Back to and starting school, nursery tips

Going back to school or nursery after the freedom of the holidays can be tough for children and parents but you can make family life easier by doing a few simple things. For those starting nursery, primary school or secondary school for the first time it can be a little bit daunting. Help your child make the move with ease.

Visit nursery/school

It can be enormously helpful if you’ve had time over the holidays to point out their nursery or school or visit it together (even just the outside) before the big day. Familiarizing your child with the place before they start there can really help.

Friends

It’s highly likely that your child will be starting nursery or school with other children living locally. Make an effort to chat to other parents at the school gate and perhaps arrange a play date or visit to the park after school as this will help your child build friendships. Do ask the teachers about your child’s friendship groups so that you can organise play dates at home.

Uniform and kit

It goes without saying that you need to label everything from school jumpers and trainers to sports bags, pencil cases and lunchboxes. Get your child to choose their own design and colours on our website so that they can easily find their stuff.

My Nametags uniform

Sleep

Kids who get enough sleep are healthier, grow better, are more alert, focused and are able to process information more easily, says Helen Johnson, cranial osteopath and homeopath – http://www.helenjohnson.org. Put some zing into your bedtime routine with new bath toys or bubble bath, some new stories, tapes or music to make going to sleep more enticing. Kids aged 3-5 years should get 11-13 hours of sleep while 5-12-year olds need between 10-11 hours. 

Mornings

Mornings in our house (with four children) are fairly stressful, especially since I’m not a morning person! I know from experience that the more you can do the night before, the smoother your morning will be. My kids now lay out all their school kit in their bedrooms, including uniform, bags and reading books, the night before to avoid any last minute panics. Laying the breakfast table and making sure hair brushes and hair bands etc are at hand and shoes/trainers are ready to be put on can really help keep your morning on an even keel.

Emotions

For those children starting nursery or school for the first time try keep emotions in check and keep smiling to show your child that it will be a positive experience. And don’t hang around too long as it will make the separation more emotional. For older children, make sure you have time to chat about their day as there will be ups and downs. Having a cup of tea or taking the dog for a walk together can really help your child off load any worries.

Rules of the pavement – win a back to school scooter set!

Image of two school children on scootersTwo mums, Philippa and Anna, began importing and distributing Swiss-made Micro Scooters in 2004 after spotting one in a London park and started up www.micro-scooters.co.uk. Ten years on there are over one million children scooting to school everyday.

Scooting to school transformed my school run with two primary school-aged children plus a toddler in a buggy (who quickly got a three-wheeled scooter too!). It was faster and fun – no more “I can’t walk any more” – good exercise and certainly greener than using the car. But I soon realised it was important to give my kids some ‘scooter pavement rules’ as they hurtled along busy London pavements.

Young children are often unaware of basic rules of the road so it’s really important you keep a close eye on them while you’re out and about, especially if they’re new to scooting.Image of children on micro scooters

Micro Scooters offer a free ‘Scoot Safe’ scheme for teachers and parents, full of tips and advice on how to teach children to scoot safely. “Teach your kids to keep away from the edge of the road, be mindful and courteous of pedestrians and not to scoot too fast, especially around corners,” says Ben Gibson of Micro Scooters.

And don’t forget to label your children’s scooters…our stickers work on anything from ballet shoes, football boots and karate kit to pencil cases and calculators!

 

TOP TEN SCOOTER SAFETY TIPS

1. Always, always wear a helmet. Image of scooter helmets

2. Don’t scoot too fast on pavements.

3. Always keep your child in sight and never let them get too far in front of you. Ask them to scoot back to you if they are much quicker than you, they can then scoot off again.

4. Be courteous to other pavement users.

5. Check driveways first – listen out for cars that might be reversing out of their driveway.

6. Always WALK across roads, don’t scoot.

7. Look out for changes in the pavement surface as this might cause you to go quicker or slower than you expect.Image of toddler on scooter

8. Keep away from scooting on the edge of the pavement; teach your kids to scoot on the inside away from the road.

9. Make sure children are visible in the darker evenings by wearing a reflective jacket or strip, and by attaching a light to the scooter.

10. Wheelie bins can make the pavement very narrow, so get off your scooter and walk past them.

MICRO SCOOTER COMPETITION!

Two lucky My Nametags newsletter readers will win a Micro scooter set worth up to £160/€200. The winners can choose between a Mini Micro or Maxi Micro scooter set which includes a;

- Mini or Maxi Micro scooter

- Micro helmet

- Micro bag

- Micro bottle holder.

The Mini Micro set is suitable for children aged 3-5 years and the Maxi Micro set is suitable for children aged 6-12 years.

All you have to do is get your child to draw a picture of themselves on a scooter!

Send a picture of the drawing to us via email (marketing@mynametags.com), Facebook or Twitter with few words on why your child would like a scooter. Please note, if you email us you will receive emails from Micro Scooter afterwards

We will announce the winner on Friday September 19.

Good luck!!Image of younger children on a micro sooter

 

p.s. you can download your own set of scooter rules to hang up in your home by clicking here!

 

The Autumn fashion edit – 10% off personal styling

A change is as good as a rest so the saying goes. So even though it’s getting cooler and the nights are drawing in, it’s rather nice to swap flip flops for boots and get into warmer clothes. We asked style gurus Be Styled UK to give us a quick edit of what to wear this autumn to suit all budgets whether you’re a high street shopper or a lover of high fashion.

The Trenchimage of a navy trench coat from m and sImage of a Burberry trench coat

The trench coat is a must-have wardrobe item for the autumn season. This gorgeous navy trench coat from www.marksandspencer.com is just £99 (€124) or you could invest in this cotton blend English lace trench coat in camel from Burberry for £1,395 (€1695)  www.burberry.com.

The Jeans

Skinny jeans have become a wardrobe staple. Uniqlo has some great Ultra Stretch Jean skinnies from www.uniqlo.com for £34.90 (€43.81) or you could splash out on ultra skinny denim jeans from the Proenza Schouler section of www.farfetch.com for £185 (€232).

The SweaterImage of a Porla sweaterGrey Vila Sweater

Light sweaters with feminine style collars are perfect for autumn. This feminine knitted long sleeved blouse from www.vilaclothes.com is just €49.95 . Or save up £260 (€326) for this gorgeous Porla collared sweater by Alice + Olivia from Harvey Nichols.

The Ankle BootsImage of ankle boot with metal accentimage of navy ankle boot

Ankle boots are super versatile and work all year round with skinny jeans or midi skirts. We’re loving these Metal-Accent Ankle Boots from the pangmama section of www.yesstyle.com for around £35.90 (€45). Or these midnight blue suede ‘Shirley’ ankle boot from Opening Ceremony at ShopStyleUK for £280 (€351).

The Bagimage of a beige Chloe Clare bagimage of navy tote bag

This on-trend navy Padlock-Accent Faux-Leather Tote is a bargain at £29.90 (€37.50) from the Red Monkey section of www.yesstyle.com. If you want an investment piece this autumn look no further than the Clare medium bag named after Chloé’s creative director, £1,460 (€1832) from the Chloé section of Monnierfreres.com.

The Earringsimage of my Tory Burch earringsEarrings in cobalt from House of Harlow

These Sun Burst earrings in cobalt are bang on trend from the House of Harlow section of http://www.shopstyle.co.uk for around £25 (€31). Or go for classic with a twist from www.toryburch.co.uk Hexagon logo stud earrings in gold or silver £50 (€62).

OFFER: 10% Off Personal Styling Services with Be Styled UK for My Nametags blog readers – quote: Nametags

 

Improve your holiday snaps – competition!

Have you ever forgotten to bring your camera charger or even your camera on holiday? Or turned up to the school play, ballet or karate display without a camera? As the summer holidays are almost upon us we thought it was high time that we got some expert advice from photographers that specialise in family photos.

Using a phone?

Phone cameras are actually pretty good and not easy to forget! But if you’re using a phone, turn it sideways as the final image will look heaps better on screen. The photo on the right is ‘bad’ photo of the type many people take – adult standing up pointing the camera down at the child, says photographer Justin Ward. However, by getting down to the child’s eye level, close in and  turning the camera sideways, the image of the same moment is dramatically improved and will look much better when shown on a screen.
As camera-phones are so light try to keep the phone as still as possible – www.justin-ward.com.

Choose the right camera

Technology is changing constantly and choosing the right camera is so personal so do seek advice from a camera shop. The London Camera Exchange www.lcegroup.co.uk or a branch of Jessops www.jessops.com are both great. Physically check the weight and size of the camera before you buy as if it’s too heavy you won’t take it anywhere, says Helen Bartlett www.helenbartlett.co.uk.

Do it like a pro

It’s far better to just focus on selected events from birthdays to beach holidays but to do them properly. Make an effort. Take lots of different shots – close-ups and from a distance. Really try to record the event like you’ve been hired to do it. When taking shots of children lower your camera or crouch down to the same eye level for a better perspective, says Richard Williamson owner of family media company McKay Williamson http://mkwcreative.com.

Background, framing and texture

What you leave out is just as important. So check whether there’s anything you don’t want in the photo like a telegraph pole or rubbish bins before you take it! Try to frame the image. Draw the eye to your subject by shooting through a doorway, archway or through kiddies play tunnel. Look at texture too eg the contrast between a baby’s soft skin on a fluffy blanket  – Kitty Phillips www.kittyphillips.co.uk.

Get the kids involved

Holidays are the perfect time to get the kids to film or take photos. Get them to ‘shoot’ one day of your holidays really properly. The beauty with digital is that they can take as many as they like!

The Selfie…

The Selfie has become part of our vocabulary so make sure you do it right! Hold it above you for a more flattering angle (especially if you’re over 30…) and choose a good light. For a Selfie without arms use earphones with a clicker to take the shot – Sandi Friend www.sandifriend.co.uk

My Nametags Photo Competition!

To enter the Nametags’ competition please email us your photo containing one of our nametags by Friday 5 September. The My Nametags team will choose the best pictures to post on Facebook. One one lucky reader will win a set of iron-on or stick-on name labels.

Attention: Please send your photos to marketing@mynametags.com. Your entry will not be taken into consideration if you reply to the Newsletter or emailing us to sales@mynametags.com or sales@mynametags.ie.

girl with sunglasses and my nametags labels

Last minute summer holiday ideas

You may have booked your summer holiday months ago or not have anything in the diary yet! We asked family-friendly travel agency www.babygoes2.com for some last minute holiday ideas. From long to short haul, budget or blow the budget, there’s something for everyone. Babygoes2 customers get exclusive offers and the best prices plus there’s a £15 (€18.95) Amazon voucher for all My Nametags customers booking a holiday through babygoes2* and quoting My Nametags. Call 01273 230669 or email contactus@babygoes2.com.

* terms and conditions: bookings must be of value £1500 (€1895) or more and voucher sent on completion of stay.

BREAKS IN THE UK WITH AUGUST AVAILABILITYCourt Farm Holidays

Cornwall – Court Farm Holidays: Very popular spacious child-friendly self-catering accommodation with hot-tubs on a 100acre working farm in Cornwall. Lots of shared facilities including heated indoor swimming pool, games room, play area and for the parents on site Spa Treatments and catering service.  Cottage (sleeps 5) has some availability in August £1675 (€2116) for a week.

Lakeside Gloucestershire – Lakeside Lodge: Stylish, contemporary, spacious house (sleeps up to 8) with fab lakeside position and good resort type facilities including PC and internet access, plasma TV, honesty bar, library, south facing terrace, gym,  outdoor tennis court,  man made lakeside beach, freshwater lake swimming with diving platform, picnic areas,  play area & trampolines, tree houses and dens, football pitch, petting shed with resident guinea pigs and rabbits.

Luxury in Suffolk - Ickworth – Luxury Family Hotel: Hotel and apartments set on the Ickworth Estate in Suffolk in 1,800 acres of parkland. Relaxed chic, very family friendly, with indoor and outdoor pool, gardens superb playground, walks with deer hyde, great food, crèche and kids club.  Some August availability, rooms from £299 (€377)  per night for a family of up to 4.

MAURITIUSImage of hotel Le Telfair, Mauritus

A fantastic luxury destination for families – not too hot or humid (it’s their winter right now) – but plenty of sunshine, lots to explore culturally and scenically, superb resorts with excellent facilities and activities for both children and adults. Flights are direct and can be overnight – so although long, are relatively pain-free.

Fantastic offer – Le Telfair – top 5 star on beautiful, sheltered south east coast: discounted rates plus guaranteed room upgrade, a second FREE room for children aged up to 17 and FREE FULL BOARD: valid for travel until September 30th – prices from just £1599 (€2020) per adult  for a week including Air Mauritius flights.

RANCH AMERICAImage of a ranch holiday in the US

For something completely different and an unforgettable holiday experience try a ranch experience in the USA. Sample life in the wild west – days in the saddle and evening round the campfire. There are ranches to suit families of all ages and experience and a wide choice of locations: Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado to name but a few. Prices from £1400 (€1768) per adult.

TOUR THE USA

Another great option for the adventurous family. Tour New England or California in your own RV (huge, luxury camper-van!) This is a once in a lifetime family holiday experience- all tours can be tailormade to suit your requirements.

CARIBBEANImage of Buccament Bay resort, St Vincent Grenadines

Get luxe-for-less at the 5 star Buccament Bay resort, St Vincent Grenadines with a 50% discount this summer. Buccament Bay is arguably the top choice for a Caribbean holiday. 1, 2 or 4 bedroom villa rooms and a whole host of activities including excellent football, tennis AND, new for this summer, performing arts academies, diving, and water-sports.  Adult prices from £1245 (€1572) ALL INCLUSIVE per adult. Book by: 31 July, 2014.

EUROPEImage of a gated pool

Villas with gated pools – Families with young children often worry about pool safely – so a gated or fenced pool is a huge plus. This is obligatory in France, and is becoming more common elsewhere in the Med. There are lots of options on www.babygoes2.com.

August availability –  Lovely house in Menorca near Ciudadella: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, walk to sea and bathing platform, wifi, fenced pool. Available: From August to September vary from £895 – 2095 (€1130 -2646) .  Central Algarve Guia: pretty 2 bed 2 bathroom house with air con, wi-fi pool and childrens pool. Short drive to lovely beaches. Available August £1350 (€1705) per week.

Small resorts – Small, intimate groups of apartments or villas with shared pools work really well for families with children. There’s plenty of space and flexibility, and the chance for children (and grown ups) to socialize around the pool, but all set within a peaceful environment.

Corfu: Kasomitria small group of apartments near sleepy unspoilt San Stefano in Corfu. Beach and taverna within 800m, shared pool. Good value. Tuscany: Orcio Spacious 2 bed appt with wi-fi in lovely restored stone building, Set in a great location in Tuscany, mid way between Siena and Florence, only 2 mins from nearest shops and restaurants. Gardens and shared swimming pool. And an estate manager on hand to help and who can arrange all sorts of extras – tours, cooking lessons etc.

Image of Hotel Gruner Baum in the Austrian TyrolSummer in the mountains – Swap hot, sticky beaches for sun-bathed mountains and crystal clear air….the charming Hotel Gruner Baum in the Austrian Tyrol is fabulous for families – with lots of activities and has a free night offer for the last week of August: 4=3 or 7=6 nights. Its package includes half board, daily child care from the age of 3, torch hike through the idyllic Kötschach valley, children’s swimming lessons, fishing. Great walking all around and lots to explore.

Villas or apartments with resort facilities – The privacy, space and flexibility of a villa combined with the facilities of a hotel –often including kids club babysitting, spa etc – is for many the ideal solution to the family holiday conundrum. There are some excellent options still with availability in August.

Spain: LAS LOMAS at La Manga: large upmarket resort with a great combination of activities and sports for all ages plus spa, restaurants etc. Any 7 nights after 24 August in a 3 Bed View Apartment on self catering inc return transfers £2,046 (€2584), 2 bed appt from £1600 (€2021).

Algarve: VIDEMAR: newish 5 star resort with contemporary styling, again with very good all round facilities including kids club.

Cyprus: APHRODITE HILLS Another very good 5 star resort with excellent facilities including spa, golf, tennis, watersports cycling, riding – good activities for all the children, including teenagers.

Tenerife: BAOBAB SUITES: new all suite resort with very spacious, stylish suites set in the upmarket Costa Adeje area. Kids club.

Active holidays – Mark Warner offer excellent activity-based holidays in some great locations throughout the Med. They offer really good sports and watersports tuition for both adults and children, along with excellent children’s clubs. The perfect opportunity to take up a new skill or perfect an old one! Good late minute summer offers too: currently up to 40% off peak season August holidays – starting at £650 (€821) per person including flights and half board. Sardinia, Rhodes, Corsica Kos, Sardinia all with availability. Special 5% discount for babygoes2 clients.

 

Stylish family beach holiday essentials – 10% discount!

Beach holidays en famille are fantastic especially if you’re prepared and have the right kit. Vacation wear outlet, Flo & Joe,  was set up in 2004 after a very disappointing online search for stylish flip flops! Vanessa Holloway set up the company while on maternity leave with her first baby. Flo & Joe has since expanded the range to include beach and holiday wear for children and adults but still today have the largest collection of Havaianas.

We’ve negotiated a special 10% discount for My Nametag newsletter readers. Go to www.floandjoe.co.uk and use discount code SUMMER10.

Beach essentialsNali Fluo Pink Clutch bag

Pack essentials like a bottle of sun cream, phone, keys, money etc. in a large clutch for a bit of beach glamour. When you go for lunch you can take this with you and leave the bulky items on the beach, says Flo. Try the Nali Fluo Pink clutch bag £29 (€36).

Image of Flight 001 clear bagClear view

Put family necessities like insect sting spray, plasters, tissues etc. in a clear bag so the rest of the family can see what is in there without emptying the contents onto the sand! We think Flight 001’s medium clear toiletry bag £15 (€19) does the trick beautifully.

Image of Flight 001 wet suit bagWet suit bag

There’s nothing worse than a wet sandy beach bag! Keep super organised by stashing wet and sandy swimmers in a separate bag away from clean dry clothes, says Flo. Try Flight 101’s Clean Wet Suit Bag £20 (€25).

Image of NY taxi sarongKid-friendly sarong

A lightweight sarong/pareo made of soft, breathable cotton is far nicer than damp towelling for small children to snuggle under in the shade. We love the NY taxi sarong which comes in white or pink. Oh, and it’s a super stylish cover-up for you too for just £25 (€31).

Stylish and safe girls

Buy your children beachwear in cool, fun designs that they’ll want to wear but that are also safe in the sun. For girls this gorgeous Sunuva yellow rash vest with exotic orchid design is super cool, quick drying with UPF 50+ protection. Matching bikini and lovely summer dress available too. £39 (€49) each.

Image of Sunuva Girls Yellow Orchid Rash VestImage of Sunuva Girls Yellow Orchid bikini

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uber cool boys

We love this Indian Headdress design for boys. The UV rash vest in fabulous bright orange features a cool Indian headdress design is made of breathable UPF 50+ fabric, which blocks out 97% of the sun’s harmful rays. The matching orange swimmers feature the same fabric with UPF 50+ protection too. Both £38 (€48).

Image of Sunuva Indian Headdress Swim Shorts

Image of Sunuva Indian Headress UV Rash Vest

 

 

 

 

 

Havaiana heaven

Don’t forget your Havaianas. They come in a plethora of shades and styles and for the smallest of feet too! Kids Brasil Logo Navy Havaianas £16.00 (€20), Kids Freedom Pink Gold Sandal Havaianas £22.00 (€27).

Image of Havaianas Kids Braxil Logo NavyImage of Havaianas Kids Freedom Pink Gold Sandal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out our (and your) green credentials

DSC_0058When My Nametags started in 2004 one of the key aims was to be as environmentally friendly as possible. Our biggest contribution to the environment is to sell a product that helps children keep hold of their belongings! And by labelling your children’s clothes, trainers, lunch boxes etc. you are helping to reduce lost property and waste.

The Managing Director of My Nametags, Lars Andersen, has always been interested in the environment. When he set up My Nametags ten years ago he was determined to make every effort to make it as green as possible.

“We have invested a lot of time researching the best materials available in Europe for our children to safely use. Our non-BPA, non Phthalates PVC colour labels are free of any toxic plasticisers,” says Lars. My Nametags’ colour labels are made with eco-ink and the cartridges are sent back to the manufacturer to be recycled and refilled.

bpa phathalate free

We’re also environmentally conscious inside the office too. Last year we got a Carbon Smart Blue Certificate in recognition for using recycled paper, recycling eco-ink cartridges and reducing the carbon footprint in our office. See www.carbonsmart.co.uk/certification for more information.DSC_0492

Did you know that we will give you free blank labels to cover your child’s name so you can pass items on to older children, friends or charity shops? If you need some blank labels please email us. And do tell everyone that they too can be greener by labelling their things.