to life. Somewhere in the middle of the joy, you notice there are simply too many toys. When you make a rotation system, you’ll start to notice there can still be that joy without the clutter. Kids have a capacity for a deeper sense of play. They don’t get stressed out over too many choices. They’re able to be creative with what’s in front of them. Rotating toys is about simplifying everyone’s world while keeping toys available at a level that is manageable.

Fewer Toys Leads To Bigger Smiles

It may seem silly to think that fewer toys actually reduces over-stimulation. As a kid, you may have thought too many toys was the perfect world. The truth is that a smaller amount of toys leads to more creative play. When you bring in a new rotation of toys, the child has probably forgotten about many of those toys. To them, they’re seeing the toys in a new light. They won’t beg you for more either.

Displaying Toys

Cleaning up toys with children still at play is often like cleaning up during a tornado. Instead of storing all of your toys in specific places, set up different play stations. You can set up a specific play area with cars, a costume station, and a place for arts and crafts. You can make a little reading nook. Once you cycle in new toys, you can make new stations or stock these stations. By displaying the toys in rotation, you’re encouraging the child to use their toys in creative ways. It’s also easier to keep up with the clutter.

Time to Reflect

Toy rotation may surprise you. You may notice that it calls attention to way too many toys. Many parents buy a kid a little toy here and there. Once you start digging in the bins setting up new toy stations, you’ll notice 100 Hot Wheels cars. This money could’ve been used towards more meaningful toys. You’ll begin to reflect on the toys that are never used. The kids may beg for them, but they end up in the junk bin. Making a toy rotation will help you realize what toys really matter.

Pair Together

It’s a great idea to put your toys in groups to easily rotate them. Put together toys like books, costumes, puzzles, motor skill toys, dolls, and building toys. You can easily sort these into bins to change out every few weeks. The kids may have a few they love that they cannot live without for a few weeks, so those may be an exception. If you’re lost about what toys are best for which ages, check out a baby milestone chart. Different ages of kids will enjoy different types of toys in their rotation. Your toddler may love the cars while your five-year-old may go for the Legos.

Little ones will appreciate their “new” toys in rotation. They won’t beg you so much to go to the store for more toys. They’ll show off their imagination and creative skills. You’ll smile at the organization and cleanliness of your home. Enjoy every moment as they play and you smile watching them learn and grow.

RAISE MONEY FOR YOUR SCHOOL OR NURSERY WITH MY NAMETAGS!

School and nursery is where it all starts, where you give your first steps into the world on your own, so it is only natural that we want to make these places the best they can possibly be for our children. Would it not be great if there was a way to give back to these places that shaped us, to help maintain and improve them?

My Nametags is proud of having a fundraising scheme in place for just this and we want to bring it to light! Our highly-successful fundraising initiative is ideal for schools and nurseries. It’s the perfect match because our nametags are a school and nursery essential. 

My Nametags labels are an amazing way to personalise your children’s items – they are colourful, resistant, can be washed – everything is identified from stationary to school uniforms! They help significantly reducing the problem of lost property. You are able to personalise the labels completely, picking the background, icon, font, font colour. The labels fits up to 3 line of text, some parents opt to have the child’s name only, others add the surname, the class, parent’s phone number, many will even add the school’s name to ensure the lost items are returned there. 

How to get involved:

To join and start fundraising for your school, you simply need to sign-up, we then provide you with a unique School ID which you promote. Every time someone uses that School ID to make a purchase you will automatically be credited. Through our fundraising programme, your school’s PTA or the group of parents you know at this school could receive 24% of every order total.You can also request for us to send you order forms, at no extra cost, or simply use the link to My Nametags on the schools’ website with your School ID, you will automatically be credited each time someone makes a purchase.Get in touch if you would like more information, to sign up or to request our pads by emailing sales@mynametags.com.                  

Useful links:

Simple and Easy treats to make at Easter

Easter is fast approaching which means there will be lots of extra chocolate in our homes over the coming weeks and beyond. You may also be struggling to come up with fun and engaging things to do with the children over the school holidays as we are spending more time at home, so we’ve put together some ideas for delicious and simple treats you can make with your kids this Easter.

Rocky Road

A delicious treat that’s easy to make and tastes great, you can also add in some fruits like raisins and cherries to make it slightly healthier. The kids will love using up their leftover chocolates and treats. Try this simple, no bake recipe and enjoy!

Rice Krispie Cakes

A classic treat  and so easy to make, This will be a firm favourite with the kiddies, they’ll enjoy making them as much as they’ll enjoy eating them. You can get adventurous and add in marshmallows or jelly sweets or keep them as simple as you like. Check out this recipe to get started.

Easter Egg Cookies

Cookies are always a firm favourite and the kids will love making these Easter themed treats. There’s nothing quite like warm cookies, straight out of the oven! These are really easy to make plus if you’ve got a lot of cookie dough left over you can freeze it and bake more cookies another time, see…delicious and efficient! Check out this quick & easy recipe.

Ice Cream

Now that the days are getting (slightly) warmer, we’ve got the perfect excuse to indulge in Ice – Cream. Ice cream is actually easier to make than you’d expect so why not give it a try?  Plus it’s super flexible, you can add as much chocolate or as little as you want, the choice is yours! This recipe takes only a few minutes to prepare and you can be certain the children will love sampling the finished product!

You can find many more recipes and demonstration videos online. 

Will you give baking a try this Easter? If you do, we would love to see your results, tag us on Facebook and Instagram


7 Simple ways to transform your child’s room

Has you child’s room looked the same for a while now? A place your children like and feel comfortable in is incredibly important, especially now that they are spending so much time in it. So here are a few simple ways to make your child’s room a more creative and comfortable place.

1 – Make a drawing board!

2 – Rearrange – move the bed to the opposite side of the room, have the desk facing a different way, the rug in the centre of the room instead of the side – change it up!

3 – Indulge your children – ask how they would like their space to be – even if you’re not willing to turn their room into a sandpit or paint all the walls bright orange you will likely be able to find a compromise and draw inspiration from what they want.

4 – Update – After looking at the same things and the same colours for a while it is nice to give them a new look. Get some paint and update the furniture in your child’s room – white drawers turn green, the wardrobe now has flowers – there is so much you can do!

5 – Patterns! Get some coloured tape (Washi tape is great) and get creative. You can use them instead of frames, to create a pattern on drawers, it’s such a simple way of giving things a more fun look.

6 – Switch the boring drawer knobs for some funky new ones.

7 – Get creative with wall stickers! – Have you seen all the themes we have available on our site? And if you really want to go crazy you can mix these up – clouds with dots and suddenly it’s snowing in the room. There are so many fun combinations you could do, check our our wall stickers here.

Be careful though, you don’t want to make it too nice – you’ll have plenty of ‘I don’t want to leave my room’ when they get to their teenage years…

Become more green!

The new year had the tendency to make us reflect and strive for new things. Resolutions are made – some to be kept, others to be half followed and some to be forgotten. If one of your resolutions includes being more conscientious of your choices and the impact they have on the environment we have gathered, just for you, 21 simple ways to become more green in 2021.

1 – Recycle everything. You are probably thinking ‘but I already recycle’ but take a moment to think whether you are doing it correctly and if you are recycling all you possibly can. It might even help to make a diagram of what goes where (or better yet, ask your children to draw you one!) and stick it on the bins.

2 – Plant a little garden either in the back garden or on the windowsill. It does not have to be complicated, start with some herbs like basil or mint, next thing you know you will be growing your own tomatoes and lettuce! 

3 – Collect rainwater to water your houseplants and garden – this is so simple and yet most of us do not bother doing it. But we should not forget that even water can be reused!

4 – Wash your laundry in cold water instead of hot.

5 – Switch your lightbulbs to more energy efficient types.

6 – Use natural light for as long as you can and turn off the lights when you leave the room.

7 – Go paperless. Nowadays nearly every business gives you the option of being contacted via text or email rather than letters. Think of all the paper you will save by opting out of letters that end up unread and directly thrown in the bin anyway…

8 – Walk, run, bike! If you are able to make the journey by walking or riding your bike, do so. You get some exercise in AND you help the environment.

9 – Invest in a reusable coffee cup. Anything that is used once and disposed of is something to avoid. So instead of going to a coffee shop and getting a coffee served in a paper cup bring your reusable cup and ask them to fill that instead. Some coffee shops will even offer you some kind of reward when you do this.

10 – Use reusable bags. They are environmentally friendly, more resistant and more comfortable to use! 

11 – Use reusable water bottles not plastic bottles. Get a funky colour and maybe even decorate it with stickers so it is a little more personalised.

12 – Reuse paper: print on both sides or use the back of used paper – it is great for children’s drawings or to-do lists!

13 – Replace your disposable cotton pads and face wipes for reusable ones. 

14 – Swap paper napkins for cloth napkins – which can make your table look even nicer!

15 – Reduce food waste. Do not buy, put away and forget about it until it has gone bad. Think about what you will use each product for before putting it away and how long it will last. Then plan your meals around the food that needs to be consumed first.

16 – Have a plan B – when you miscalculate how long an item of food lasts, use it for something else. Things that have gone slightly mushy are normally great for smoothies or baking, for example. 

17 – Start a compost bin. You can use it for your own garden or you can give it to someone who has a use for it. Community gardens which you can find online will normally take them – someone will thank you!

18 – Buy second hand – whether this is clothes or household items giving something a second or third life drastically cuts its carbon footprint.

19 – Donate – following on the previous suggestion, donating the things you have in the house that you do not use or need is a great way to tidy your home and to allow your items to find a second home.

20 – Borrow instead of buying which is great because you save money, resources and space! Think about the last time you decluttered your space – how many items did you get rid of that were only used once?

21 – Label your items – this will ensure you do not lose as many things, meaning you will re-buy less and so use less resources. Visit our sustainability page to know more.

As you start your ‘greener journey’ you will realise how simple some of these things are to do. Mostly it is down to being more intentional with the things you consume and how you consume them. So stay informed, keep an eye out for information on how to be more environmentally friendly – follow some sustainability pages and blogs – it doesn’t mean you have to read about it everyday but it should be on your radar. It is vital that we continuously look for ways to improve, that we spread the word and teach others and the next generation.