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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!

Fitbit

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.

Running with baby

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.

54833837 - young mother does physical yoga exercises together with her baby

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.

Davina dvd

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.


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.

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

 

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:

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  • 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.

Science Experiments for Kids

Children are naturally curious and without exception all children love learning about science as it means learning all about the world around them. Science surrounds us; in nature (learning about how plants grow), baking cakes (where plenty of chemical reactions occur) or making a model volcano (chemistry and geography). Learning about our bodies helps with understanding the world of biology.

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Conducting some simple science experiments at home will help develop your child’s inquisitive mind. Plus they’ll learn how to use equipment such as magnifying glasses, microscopes, magnets, scales, sieves etc safely and correctly. They can also observe changes like melting an ice cube, frying an egg or growing cress. Predicting is another skill set that science experiments require; what do they think will happen? Maybe most importantly, planning skills are essential. Which steps should be followed before carrying out the experiment?

With a little imagination, you can carry out some experiments at home too. The internet is a great resource for finding out how to do some great but simple experiments at home with your kids. Our favourite kitchen experiment is to make a volcano. Here’s how:

 

You will need:

  • One small plastic bottle
  • Brown modelling clay
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • White vinegar
  • One plastic container
  • Washing up liquid
  • Red food colouring

1. Take the plastic bottle and mould the modelling clay to make a volcano cone shape around it.

2. Place your volcano onto a tray. Squirt into the bottle about 2 tablespoons of washing up, 1 tablespoon of red food colouring and 2 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda.

3. Lastly, pour in the vinegar and watch your volcano erupt! To do it again, wash out your volcano and start again at step 1.

Alternatively, you could buy a science kit to help you discover all about rainbows or how to make slime! We love these ones from GALT.

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GALT Toys Competition

We have teamed up with Galt Toys to offer one of their fantastic new science kits to seven lucky entrants. Galt products are designed to be fun and to encourage learning through play.  To be in with a chance of winning just send an email titled ‘Galt Toys Science Competiton’ to marketing@mynametags.com before 17th May 2018. Full T&Cs below.

Image result for galt science lab image  Image result for image of galt magnetic lab

 

Galt Toys Forces Lab, Physics Science Kit for Children

Terms & Conditions: 

  • UK entries only.
  • Entrants must be aged 18 or over.
  • Competition closes at midnight on 17/05/2018.
  • 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 company terms and conditions – please click links for more information.
  • Entry into the competition authorises Galt Toys and My Nametags to contact you, and publish your name via social media should you be the winner.
  • My Nametags: The winner shall be contacted by My Nametags to receive their address which will then be passed on to Galt Toys to send the prizes.

 

Image result for image of galt glow lab

 

 

Meet Our Mythical Creatures – Win a Set!

We’ve been working hard at My Nametags HQ to bring you some new mythical designs – mermaids and unicorns! We hope that you like them as much as we do.

To celebrate we are giving away two free sets of My Nametags stickers to two lucky readers. Find out how to enter below!

MERMAID FACTS

A mermaid is half human half female with a human head and the tail of a fish. Did you know that mermaids appear in folklore of many cultures worldwide? Mermaids are sometimes linked with floods, storms and shipwrecks. Most children will know Disney’s famous mermaid, Princess Ariel. Did you know that Ariel is based on the title character of famous children’s author Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Little Mermaid’? And that the colour of a mermaid’s tail shows her mood? Now you can have your very own mermaid nametags and customise them with your child’s name, favourite colour and background.

UK-IE mermaid R

UNICORN FACTS

UK-IE-Unicorn R

Unicorns are legendary creatures that we have been fascinated with over the centuries as far back as the ancient Greeks. In European folklore the unicorn is often described as a white horse or goat like animal with a long horn and hooves.  But in fact, unicorns can be any color, from jet-black and brown to dazzling gold, brilliant red or pure white. A unicorn’s horn is said to have magical powers such as healing sickness and turning poisoned water into pure drinking water. Unicorns have featured in many books and films such as The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Stardust and Harry Potter to name a few. Which background will you give your unicorn? Countryside, seaside or lots of different magical colours?

UK-IE-Unicorn blue R

UK-IE-Unicorn pink R

Competition Time!

To celebrate the launch of these designs we are giving away to sets of nametags featuring these new designs. To win a copy just send an email titled ‘Mythical Nametags UK’ to marketing@mynametags.com before 20th May 2018. Full T&Cs below.

 

Terms and Conditions:

  • The two winners shall be drawn at random by My Nametags.
  • UK entries only.
  • Entrants must be aged 18 or over.
  • Competition closes at midnight on 20/05/2018.
  • 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.