As the school year draws to a close, we know lots of mums and dads will have been going into school for their very first welcome meetings as prospective Year R parents for the next school year. Here at Stickerscape, we have a team with lots of experience of what the new school year will bring! Yes, it’s an extremely exciting time for your little one but for us parents it comes with a whole heap of things to remember, prepare, buy and organise (oh, did we also mention a whole new daily routine?!).

Trying to remove one of these stresses, we’ve prepared a short guide to labelling your child’s belongings in preparation for school life. Whilst we’ve all had different experiences with our little ones starting school, one thing that was definitely in common, was the staggering amount of lost property in the first term. We struggle to understand how you can return from school with just one sock, or one shoe, and not even from the same foot?! Labelling your child’s belongings can really help to rescue some of these magically lost items and the school will thank you for not adding to their overflowing lost property basket.

Avoid lost property with name labels

So, here’s 6 tips for Year R mums and dad for labelling your belongings…


We know what you’re thinking. This is excessive. How can they lose something as big as a lunchbox?

Whether it’s a clever ploy to simply get new stuff, the simple fact is that it seems possible to lose or mix-up almost anything your child takes to school. Between our team we’ve counted water bottles, lunch boxes, snack boxes, book bags, shoe (singular), sock and socks, sports shorts…the list does go on!

Our first tip therefore is to label everything, including items you wouldn’t think could get lost like socks and shoes.

Unicorn name labels - mixed pack lifestyle (option 1)

2. Pay particular attention to generic items

Many schools will insist that certain items e.g. sunhats, water bottles or book bags are the schools own branded items. Whilst this looks lovely at school with all the children running out all colour-matching, it gives a head ache to every parent at the gates when all these items go missing!

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Space name labels - mixed pack lifestyle
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Space name labels - mixed pack

Labelling these generic items is therefore essential. In Year R however (and it seems often for many later years) children might not be fully reliable at ploughing diligently through piles of identical jumpers (!), looking for a subtle text-only name tape, or name written onto the care label. In the early months of Year R they may even struggle to read their own name. Basically if it takes more than 20 seconds they may have moved onto the next thing, which you can guarantee was probably more fun that trying to ensure they got the right item back! Our name labels have been designed purposely therefore to be extremely visual. This means that your child doesn’t have to recognise their own name (or spend long sorting stuff) to know the item belongs to them, they simply need to recognise the image/design on the label e.g. space rockets. This can be particularly effective if you involve your little one in choosing their favourite design when you purchase. They can then go and show it off to all their new friends in the playground as well!

3. Have a stash of name labels in an accessible place

There may be parents out there who have their morning routine (and indeed children) so completely and totally sussed that the time spent in the morning before school is filled with calm dressing, interesting and engaging chatter over a freshly prepared nutritional breakfast, and perhaps some educational games between siblings whilst mum blow dries her hair. These families may exist I suppose. However, we’ve not met one of them yet (and would we even like them if we did I wonder?!).

For the vast majority of us, mornings are a frantic race to get out of the house, vaguely on time, without forgetting anything too important and ideally with only limited levels of shouting (“I do not want to have to ask again, will you PLEASE put your shoes on?”).

Plus, given your weekends are now spent replacing all the items your child has grown out of that week, or buying essential kit for a new after-school club, you can often find that those already-frantic Monday mornings coincide with a whole new collection of belongings being taken to school. That’s not even including all the bits that your kids suddenly decide they simply must take in to “show” at school (poor teachers!). In the hope that all this stuff makes its way home to you, we recommend having a stash of stick-on name labels in an easy accessible place e.g. a kitchen drawer or on a shelf near the front door. This means that when you’re rushing out the house you can easily pop a label on any new items before taking them to school…

4. Don’t forget sports and after-school items

Label sports kit for school

After / out of school clubs and sports clubs are a great way for children to burn off some of that infinite energy they all have, and have fun with their friends. Often however the children will be wearing identical sports or ballet kit. To ensure that you don’t need to make a weekly trip to the lost property office (being on first names terms is never a good thing!) we also recommend making sure that all your kit for sports and any other after school clubs is all labelled as well.

By now you’re probably thinking you’re going to need 1,000s of labels! Our name label packs have all been designed for parents, by parents, based on our own experiences. Our most popular packs are the mixed name label packs (which come with both stick on and iron on name labels). We offer these in both a big pack (with 8 sheets, which gives 171 stickers) and a little pack (2 sheets, or 46 stickers in total). We created these because when labelling all your items for the first time the big pack is a great way at covering all the different possessions you need to label. However, over time it might be you just need a top-up, so the little pack may be all you need here.

5. Labelling lunch boxes and rucksacks is a must, but don’t forget snack pots!

Lunch boxes, book bags and rucksacks are a real must to be labelled, particularly when your school recommends the branded ones, and there are likely to be loads of similar ones around. However, snack pots can be overlooked. Buying new snack pots every week can be a costly business so we also suggest popping one of our stick on name labels on these as well (the round ones are perfect for this).

Comic book stick on name labels lifestyle image

Our stick on name labels are perfect for these pots as they can survive the freezer, dishwasher and even the microwave. So it doesn’t really matter what the pots are being used for, they’ll stay labelled!

6. Apply your iron on labels in batches

Our iron on name labels are great for all your clothing and school uniform. Gone are the days of having to sit and sew in the old fashioned name tapes we had in our school days (or at least, if you’re anything like us, gone are the days of needing to ask your mum to do it for her grandchildren!). Thankfully, iron on name labels are a super speedy way to keep your clothing labelled. That said, our final tip is that when applying your iron on name labels it is best to do it in batches. Getting out the iron, setting it up (and blowing the dust off it) can all take time so it’s best to do this as little as possible and just label all your clothing in one big batch. That way it’ll be a 15 minute job and will then be done for the term (until they rip their dress or trousers on the first day….but all that fun is to come….).

Bunny iron on name labels - lifestyle image

We hope the above tips for Year R mums on labelling your child’s things ready for their new school life is helpful. It really is a special moment in any little one’s life and one full of mixed feelings for parents (yes, they’re no longer your little baby!) so is one definitely to be savoured. The constant loss of items can sour this somewhat so keeping your items labelled will allow you to cling on this feeling for as long as possible!!

To view our full range of children’s name labels, please click here.