Getting your kids ready for school with everything they need for a successful year is a huge mission. Ensuring it makes it home again at the end of each day is even bigger.
Labelling your kids many school items is an essential task but sometimes it can be hard to know the right way to go about it. Name labels need to withstand the rigours of little hands, lots of use and the general mayhem of school.
Having had years of practice in which I learned what works and what is a waste of time, I’m going to guide you through labelling different school items so anything that belongs to your kids will stay with your kids.
Further support: Back to school costs and how to stop them sky rocketing.
LABELLING SCHOOL UNIFORMS
Stick on labels
Stick on labels are very popular if you want to name kids school stuff and nowadays you don’t even need an iron!
They are made from high quality vinyl and you’d think they come off in the wash … but they don’t. I have even found them to stay fully intact after the tumble dryer.
My kids always liked the labels from Stuck On You because we could customise the design to whatever they were into at the time.
Iron on labels
If you don’t mind using the iron, iron-on labels are still widely available and some would say they are more resilient than the stick-on clothes labels but the jury is still out for me. Again, they can designed to your little ones taste and colour of the moment. To use, apply the sticker to the uniform and press in place with a warm iron.
For a great range of iron on labels try Bright Star Kids.
Permanent marker pen
Permanent marker pens are actually really good for labelling school uniform. No time to design, download or buy custom labels? Use permanent markers specially designed for fabric (usually more expensive than regular Sharpies) to write your child’s name on the inside of the fabric. Or write their name on masking tape and tape the label to the uniform.
I’ll be honest, once my girls were over the cute designs, using a sharpie was the easiest option and avoided the issue of other students pulling the labels off when they reached high school. Sadly this does happen.
For the creative mum and child, washi tape can be a fun alternative to plain name labels. Washi tape is tape printed with different designs, patterns and colours, so your child can choose their favourite. You can even create custom Washi tape designs online. The sky’s the limit! This can take more time than sticking labels on uniforms, but it’s an activity you can enjoy together.
Washi tape is also good for older kids who find naming items very uncool but do need to identify what belongs to them!
Here’s a really good earth-friendly one I found at Biome.
NAMING SCHOOL SHOES
School shoes can be one of the most expensive back-to-school items on your list, so labelling them is a must. Use plastic or vinyl sticker labels that are easy to read and stick them on the inside of the shoes. Fancy monograms are wayyy trendy.
You can buy actual shoe labels at some of the specialist naming stores, here are some from Stuck On You.
Keep an eye on the shoes and make sure the labels stay on. I found they’d move and eventually side-off every couple of months. Keep replacing, as stickers are cheaper to replace than shoes.
LABELLING SCHOOL STATIONERY
Stationery is pretty easy to label, but if you have multiple children and lots of supplies, I suggest getting organised nice and early. Set aside a space, like a desk or dining table, to collect all the supplies and labels in one place.
Next, organise the supplies and stickers by child’s name or by their favourite colour. Then it’s all a matter of sticking the labels onto the stationery. Just make sure to get the right size stickers; you want them big enough to be legible but small enough to fit all your school supplies.
Rubber Stamp Labels
If you have heaps of school supplies to label then you could rubber stamp them. Granted, you need to pre-order the stamp and have it customised and delivered, but it’s a one-time deal. Then it’s just a matter stamping away which I have to say is very satisfying. Permanent ink is guaranteed not to rub off of pencils, glue sticks and hard-to-label items.
LUNCHBOX AND WATER BOTTLE
Without name labels, lunch boxes and water bottles can be easily lost in communal storage. Keep your kids food and drink out of the lost and found with waterproof stick on labels that can stand up to daily use.
Alternatively, you can buy personalised lunch boxes and water bottles to make your little ones feel super special. Check you the range at Bright Star Kids, where we found the below.
SCHOOL BAG TAGS
Kids keep everything in their bags and backpacks so it’s almost always a disaster when these are misplaced. Use waterproof sticker labels with your child’s name clearly visible and readable. Not into labels? Instead of stickers, you can attach name tags like keychains to the bags.
OTHER THINGS TO LABEL
School supplies like books, notebooks, pencil cases and expensive items like bags, school uniforms and shoes are all on our list of must-label items for back to school. If you’re not sure what else to label, think about what your kids are likely to lose at school or on the way home.
The list is long and includes but is not limited to:
- Sports equipment
- Phones and laptops
- Individual food containers inside lunch bags
Don’t get stressed if you anticipate that labelling is going take up too much time. Do it in batches and make it fun! Set an hour or so each day or when you’re free and catch up on your favoruite TV show (or listen to some soothing tunes) while you’re at it.