Get fit with the kids!

January signals the start of a new year and the time for new beginnings. Getting fitter is often one of the top new year’s resolutions for many, especially parents with young children. But how do you fit it into your busy schedule? Here are a few top tips on keeping fit and active with the kids.

Step on it! 

Sounds simple but it really works – aim to achieve 10,000 steps a day. Invest in a simple pedometer, a fitness tracker or most smartphones will count steps too. I once walked around the block before bed to hit my 10,000-step target!

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Buggy Fitness 

Invest in a baby buggy that is easy to run with and you and your baby/toddler can both have fun. Little and often is the key here. Even a 15-minute run around the park once a day will get your heart rate up. There are some great youtube videos with all sorts of workouts you can do with a pram! Parents.com has some good tips on running safely with a baby buggy.

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Get fit with the kids

Enjoy running around the park or playing football with your children and you will certainly burn some calories. Your step count will go up too, oh and…you might just have fun!

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Baby goes too & creche

There are plenty of options to bring your baby along to a class. I tried baby yoga which was great fun and the bonus is you’ll both get to meet other parents and babies. Alternatively, find a gym with a creche. I found this especially helpful when I had young babies. It was great to have an hour or so to myself to swim or catch a class while my baby was being cared for.

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Workout @ Home

I personally love work out DVDs. There’s no running to a class at a specific time as you can just stick on your DVD and work out when it suits you. The danger, however, is that you will never put it on! Top tip – plan to work out with a friend (perhaps nap time for both your babies or when the kids are at school) or if that doesn’t suit message each other to commit to doing at least 15 minutes of exercise when it suits you. My favourite is Davina McCall as she’s fun and realistic but there are so many it’s super easy to find one to suit you.

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Get social and you could win labels!

We all know that becoming a parent for the first time is such a big step. At My Nametags, we think that sharing tips on looking after children is such a great idea. It can be challenging bringing up children and having the support and wisdom from other parents can be an amazing help.

We have asked parents to share their tips on anything from sleep to eating vegetables! Join us on Instagram and Facebook and you could be one of 10 people to win a free set of My Nametags labels! Just send us your tips through private message or comments on our posts.

To give you an idea of what the fuss is all about here are a few of our favourite posts.

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“To get your kids out of bed in the morning, try baking something that smells delicious! No one can resist the smell of pancakes!” – Julia

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“In order to convince my little girl to clean her teeth regularly, every evening we wash them all together…me, her and her favourite doll!” – Alice

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“Water is ‘plain juice'” – Lornabastow

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“I tell my kids the 
grated carrot in sauces is Red Leicester cheese, works for me 🙂 xx” – ollysophia51

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“I always keep some plain paper and coloured pencils in the car to keep the kids busy during long trips. It’s a great way for them to spend time and be creative.” – serena87

 

 

We can’t wait to hear your tips!

Send us a message or leave a comment on our Instagram and Facebook  pages!

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Give your child a head start in reading

Reading is one of the cornerstones of education and if you can encourage your child to read from an early age it will most certainly benefit them. Statistic shows that children who are read to by their parents will do better at school. Read our top five tips on how to help your child love reading and books.

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Over the years I have spoken to many educational experts and the one thing that they all agree on is that it is so important to read regularly to your child. They will love to hear you reading and if you enjoy it they will too. Make a time that suits you best. Typically, bedtime is a good moment but some parents prefer afternoons snuggled on the sofa for pre-schoolers. Others say they read to their children while they are in the bath while audio tapes on car journeys are a good chance to listen to a story.

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Children quite often love to hear the same story over and over again. I remember trying to get one of my children to agree to ‘read’ another book together however it never quite worked as he would always gravitate to the same one! Your child will feel more involved if they can choose their own book and don’t worry if it is the same one as repetition is good. I would often choose one book and let my child choose another book, that way we both got a bit of variety.

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Keep your child interested in the story by talking about it as you go along. Ask them questions about the characters and what they think will happen next. Also, why they think something has happened. You will keep them involved and connected to the story.

Enjoy it

Children love nothing more than if you’re able to add character to the story with funny voices and actions. I would always sing certain nursery rhymes when my children were younger and they loved to join in. If your child loves a certain fairy tale or character book then find out more about it. Look out for the author’s website, games or colouring sheets.

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Don’t forget to show your child how important (and fun) it is to be able to read by reading things out loud when you are out and about. Read anything from shop names to adverts on buses and basic magazine or newspaper headlines.


Little Miss Inventor

WE’RE CELEBRATING ALL LITTLE INVENTORS AROUND THE UK! Win a set of Little Miss Inventor nametags by sharing your inventions with us!

This year, we’re celebrating the launch of our new Little Miss Inventor name labels and National Inventors Day on 9th November by giving 10 lucky people the chance to win a set of Little Miss Inventor nametags.

 

Who is Little Miss Inventor?lmi

The new character recently joined the popular Mr. Men series and has already gone down a storm with children and parents alike. Little Miss Inventor, a female engineer, has been created as a positive role model for girls, according to author and illustrator, Adam Hargreaves.

She will be the 36th Little Miss character and joins the likes of Little Miss Sunshine and Little Miss Magic. The character, with pencils and a spanner in her hair, is described as “intelligent, ingenious, and inventive”.

 

 

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How to enter

We want you to take a picture of your ‘little inventors’ and their creations, or just their creations! This can be anything from a piece of artwork or a spaceship made from an old washing up liquid bottle, to an aeroplane made from cardboard boxes – anything they’ve created!

Just be sure to share it to one of your social media channels (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter) and include the hashtag #MyNametagsInventor.

The competition is open from Friday October 26th 2018 until Friday November 9th 2018 and all competition entries will be available to see in a gallery on the My Nametags website. From the entries, 10 winners will be announced on 12th November 2018.

We can’t wait to see all the clever and wonderful things you’ve been creating! Good Luck!

 

 

The ‘Little Inventors’ Gallery

Welcome to the gallery of ‘Little Inventors’! We love all the wonderful and clever inventions entered in to win our Inventors Day prize so far…

 

Please click here for full terms and conditions.

Lost and found: more than €10,000 are lost in one year at one school alone!

 

A small investigative exercise to try and quantify the cost of not labelling school items was carried out over the summer months. The exercise, carried out by a local Maltese PR company on our behalf, revealed numbers that were pretty shocking.

At the end of the last scholastic year, a small investigative exercise into the contents of the lost and found boxes at a number of schools and nurseries on the island year was undertaken. The sheer volume at the sample of the island’s schools was impressive.

Findings showed that the main culprits at nurseries and day-cares were unsurprisingly dummies, comforters, socks and bottle tops. In Kindergartens and Primary Schools you start to find a few more lunchboxes, water bottles, stationery, and some uniform items like tracksuit bottoms.  At an average cost of Eur29.00 per piece, the numbers started to add up.

At Secondary School the numbers shot go through the roof! Not only in terms of volume but if you had to quantify the cost of the items, the numbers were pretty impressive! One school alone had over 130 blazers and tracksuit jackets, over 100 sweaters and tracksuit bottoms, over 80 shirts and t-shirts, 40 water bottles and a large number of miscellaneous items like hairbands and school books, all without names or labels.  With 100 sweaters at approximately Eur35.00 per piece, 130 blazers at an average cost of Eur57.50 (the cost of a blazer can actually go up to about Eur70.00) that’s Eur10,000+ at one school alone!

The majority of the schools we spoke to reported that if the brothers/sisters name is on the item, they mostly manage to give it back, but the huge amount of items that never have a label is impressive.

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GREAT EXPECTATIONS: OUR RESEARCH REVEALS THE UNFAIR STEREOTYPES BRITS MAKE BASED ON FIRST NAMES

We know that a person’s name can really paint a picture of the type of person that they are, so we were interested to find out what stereotypes exist around the UK’s most popular names and whether they ring true when put to the test.

THE STEREOTYPES

Focussing on six of the most common names in the UK: David, James, Christopher, Sarah, Laura and Gemma, we conducted a survey of 2,000 adults to determine the stereotypes surrounding each of the names.

Key findings

  • People named James are considered to be the most charismatic
  • We expect people called Gemma to be bad tempered and unkind
  • Davids are expected to be assertive, angry and closed-minded
  • Sarahs are thought to be likeable, conscientious and kind
  • Christophers are considered to be intellectual, reliable, quiet and high-achieving
  • Lauras are often thought to be unlikable and bad team players

What the experts say

Chartered Clinical Psychologist and Scientist, Linda Blair explains why these stereotypes exist: “One of the ways we deal with information overload, a real problem in today’s world, is to create mental ‘shortcuts’ and relying on name stereotypes is one of them. However, these stereotypes are usually based on only a few high-profile individuals at a particular point in time and, even less realistically, often on fictional characters in books and films. As a result, they rarely hold up in everyday encounters. Add this to the fact that each of us displays different, often contradictory qualities, depending on the situation, and you’ll find those stereotypes bear little relation to the people you meet.”

TESTING THE STEREOTYPES

Keen to test this theory, we teamed up with Linda Blair to conduct a series of psychological assessments devised to reveal an individual’s most dominant personality traits, on a test group of people with these six names. Using ‘The Big Five’ personality types, which are the five categories used by psychologists to define human personalities, the trial asked each of the subjects to describe themselves from their own point of view, as well as their friends and family’s point of view, to give a rounded perspective of their personalities.

The results showed that in many instances, the stereotypes were entirely wrong.  Surprisingly, given how strong the stereotypes are, only around 30 percent of people tested displayed the characteristics that we expected them to have.

What this means

Commenting on the findings, Linda Blair said: “The tests revealed that most people have a range of conflicting personality traits, offering a potential explanation as to why so few people lived up to their stereotypes. For instance, during testing, one Sarah described herself and both organised and disorganised, depending on the situation. This makes it incredibly difficult to categorise individuals into a broad stereotype, especially based on their first name alone.

“These contrasting qualities are likely to present themselves to different people in different situations, so there is no single list of qualities that could be used to describe any one of these accurately. For this reason, I would suggest that it isn’t possible for someone to ‘act like a James’ and we shouldn’t be tempted to make judgements about people based purely on their name because we will almost certainly be wrong.”

 

What are your thoughts? We’d love to hear from you! Tweet us @MyNametags or join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Get Creative this Autumn

While summer may have meant hours spent outdoors, rainy autumn days inside can still be made fun with arts and craft projects to enjoy with your kids. Arts and crafts are great for learners of all ages from toddlers sticking, glueing and painting (not just the paper!) to older children who will relish the time spent creating a jewellery box or paper truck. Here are a few of our favourites.

Recycled Boxes 

Recycle an old cereal box or any cardboard box you have handy and your kids will have hours of fun making a house or whatever takes their imagination. younger children will love to cut out the windows with help from an adult, glue and stick as well as decorate with paint and glitter. Older children will love to spend time making furniture to go in the house. My children regularly make houses for their dolls or figurines out of shoe boxes. For inspiration visit GB Education

Kindergarten Arts & Crafts Activities: Make a Cereal Box House

Box of Craft goodies!

If you’re in need of inspiration, visit your local toy shop and find a box of goodies to get creative with. This works well if you’ve got children of different ages so they can all do their ‘own project’. Maybe it’s making thank you cards for a recent birthday or even producing some Christmas cards ready for December? We love this Giant Box of Craft which is great value at just £5 or find something similar to get you started.

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Invest in an Easel

All children love an easel. Invest in one which also doubles up as a chalkboard and a magnetic whiteboard they’ll have hours of fun. Don’t forget to buy lots of paper and paint for your little budding artists. We love this Height Adjustable Easel from traditional toy maker Janod.

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Colouring In

You can’t beat a good session of colouring in to keep kids amused and creative. Besides making great pencils and paints we think Crayola has a great kids section on its website with lots of downloadable colouring in projects. Perfect for rainy days or travelling. Find your free colouring pages at Crayola.

 

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Fill a Jar

We love the idea of recycling old glass jars and making a cool ornament to decorate your kitchen or kids bedrooms. Simply take a jar and turn it into your own little fantasy or dream world. Add in the sand, salt, pebbles, glitter or even moss in the base and decorate with small figures, animals, feathers or anything which takes your fancy.

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Your Back to School Checklist

We can hardly believe that the summer holidays are almost over and it’s nearly time to go back to school and nursery! Whether you have a toddler, a 10-year-old or a teenager, the first school day of the year is always special. A new class or perhaps maybe a new school and also plenty of new adventures that lie ahead.

We’ve put together a handy checklist to help you get ready for the big day. It’s not just for kids but parents too, so pay attention!

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A good bag is a must whether your little one is heading off to nursery or primary school. Your child’s school may have their own book bag but if not choose something bright and colourful to help your child recognise which one is theirs. These Toddlepak Backpacks are perfect for little ones. Older kids will need a rucksack too; just make sure it’s big and strong enough to carry all those books. And don’t forget to label it up with nametags!

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Whether it’s warm or cold, it’s really important that your little ones stay hydrated. This will help them with both their memory and concentration. Invest in a re-usable water bottle and you’ll help save on plastic. Don’t forget to label it too! We love these Drinks Bottles from Trunki.

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Get stocked up on snacks and lunch box ingredients.  The healthier the better. Try bananas, fruit or rice cakes and vegetables. Or a piece of cheese will keep hunger at bay. Make snacks and lunchboxes fun. Write a message on their banana to make them smile or cut sandwiches into star or dinosaur shapes with a cutter. Don’t forget to label your child’s snack or lunch box too…

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What an amazing summer 2018 has been but be prepared for an autumn chill in September. Have jumpers, raincoats and umbrellas at the ready. We think labelling your umbrella would be a genius idea, given how easy they are to lose…

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A fun pencil case is another way of brightening up the school day. The contents obviously depend on their age, but pencils, glue, crayons and an eraser are always a good idea. Be sure to label everything, as all of these items have a habit of going missing!

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Most children can’t wait to get to school on the first day of term, which is good. School should be fun! But by the end of September, the novelty may start wearing off. Make the journey to school a fun part of the day by investing in a new set of wheels. Maybe they can try scooting, cycling or rollerblading to school?

 

Win the Ultimate Back to School Pack from Trunki!

We’ve teamed up once again with our friends at Trunki to put together the ultimate Back to School pack! One lucky winner shall receive a Trunki Toddlepak Backpack and a complete set from their Eat Range. This includes a Drinks Bottle, Snack Pots set and Lunchbag Backpack. You can explore their full range here.

 

To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize, simply send an email titled ‘My Nametags Trunki Competition’ to marketing@mynametags.com – full T&Cs below.

 

Terms & Conditions: 

  • UK entries only.
  • Entrants must be aged 18 or over.
  • Competition closes at midnight on 19/09/2018.
  • Winners will be notified either by email or social media within a week of the closing date.
  • The winner will have 7 days to respond after which time we reserve the right to select an alternative winner.
  • There are no cash or other prize alternatives available in whole or in part. We reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value in the event of unavailability of the intended prizes.
  • The entries that are incomplete, illegible or fraudulent will be deemed invalid. No responsibility will be accepted for entries lost, corrupted or delayed in transmission.
  • Bulk entries made from trade, consumer groups or third parties will not be accepted.
  • Data is being held under the terms of our privacy policy and our terms and conditions– please click links for more information.
  • Entry into the competition authorises Trunki and My Nametags to contact you, and publish your name via social media should you be the winner.

Little Miss Inventor and STEM toys

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Is your little girl or boy full of ideas and inventions? If the answer is yes then they will love our brand new Little Miss Inventor design based on the 36th ‘Little Miss’ character in the popular children’s book series.  She is a female engineer who creates extraordinary inventions in a shed at the bottom of her garden who we think sends a great message to young children. We’re pretty sure that Little Miss Inventor would thoroughly approve of the recent trend in STEM toys.

Little Miss inventor

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths. STEM is important because it touches every part of our lives in the science that is all around us. STEM toys have become a bit of a trend over recent years, as more and more parents see the value of cool toys that encourage a love of all things science and tech.

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There are some great STEM games and kits out there which encourage kids to learn while having fun. One of our favourites is learning about simple electrical circuits with dough, which our little tester absolutely loved. We think this DIY Electro Dough kit by Tech Will Save Us from Pimoroni and all good toy shops looks great and is suitable from age 4+.

A product image of DIY Electro Dough Kit

My Nametags Partner With Allergy UK

We are delighted to announce that we have teamed up with Allergy UK to celebrate the launch of our new range of allergy labels.

 

Allergy UK is the leading national patient charity for people who live with allergic disease. Their mission is to improve the lives of people living with allergic disease, providing a wide range of information, including free Factsheets, on all kinds of allergy. They have a Helpline for advice and support and work with Healthcare professionals to improve education and awareness around allergic disease.

Allergy-UK

 

Amena Warner , Head of Clinical Services at Allergy UK commented, “We are delighted that My Nametags is supporting our Back to School campaign.  For families with children living with allergy this can be an anxious time as they face the prospect of new schools, new classrooms and new teachers.  Our campaign is designed to provide some help and support for pupils, parents and teachers, to address some questions and to provide information that will help to make going back to school, or starting a new school, less daunting.”

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Our range of allergy label designs can be customised with your child’s name and applied to bags, lunch boxes, water bottles, milk bottles or anywhere else you feel they may be effective. Find out more about the designs and allergens below. You can design your set of allergy labels here. Just scroll to the end of the design carousel to find them.

 

Dairy                                                           Eggs

Image of a milk allergy tag Image of an egg allergy tag

 

Wheat/Gluten                                           Nuts

Wheat allergy tag Image of a nut allergy tag

Seafood                                                      Shellfish 

Fish allergy tag Image of a shellfish allergy tag

Sulphates (SO²)                                    Celery

UK-IE Sulphates R UK-IE Celery R

 

Soya                                                          Lupin

UK-IE Soya R  UK-IE Lupin R

Dander (fur)                                          Pollen

Image of cat allergy  Image of pollen allergy tag