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.

Image result for hobby craft image giant box of craft

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.

Image of a kids easel

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.

MNT - jam jar

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

 

13 Back to School Hacks for all the Parents Out There

Back to School can be a stressful time of year for parents. The list of chores to complete before September, from buying school uniform, to getting children back into a routine, is enough to fill anyone with dread.

It was reported last September that 80 percent of parents had serious anxiety about getting their children ready for the new school year. At My Nametags we don’t believe it should be this way. So, we have drawn on the expertise of the 220,000 mums on our database, and found thirteen different hacks to save parents time, money and stress when it comes to preparing children for the new school year.

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  1. Avoid Lunchtime Shopping

 

When it comes to shopping for those back to school supplies, avoid hitting the High Street between midday and 2pm as these are the busiest shopping hours, according to iZettle. Many stores also offer Sunday ‘browsing time’ and open the doors half an hour before the tills. This gives you a valuable quiet shopping period to try on uniform and gather the things on your list, so you are  ready to pay when the tills open and avoid queues.

 

  1. Calm Nerve with Floral Perfume

 

Did you know that jasmine is as good as Valium at calming nerves? The first day of school can be a day of nerves and excitement for both parents and children. A quick spritz of a floral fragrance or jasmine essential oil on your child’s shirt can calm all nerves and set the day up right.

 

  1. Avoid the Morning Rush

 

Avoid those stressful mornings by having packed lunches, school bags, forms and anything else your children need packed the night before. This will make mornings so much easier as there’s less to do, and therefore less to go wrong.

 

  1. Invest in Net Washing Bags

 

If you have more than one child, then you probably know it can be a nightmare trying to keep everyone’s uniforms together and spend countless hours trying to find missing shirts or socks. By investing in a net washing bags, which only cost a few pounds, you can keep each child’s uniforms separate which will save you time trying to piece it back together after the wash.

 

  1. Banish Biro with Hairspray

 

Stains on uniforms can be a nightmare to get out, whether its pen marks on white shirts or green knees from playing on the school field, stains will rapidly age a new piece of uniform. To keep uniform looking pristine, spray them with fabric protector before they’re first worn or, if its already too late, use household ingredients to tackle those tough stains. Hairspray works wonders on biro and Coca Cola is amazing at removing grease and dirt.

 

  1. Don’t Waste Time Sewing On Name Tags

 

New pieces of uniform always need a name tag to prevent them from being lost. Our research shows that children lose up to seven items per month, which can lead to high costs for parents having to replace them. Whilst sewing on name tags can prevent this, it’s also very time-consuming, which is why we produce stick-on and iron-on name tags. These can be applied to anything in minutes, saving parents both time and money.

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  1. Freeze Lunch

 

Most lunches can be frozen. Things like fruit, vegetables, and sandwich fillings, such as cheese and ham, will keep in the freezer for up to six months. To save time, make packed lunches in batches and store them in the freezer. Take them out in the morning and the frozen sandwich will act as a cooler for the rest of the lunch as it thaws throughout the morning until it’s ready to be eaten at lunch time.

 

  1. Make A Front Door Checklist

 

Make a list for the door with each day of the week and what is needed for that day, e.g. ‘Monday – PE Kits’, ‘Tuesday – Violin’. This will act as a handy reminder for what you need to take in that day, so your child will never have to borrow from lost property again.

 

  1. Give Leather Shoes a Blow Dry

 

New leather shoes can take a few weeks to properly break in which can lead to some painful blisters during the first weeks of the new school year. Prevent this by putting the new shoes on your child’s feet with a chunky pair of socks and blow dry them for 20 to 30 seconds. Get them to walk around the room whilst they’re warm and the material will loosen, preventing those painful blisters.

 

  1. Don’t Overspend on Branded Uniform

 

Most schools are realistic about the cost of new school uniforms and the school logo isn’t required on every piece of uniform. Buy multipacks of shirts and t-shirts and have one for every day of the week to prevent the need for mid-week laundry. Also, don’t buy every piece of PE kit straight away, often you only need certain items for specific sports which your child might not want to participate in.

pencil pot

  1. Put Boxes by the Front Door

 

Boxes by the front door can save you hours of searching round the house for PE kits, lunch boxes, and shoes. Give your children a designated place to dump their stuff when they get home from school, so you know where it is when you come to need something.

 

  1. Laminate Child-friendly lists

 

Write a list of everything your child needs to do before you leave the house in the morning and laminate it. Let them tick off each task with a whiteboard marker once they’ve completed it. This gives them some responsibility whilst giving you a bit of a break.

 

  1. Talk to Other Parents

 

WhatsApp parents’ groups can be a lifesaver to remember things that otherwise would’ve completely slipped your mind. Communicating with other parents can be the quickest way to make sure your child doesn’t forget non-school uniform day or their money for the charity cake sale.

What Does It Mean To Be An Accomplished Woman?

Over the last few years, we have seen a real surge in the number of mums and dads buying stick on name labels for their children, choosing this fast and convenient way to make sure school uniform and equipment doesn’t get lost, in favour of the traditional sew on name tags.

We believe parents should have the choice, but this development certainly got us thinking about a notion made famous by Jane Austen – ‘an accomplished woman’.

We were interested to find out what traits accomplished women have today, in comparison to previous generations. We asked 2,500 women to let us know what they believe makes for an accomplished woman in today’s society, after all, things have moved on quite significantly since the Jane Austen era. This is something that 86 percent of women agree with, according to our research.

The Demise of Traditional Skills

The results show that priorities have changed dramatically over time. It seems that women today are not as interested in learning traditional skills, like sewing or knitting. Over 28 percent said they did not have time to learn skills such as knitting, sewing in name tags, baking fairy cakes or handwashing, while nearly a third said they tend to offload practical or household tasks to their mum or grandmother.

Gardening and making beds the old-fashioned way without fitted sheets emerged as skills modern women feel are failing by the wayside. Perhaps unsurprisingly, things like gutting a fish, plucking a pheasant and polishing silverware are also becoming skills of the past as modern mums add other strings to their bows.

The Modern Day Accomplished Woman

Over 60 percent of the women we asked said they felt accomplished, something they owed to a range of new and important skillsets. These included being well-travelled (27 percent), having financial independence (53 percent), being well read (32 percent) and giving sound advice (27 percent).

Three in ten said being tech savvy was an accomplishment for the modern age, while 27 percent said being able to negotiate a deal was important and 28 percent said being a good cook was a skill worth having.

Earning a high salary was what determined an accomplished woman in 2018, according to 40 percent of the women we asked.

The research also asked mothers to give details about the things they do with their own children that their own mother didn’t do with them when they were children. Being more clued up on popular culture (40 percent), watching funny videos on YouTube (40 percent) and being more open and honest about finances (40 percent), were among the top answers.

The Top 10 Attributes of a Modern Day Accomplished Woman

  1. Knitting 51 percent
  2. Darning socks 46 percent
  3. Mending clothing items 41 percent
  4. Ironing a pleated skirt 38 percent
  5. Making a patchwork quilt 37 percent
  6. Gutting and filleting a fish 37 percent
  7. Keeping house plants alive 35 percent
  8. Cooking and baking 34 percent
  9. Washing clothes by hand 34 percent
  10. Plucking a pheasant 33 percent

The Top Attributes Women Want to Pass on to Their Children

  1. The ability to cook and bake
  2. Independence
  3. Kindness
  4. Honesty
  5. Manners
  6. Common sense
  7. Good manners
  8. Family values
  9. Financial savvy
  10. Loyalty

Maltese Publishers to Produce the World’s First Street Art Illustrated Book!

Using works of the Greek street artist Platon, and a story written by the multicultural blogger Maltamum, a Maltese publisher  is crafting an illustrated book with the goal of helping young ones to understand their common origins.

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photo selida 1

 

Crafted for children roughly from pre-school to 8-years-old, the story portrays children with different racial backgrounds, living in countries from all six inhabited continents. The children gather together and try to find a universal answer to the burning question ‘Where am I from?’, an answer which isn’t true just for them but true for everyone. Will they succeed?

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You can find out more about the book and pledge to support the publication here:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2033117588/733304826?ref=489899&token=a8d58368

Gardening with kids – Win a Trip to Hello Kitty’s Secret Garden!

Spending time outdoors with the kids is good for everyone and if you can get them to help with the garden or plant up some pots even better. If you get them interested in gardening then who knows, you might have a little helper or indeed a gardening fan for life!

Here are some top tips to get you inspired. All you’ll need is a pot or two, some earth, seeds and water.

We’re also delighted to be offering one family the chance to win a trip to Drusillas Park to see the Hello Kitty Secret Garden and much more!

Capture their interest

Plant brightly-coloured flowers, scented plants, tactile leaves and tasty, quick-growing, edible plants to keep children interested. There’s nothing better than sowing some cress and see it appear with in days. The RHS has some great ideas for plants to grow with children:

tomatoes sunflower

  • Easy flowers  – grow sunflowers, marigolds and poppies.
  • Sensory plants to play with include rattling poppy seed heads, furry stachys byzantina and herbs such as thyme, basil and rosemary.
  • Edible Plants – try growing cherry tomatoes, lettuce, runner beans and courgettes as there’s nothing better than eating your own five-a-day!

Make a Bee Hotel!

Bee numbers are falling, so by giving them a home you’ll be encouraging nature into your garden and helping bee populations. You don’t have to make a big hotel. You can make one easily using a terracotta plant pot (9 – 15cm in size), some modelling clay, plastic straws or bamboo canes and string. Here’s how.

image of a bee hotel

  1. Cut the straws or bamboo canes to a length that fits the depth of your pot. If you are using bamboo canes you will need a grown up to carry out this part as it’s tricky.
  2. Tie the bundle of straws or canes together with a piece of string.
  3. Place some modelling clay in the bottom of the pot and stick the bundle of straws or canes into the clay.
  4. Place the pot horizontally in your garden in a quiet place for the bees to move in.

For more gardening inspiration visit RHS

 

Win a Trip to the Magical Hello Kitty Secret Garden!

 

We have teamed up with Drusillas Park to offer one lucky family the chance to add some picture-perfect moments to their 2018 scrapbook this summer with a trip to Drusillas. The award-winning zoo in East Sussex is home to the first Hello Kitty attraction in Europe! The winner will have the chance to explore the magical Hello Kitty Secret Garden and discover the exciting rides hidden within the garden gates…

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Plus there’ll be a chance to experience all the usual animal magic, heaps of adventure play, the Get Wet! splash pad, amazing rides and more. To see what else is on offer, visit: www.drusillas.co.uk

 

Drusillas is bursting with a host of popular children’s characters! Come and meet Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, PJ Masks and more! For more information, visit: www.drusillas.co.uk/events

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

 

Terms and conditions:

  • Ticket only valid at Drusillas Park until the date printed on the ticket. This is subject to change
  • Ticket only valid with an authorised signature
  • Ticket is not for resale on eBay, in the FridayAd, or elsewhere
  • Ticket valid for a group of up to four people (adult, child, senior), visiting together and on the same day
  • Ticket cannot be exchanged in part. In the event that less than 4 people visit, no further tickets will be issued
  • Photocopies will not be accepted
  • There is no cash alternative
  • The winner shall be drawn at random by My Nametags.
  • Entrants must be residents of the United Kingdom.
  • Entrants must be aged 18 or over.
  • Competition closes at midnight on 07/08/2018.
  • Winners will be notified 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.

We’re on the Move Again – Plus, Win a Set of our New Smiley Face Designs!

We’re excited to let you know that have moved into new larger offices, which are three times’ the size of our old one. More space means a bigger team and more printers, which for our customers means orders arriving quicker!

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My Nametags has grown considerably since it was started by a husband and wife team in a spare bedroom 14 years ago. Our previous office was 1,650 square foot, whilst our new home is 4,990 square foot! But despite the growth of the company the very first two My Nametags employs are still with the company. We like to think that means My Nametags is a good place to work!

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To make sure our labels remain the best on the market we regularly test them to check for durability etc. and we now have a dedicated area for this with a specialised ventilation system, which will allow us to make them even better in the future.

If you need more labels visit the My Nametags website to order sticker or iron-on labels in colour or black and white and we’ll get them to you super quick.

 

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We have also been busy designing some cute new ‘smiley’ designs. We think they are really great and we hope you do too. Choose a design to reflect your little one’s mood or personality. Are they smiley or cheeky? Are they a cool dude or chick with sunglasses or do they just like to giggle?  There’s something for everyone. You can use our stickers on anything from clothing labels to water bottles, bags and shoes. Here are some of our favourites in the new range.

Smiley UK

Smiley
If your little one is a happy soul who loves to smile then the all-time favourite icon ‘The Smiley’ is the one for you! It means you feel on top of the world!

Cool face UK

Cool Face
Be the ‘cool’ one with our ‘smiley’ wearing a big pair of black shades. We think these will be a big hit for the summer – just perfect for naming sunglasses, flip flops and all that beach stuff.

Angel UK

Angel
If your little one is an absolute angel then why not label all their stuff with our adorable angel smiley. Don’t forget our stickers will stick on anything from changing bag, milk bottles, shoes and hats.

Wink UK

Wink
This one is for the cheeky ones out there… This little wink will show off their fun, naughty side. Stick it on your bag, phone, trainers or laptop to show everyone that they’re yours.

Silly face UK

Silly Face
If your children love to make people laugh then our silly face icon is for them! Play the clown and label all their toys. They’ll never lose a thing again.

Love eyes UK

Love Eyes 
We think our Love Eyes smiley is super cute and would look good on anything, especially the things kids love most. Favourite teddy, t-shirt or pencil case, perhaps? Our tags will stick on virtually anything.

Win a Set!

To celebrate the arrival of these new smiley faces, we are giving a set away!  All you have to do is send an email titled ‘My Nametags Smileys Competition UK ’ to marketing@mynametags.com – full T&Cs below.

Terms & Conditions

  • The two winners shall be drawn at random by My Nametags.
  • Entrants must be residents of the United Kingdom.
  • Entrants must be aged 18 or over.
  • Competition closes at midnight on 14/08/2018.
  • Winners will be notified either by email 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 company terms and conditions – please click links for more information.
  • Entry into the competition authorises My Nametags to contact you,and publish your name on our blog should you be the winner.
  • The winner will receive one set of My Nametags colour sticker labels and must include one of the designs highlighted in the blog above.

Looking Good on the Beach

Whether you’re soaking up the rays further afield or sampling the beaches at home, it’s time to update your beach wardrobe. We’ve done the hard work and found the key items from the best flip flops to beach bags and bikinis. Happy shopping!

The Beachbag & Hat

First things first, a chic beach bag is a must for any visit to the seaside. If you’ve got the kids with you then the larger the better for popping in your beach essentials. With the natural texture trend (think raffia, bamboo and straw) still going strong we know this straw bag (£34.99) and hat (£6.99) from H&M are bang on trend.

Image of a beach bag
image of a straw hat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bikini

Stay cool in this pale blue bikini by beachwear guru Melissa Odabash. Embellished piqué bandeau bikini £74 theoutnet.com

Blue bikini

The Swimsuit

Every woman needs a flattering black swimsuit and we think this one with a trim of white is classic with a twist. Marysia Tuscany Rickrack Trimmed Halterneck Swimsuit £295 net-a-porter.com

Black swimsuit

The Kaftan

A trip to the beach wouldn’t be complete without a beach cover up for when you want to take time out from the sun or get dressed for lunch. This pretty boho-styled white kaftan by London-based designer Matthew Williamson is perfect. Embellished Bell Sleeve Kaftan £42 asos.com

Image of a kaftan

The Flip Flops

Summer isn’t summer without a pair of Havianas. The Belize Flip Flops are brand new and for the first time ever, there is no separation between the toes just a horizontal strap. Available in many different colours but we love these Havaianas You Belize in Pollen Yellow £38  havaianas-store.com

Image of flip flops

The Beach Dress

This dress will take you from beach to bar with the minimum of fuss. Stay cool in this flowing, crossover V-neck dress with short sleeves. Wraps in the front like a sarong and ties with a bow to one side. Printed Crossover Dress £19.99 zara.com

Beach dress image

The Shades

Sun and sunglasses go hand-in-hand. We think these super cool shades will look great with any outfit and are a great price too. Tortoiseshell Sunglasses £17.99 in chocolate with UV protection mango.com
Image of sunglasses