Does this scenario ring a bell?
Johnny goes back to school for another year. He has brand new uniforms, books, pencils, school bag, lunchbox and drink bottle, not to mention the countless other things the school has asked you to buy on the book list.
You have spent quite a lot of money on this school gear and Johnny promises to look after it all. Two days into the new school term, Johnny comes home minus his brand new lunchbox and wide-brimmed hat. He says he “lost them” and seriously can’t remember when and where he saw them last.
These brand new items didn’t have his name on them at all, and have seemingly disappeared into the school lost property black hole (i.e. they are shoved in a corner of a classroom somewhere or have landed into another schoolkid’s bag, never to be seen again!)
You now have to fork out another $20 plus for a new hat and lunchbox, and the term is only 2 days old!
Sadly, there are hundreds of kids just like Johnny, who are not too savvy when it comes to keeping an eye on their stuff. This scenario could have been avoided though, and Johnny’s mum could have saved some money.
Schools encourage all students to have their property labelled with their name, but sadly not all families comply with that. Labelling is so easy, doesn’t need to be expensive and in the end, it can save you money (especially if you have more than one child at school). Who wants to buy more uniforms and school gear two days, or even two weeks into a brand new school year? Kids by nature are easily distracted and forgetful, so it’s up to us parents to make life a little easier by simply putting names on all belongings.
Here are few easy and cheap ways to do this!
1. Grab a Laundry Marker
You can pick up a simple laundry marker from supermarkets. These are permanent markers that are designed for writing on clothing, and will not run or come off easily in the wash. They cost a few dollars.
2. Masking Tape
This is a cheap way of labelling belongings. Just stick a piece of masking tape onto your child’s school things and write their name on them with permanent marker. Probably not real classy looking, but it’s cheap and effective!
3. Fabric Paint
You can use fabric paint to write your child’s name on the inside of clothing – cheap and easy!
4. Label Makers
These are hand-held machines specifically designed to produce sticky labels to place on things like lunchboxes and drink bottles. You can customise and design your own labels. They are around $30 to $40 from department stores or office supply stores.
These labels are quite popular and very easy to apply to clothes. They usually come preprinted with the child’s name and a design or icon. They are more difficult to remove than the sew on labels, but that’s not a bad thing sometimes!
You can buy iron-on labels from Bright Star Kids.
6. Plastic/Vinyl Stick on Labels
These have become widely popular and there are a number of different companies offering these all at varying prices and designs. Most of these labels are dishwasher and microwave safe so are suitable for lunchboxes and drink bottles etc, as well as other school items like pencils, rulers and bags. Many label companies offer variations of the name labels as well, with allergy labels, book subject labels, shoe labels and tiny pencil labels, just to name a few.
7. Sew on Labels
These are cloth labels you can buy which have the child’s name printed on them by the supplier, or you can buy blank ones and write the child’s name on yourself. You then need to sew them into your child’s clothing. A little time consuming, but you can pick them out of the clothes and reuse them next year in new clothes.
There is something all parents should note when labelling school things. Some schools recommend not to put your child’s name on the outside of their hats or school bags. It is much easier for strangers to be able to befriend your child as they will be able to call them by name. Label the inside of the bag and hat, and you can also put a bag tag on your child’s bag so it distinguishes it from the rest of the other bags.