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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. 

Our labels are Antibacterial

Why labels your children’s belongings

We have become increasingly aware of how quickly and easily germs can spread. With that in mind, we started to think about what exactly our children do that could be putting them at risk, and sharing items is at the top of the list. Stationery items children bring to school and use day in day out: pens, colouring pencils, rulers, calculators are amongst the most commonly shared items between children. Labelling each and every item is more important than ever before. Not only will labels help your children identify their belongings but, to give you a little extra peace of mind, My Nametags labels are also antibacterial. 

The Science

Our labels are tested to be antibacterial by Industrial Microbiological Services and have been awarded a certificate under ISO 22196 (Measurement of antibacterial activity on plastics and other non-porous surfaces). We cover all of our labels with a silver-based antibacterial coating which will kill any bacteria or microbes that may be on the surface of the labels.

Conclusion

We always try to keep people’s needs in mind when we develop our products. As well as being antibacterial, our labels are wear-resistant, washing machine and dishwasher safe and can withstand the rigors of school life which means they are perfect to use on just about anything. Stationary, lunchboxes, school uniforms, face masks – everything is identified!

To design your own set of labels, visit our website.

Thank You, Teacher

It’s been a hard year… but it has also been a year of growing, helping and appreciating not only what we normally take for granted but one another. One of the things you may have been reminded of is just how important teachers are – sometimes it takes walking in someone else’s shoes to understand how things really are. So if you are wanting to say a special ‘thank you’ to your children’s teacher this Christmas you’re in the right place. We have gathered some suggestions that you and your children can do together (or your child can do with some supervision) to show their teacher you appreciate them.

1 – Homemade Biscuits

Even teachers have a sweet tooth and some homemade biscuits is a lovely way to cure it. It’s also no secret that baking is a great way to keep children entertained. Look for recipes that seem not only delicious but fun to make! You can find so many options online, such as CupcakeJemma on Youtube.

Biscuit recipes

2 – Christmas Tree Ornament

Help your child’s teacher decorate their Christmas tree! You can of course buy one or you can make it with your child. They can be quick and easy to make with things you have at home.

59 Unique DIY Christmas Ornaments - Easy Homemade Ornament Ideas

3 – A Sculpture

It is so easy and fun to get some clay and make something unique. Who knows… maybe your children is a gifted sculptor!

4- Homemade Jam or Chutney

Jam and Chutney are always great to have at home and while the store brought ones are fine there is definitely something to be said for homemade. It’s also a great little gift because it’s one of those things everyone likes to have but very few can be bothered to make!

Delicious Homemade Chutneys for Boxing Day - Hartley Farm Shop and Kitchen

5 – A Postcard

Sometimes it’s as simple as that. Write a few words to show them you see and value the work they are doing – maybe tell them the story about your little one coming home from school enthusiastically chatting about something the teacher did in class. It’ll make their day.

Four Simple Cards Kids Can Make | Homemade Thank You Cards from Toddlers  and Kids

6- A Set of Labels!

Teacher, like children, are prone to losing their stationery or getting it mixed for someone else’s so some labels may come in handy. Head to our site and you’ll be able to find a combination that fits your child’s teacher!

And if you are not the type to give a gift, sometimes a smile and a genuine ‘thank you’ can come a long way. Whatever you decided, just make sure you don’t forget to show your appreciation. They do put up with your children after all!

Metallic Ministickers

Match your labels to the season and your spirit!

When the Christmas lights start being put up, the trees start being decorated, the carols start being heard you know it is time for our metallic ministickers to come out again. Everything looks better when it’s shinny and our stickers are no exception! Our range of Metallic Ministickers will add an extra layer of class and sophistication to your items.

We have four sets for you to pick from. Christmas in christmassy colours like red, green, gold and silver. Active, our set in cooler colours in a range of greens and blues. Our warmer, rosier set Aurora in pink, purple, blue and green.
And, of course, the shiniest of them all: Frosted in pinks, silver, purple and light blue with a silvery tint throughout.

Show us how good your Metallic Ministickers look – tag us in your pictures on Instagram and Facebook!

Five Great Games For Kids

This blog post is a shorter version of an article written by Cristin Howard on the blog Smart Parent Advice, find the full article here

Playing games is one of the best parts of being a child. Here are some easy to play ones that you can teach your kids. If you’re lucky, they might even let you join in with the fun. Otherwise, you can sit back and listen to the happy giggles.

Marco Polo

It’s an oldie but a goody. This game has probably been played since the 1700s. Just in case you need a refresher, here’re the rules.

One person is ‘it’ and has to try and tag another player. However, they have to do this with their eyes shut. They, instead, must rely on hearing where the other players have gone. To help, they can shout ‘Marco.’ On hearing this, all the other players must respond with ‘Polo.’ Once they tag someone, that player becomes ‘it.’

We use an extra rule to keep things moving. It’s the 5-minute rule. If no one has been tagged after 5 minutes, whoever is closest to the hunter is now ‘it.’ If you’ve got younger kids, you might want to get them a pool float so they can be involved in the game too.

Capture The Flag

If you’ve got ample open space to play in and enough kids to form two teams, then capture the flag is a great game. It gets kids running around and encourages them to think strategically.

All you need is two items to act as your flags. You really can use anything at all as the flag, so get creative.

To play, you divide the space into two territories. When a player is in ‘enemy’ territory, they can be tagged. If so, they must perform a penalty before returning to their base. The winning team is the first to get the enemy flag into their territory.

If you want to spice things up, why not bring along some walkie talkies. This can let the kids roam over a larger area and encourage them to work as a team. With walkie talkies in play, the strategies can get even more intricate.


What’s Missing?

For a bit of mental exercise, why not give this memory game a try. All you need is a tray, a cloth, and a random selection of small items.

You arrange your selection of items on the tray and give the kids one minute to look. Then you cover the tray. Without the kids seeing you, take something away. The winner is the first kid to identify what’s missing.

You can make it as hard or as easy as you need to. The more objects, the harder it is. The bigger the items, the easier it is.

If you want to make it extra challenging, you can rearrange the objects on the tray after you take one away. This means they need to actually remember everything on the tray, not just look for the gap.

Charades

Games that encourage kids to be silly are always great fun. Charades is a good one to play with kids because if you’re good at it, you feel good about yourself. If you’re bad at it, it can be even more fun. It also encourages turn-taking, which is skill kids always need to be practising.

Here’s a quick rules refresher:

1. Pick a song, movie, or book title

2. Mime which option you’ve chosen

3. Indicate the number of words in the title

4. Start miming

Once the title is guessed, someone else has a go at miming. It’s good fun, with plenty of opportunities for silliness. It is worth having some suggested titles on hand for any kids who can’t think of anything. Try and pick easy to mime titles like Up, Jaws, Cars, or Little Women.

Board Games

There are so many great board games out there for kids to play that we’d be here all day if I started listing them. Board games are great for encouraging kids to get thinking. They develop logic and problem-solving skills. Also, they’re fun! So, here are a few to consider for different situations.

Dixit is an excellent game for any number of kids, it’s pretty and creative. It gets kids thinking.

Ticket to Ride is a board game that makes kids fall in love with board games. It’s easy to learn even for young kids. There’s a nice mix of luck and strategy, plus you get to build a train empire across Europe.

Finally, Spaceteam is a fun, frantic five-minute game that gets kids working together and shouting at each other at the same time.

All that’s left is to wish you fun.

Author Bio: Cristin Howard runs Smart Parent Advice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Cristin writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase.

The New Classrooms

Going back to school this year will be different – but that doesn’t mean we can’t make the best of it.

Have a look at the different ways in which classrooms around the world are innovating and making an unconventional situation fun!

  • By making social distancing fun with cool hats:
  • By transforming the scary looking desks with protections shields into trucks:
  • By reminding the children how nice it is to see them and each other again. And each pupil getting their own materials means no more fight over who gets to use what first! 

We all want to go back to normality: going out as we please, hugging, breathing without worry. But seeing as this might take a little longer than expected the next best thing is to be prepared for the new circumstances.  

People have an amazing ability to adapt – children in particular excel at this. So on this back to school don’t panic and don’t worry about what you can’t control, simply adapt and make the best of an odd, unexpected, unpredictable situation. 

Do you have any ideas to make the start of school this year easier and more fun for children? Let us know!

Back to School – The Importance of Labelling

This year’s back to school, while long awaited, may also be the cause of some concern. How many measures against covid-19 will schools realistically be able to implement – will children respect social distancing? Will they bother sanitising when you know at times you struggle to make them wash their hands?

Going back to school this year will most certainly be a whole new experience for both you and your children. People have become increasingly aware of how quickly and easily germs can spread. With that in mind, we start to think about what exactly our children do that could be putting them at risk, and sharing items is at the top of the list. Stationery items children bring to school: pens, colouring pencils, rulers, calculators are amongst the most commonly shared items between children. But sharing is no longer caring, now it means circulating more germs.

Labelling your children’s things has always been useful to help reduce lost property, but now using name tags can help in another, more important way. Being easily able to identify one’s items will encourage children to keep to their own things and help reduce the spread of germs. They can be fun and colourful while also helping your children be safe.

This pandemic has bought with it a new perspective on things, it has made us aware of the places we really cannot go without visiting, the people we really need around us. Shown us how nice slowing down can be and how resourceful we are coming up with alternatives to make sure we can continue. Chances are that as a parent, you cannot wait for your children to go back to school but we cannot forget that we still need to be prudent and do the best we can to care for our parents, siblings, children, friends, neighbours and everyone around us. If something as simple as labelling things can help, do it!

Family Summer Staycations – Why they are great!

Staycations are currently rising in popularity for reasons beyond our control… We mean that quite literally, it does not seem to be something one is actively opting for but the default option this year. But do not panic, holidaying at home rather than going abroad can be just as good! We want to share with you the top reasons why we love Staycations – and why you should too!

ECO Friendly

With lockdown people were able to see how much what we do affects the environment which may have got you thinking about being more eco conscious. Staycations are a great way to be more eco friendly. Travelling by train, bus or car will have a much lower impact on the environment. You’ll be able to walk around your city and take comfort in knowing that you are helping the air become a little less polluted.

Supporting Local Businesses

Covid-19 has surprised us all and while for some people this meant working from home, some businesses were not able to continue operating and have been greatly affected. Supporting small and local businesses is a small, simple way for you to help those struggling to keep their businesses afloat. Go to that restaurant just round the corner you always said looked nice, treat yourself to that beautiful dress displayed in the boutique’s window you’d been eyeing. Make sure that bakery you love to get breakfast from is able to stay open by continuing to enjoy their baked goods – now you’ll actually have an excuse – ‘I’m helping the business, they need it!’

Less Stress

Packing for the entire family can be a nightmare. Airline restrictions such as luggage size and liquids you’re allowed to take make the thought of travelling, even for a holiday, a lot less exciting and relaxing. Not to mention getting everyone to the airport, getting everyone through Airport Security, entertaining everyone while you wait to board, entertaining everyone while you’re on the plane, getting to the hotel, unpacking… The list is endless. Having a Staycation means none of this, you won’t even have to worry about all that for a second time on the return!  

Cost Effective

No expensive airline tickets, Visas or taxes means you end up saving more than a few pennies! You can also search for some great family deals and packages that are available at the moment and discover the beauty in the place you live in. 

Pets can come too

Nobody likes saying goodbye to their beloved pet when they go away, or leaving them in the care of someone you don’t know that well. With a Staycation this won’t be a problem! Many campsites, holiday homes and hotels are pet friendly so they can come along on the family holiday…they deserve a treat too! It’s nice when the whole family gets to be there.

Have we convinced you family Staycation can be amazing too? Let us know if we have and what other perks you can think of!

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My Nametags is back!

My Nametags is coming back in full force! And yet, slowly, cautiously, adapting and learning on how to deal with these new circumstances. After a few uncertain months of almost everyone in the office working from home people are coming back. 

While glad to be back we are also a little nervous, trying to be more conscious of the things we should be doing to make sure the office is a safe place. This, of course, means a copious amount of hand sanitiser, hand washing and social distancing as much as possible. There is no sharing, made easy by the use of our Ministickers – no one stealing anyone else’s pens anymore! 

We are incredibly fortunate to have a big office that allows people their own space and a little readjusting has meant that we have been able to establish this in what feels like a fairly natural manner. Boxes have been moved and stacked in between different workstations and everyone has been divided into four teams and making sure there isn’t contact between teams.

Summer is our busiest period, people are always on the move, working hard to make sure we deliver your name labels as efficiently and as promptly as possible. This summer will be no different. We may be more cautious with how we conduct ourselves in the office, but our main priority is still the same: ensure you get the best service and the best name labels.

Stay safe, stay positive.

Maxistickers

Things are easier to keep when there is no doubt who they belong to, with our new Maxistickers it’ll be hard not to know!

They come in different sizes, different shapes, different themes. Each set containing 21 incredibly versatile labels that will make your child’s books and school bag stand out.

No more monsters under the bed, they now live in your child’s lunchbox! Unicorns look at the stars and your child finds their drinking bottle. The Maxistickers are easily visible from a distance and super easy to apply. Make sure your child’s belonging return home!

New themes, never seen before, are available and each labels has a different combination – so much variety! You get circles, squares and rectangles all on one set.

Tells us how you are using our new Maxistickers!

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