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Summer Camp Essentials: Everything that isn’t on your packing list

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Whatever essentials your child takes to summer camp, don’t forget this

packing for summer camp

When sending your child off to summer camp – whether sleepaway or day camp – we all know the standard items to pack – socks, underwear, toiletries, shoes, etc. Beyond the basics, there are several items that can make your child’s experience away at camp even better:

  1. Clip fan – Being out all day in the hot summer sun can wipe out even the most energetic child, so make sure they return to a bunk that will help them cool off with a clip-on fan. These fans come with a stand as well in case there is an extra surface to place it on.
  2. Instax or film camera – Pictures are worth a 1000 words – sending your child with an instant camera helps them remember the best memories from the summer. This is also perfect for camps that have a ‘no electronics policy’.
  3. Journal – Some kids enjoy taking time at the end of the day to write down their feelings and activities that they’ve enjoyed. If they’ve taken pictures on a camera that prints instantly, they can add in photos making a scrapbook of their time at camp.
  4. Book(s) – Camp is jam-packed with fun activities for engaging your child. Even so, there will be times where there’s a lull in the action and everyone can chill out and take a break. A good book will entertain your kids as well as keep them engaged over school break. Rather than taking a pen to identify the book as belonging to your child, use a custom stick-on name label on the inside cover!
  5. Refillable water bottle – Make sure your child stays hydrated by sending them with a refillable water bottle. Most camps have fountains where they can fill up a bottle with fresh, cool water. For those inevitable days when they forget their bottle in the food hall, make sure you attach a custom waterproof name label to the bottle so it finds its way back to them.
  6. Day bag/backpack – For sleepaway camps, while you’re packing all your kid’s items in a suitcase or trunk, don’t forget to grab a small bag they can take around camp with them. A tote, sling bag, or backpack is essential for taking around everything they need for the day. Using a fun, custom bag tag will help them identify their items amongst a sea of other kids’ bags, and will help ensure no one else runs off with their stuff. Our personalized shoe bags also make great day bags for summer camp!

To make sure everything that went to camp with your child comes home with them when camp is over, make sure you stock up with our labels!

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Helping Adults Make the Transition to Senior Living

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happy senior man with a nurse for assistance

Helping a family member or loved one make the transition to an independent living or assisted living facility, or to a nursing home, can be both emotional and overwhelming. When faced with this new stage in life, there are worries that vary from complex – finding, applying and paying for an appropriate residence – to seemingly simple things that make a big difference to the individual – such as making sure that their personal possessions are safe and identifiable.

The first important thing to remember is that the place will be their new home. If the individual has memory issues or dementia, it can be very traumatic to be separated from much loved objects and surroundings.

Check to see whether the new home can accommodate some cherished personal objects, or even pieces of small furniture, etc. If the family member is sharing a room, this may not be possible but there will always be a place for personal items such as clothing, shoes, slippers, and toiletries, as well as those special unique items which will bring comfort: Perhaps a beloved blanket or shawl, a photograph of grandchildren, or special and meaningful ornaments.

Reassuring seniors that they will not lose their possessions

It is a great kindness to the individual to help them make decisions about what to take with them. At this point, it is even more helpful to label all the personal possessions. Once an individual arrives at a new home, all these items will be unpacked and put away, allowing the resident to settle in and get used to their new surroundings. Until they have adjusted to the new routine, things can be quite confusing. Appropriately customized labels on his or her possessions are a source of security to your loved one.

A few days after arrival, the routine of regular laundry will begin. Once the process starts, there is a huge risk for loss unless items are clearly labeled. Laundry services may be dealing with 100 or more residents and will not be able to keep track of which item belongs to which resident unless it can be quickly and easily identified.

caring for seniors in assisted living

Labels are the difference between losing and finding valued items

Unmarked clothing and shoes are often put into a large “Lost and Found” area so that visiting families can go through items to try and identify their belongings. This can sometimes mean that valuable clothing is actually mistakenly taken by another family, or even another resident who may have memory issues.

Although some facilities will have a labeling service, the majority of labeling will usually take place at home before the move, so that everything can be packed up with a label attached to it. It’s also important to remember to label clothes, shoes and jackets that are going to be worn on move-in day. (It might also be a good idea to photograph groups of items that are being packed, just in case there is a need to go hunting for missing items at some point.)
It is both helpful and reassuring to understand and discuss laundry procedures with any facility. They will appreciate any assistance that a family is willing to give to make their job easier, with the knowledge that it will also reduce any anxiety that comes with lost belongings.

labeling clothing for seniors in nursing homes

Choosing the label type that works best for you

Luckily there are many simple and convenient ways to label virtually everything that will be moved into a facility.

  • Iron-on Clothing labels:  Often printed in easy-to-read and waterproof ink, and quick to apply for anyone handy with an iron.  These are best applied to smooth fabrics, such as cotton shirts and pants. “Tagless” iron-on labels are ideal for anyone with sensitive skin.
  • Sewing labels: These can often look more elegant than a printed label, and are recommended for anything with a “fuzzy” finish, such as knitted or fleece items.  Applied with a few quick stitches, they can also be removed easily.
  • Snap-on clothing tags: Labeling clothes and linens can be a time-consuming chore but snap-on clothing tags apply in seconds and there is no need for sewing or ironing. This labeling system is also portable – label items while visiting.
  • Laundry marker packages: Don’t have time to decide what your labels need to say? Perhaps your loved one moves rooms frequently? A laundry marker package comes with blank iron-on labels and/or stick on labels, giving you the flexibility to write what you like on each label. Make sure they are easily readable as frequent laundry is a hallmark of a good senior living facility
  • Stick-on clothing labels: Another solution for someone who is not able to iron or sew on labels. Simply press these labels onto the satin care tags of any clothing or linens.
  • Waterproof stick-on labels: Use stick on labels to keep track of any special toiletries, eyeglass cases, photo frames, walkers, hairbrushes, books, and more.

Keeping track of a host of personal items will be much easier and less stressful if all belongings are clearly labeled.  With the wide range of labeling options these days, there is an option to suit every taste and skill level. Plan ahead and keep the loss of precious items to a minimum!


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Why Send Your Child to Summer Camp?

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The summer months are fast approaching, and parents around the country will be starting to think about summer camps for their children.  Some families will have seasoned campers in the household, while others may have children who are heading off on their first experience. Depending on the child’s personality, this could be an exciting or daunting prospect.  Or perhaps a combination of both!


Whether your child is going to a day or sleepaway camp, there are benefits that will be common to both since they will:

  • Interact with new people – fellow campers, counselors, and staff. This will enhance their social skills as they learn to communicate with different personalities on a daily basis.
  • Grow more independent and confident, as they navigate their way in a safe and non-judgemental environment.
  • Understand clear parameters within which to act, and help them understand the need for boundaries, especially when part of a large group.
  • Explore new activities, which will enhance their risk-taking skills and sense of achievement.
  • Learn to advocate for themselves and their friends.
  • Discover the benefits of teamwork to achieve group goals.

There have been numerous studies to show how the unique experience of attending a summer camp can benefit children throughout their lives into adulthood.

Perhaps the most important reason of all to send your child to summer camp is that in our increasingly structured and scheduled lives, it provides precious time to play, to be silly, and to relax after a day of physical exercise and fun.


Once a child is signed up for summer camp, the practical task of getting ready can be a daunting prospect for many parents.  Most camps usually provide a suggested packing list for parents which will include items such as swimwear, casual clothes, water bottles, etc.  For sleepaway camp, there can be as many as 90-100 soft items and 30-40 items with hard surfaces. Virtually all day and sleepaway camps require that clothing and other personal belongings be labeled clearly so that if they are lost or mislaid – and you can be sure they will be lost or mislaid – they can be returned to their rightful owner.  This not only helps the staff keep the camp tidy and organized, but reduces the anxiety which a child might feel if they lose something.

Items on a typical shopping list can include:

  • T-shirts, shorts, sweatshirts, etc.
  • Swimwear
  • Towels and bed linens
  • Cleats, sneakers, sandals, etc.
  • Backpacks, music cases, etc.
  • Sports equipment
  • Shampoo, toothpaste, sunscreen bottles, etc.
  • Flashlights, personal electronic devices, etc.
  • Books, journals, etc.

For soft items, such as clothing and linens, the type of customized label will depend on how a parent would like to apply them:

  • For smooth fabrics, iron-on labels are quick to apply, and easy to read.
  • For soft fabric with a texture, such as fleece, sew-on labels can be stitched on in a couple of minutes.
  • For sportswear, such as swimsuits and polyester short shirts, iron-on tagless labels, or stick-on clothing labels are a great solution.
  • For sports bags, music cases, and backpacks, customized bag tags make these items easy to identify.
  • For toiletries, water bottles, flashlights, sports equipment, etc. waterproof stick-on name labels apply in seconds, and come in a range of colors and designs.

A sleepaway summer camp, or well-planned day camp program, is designed to give children a feeling of freedom far from the responsibilities and discipline found at home and school. Where every day is about having fun, making friends, and savoring new experiences. The Summer days of childhood seem to last forever, and so do the memories.


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How Hobbies Benefit a Child’s Personal Growth

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According to many developmental studies, having a hobby as a child is a fun and beneficial way to not only increase self-esteem but also to discover new talents and skills without pressure. Crafts and hobbies can encourage a lifelong interest. President Franklin D. Roosevelt collected stamps his entire life. As a child, when he became paralyzed with polio in his late 30s and even when he was president, he spent time each day with stamps. They connected him to the world and engaged his creativity – he would sketch ideas for stamps and give them to the Postmaster General! If your child takes up a hobby, we can’t promise that he or she will end up as President of the United States, but it could happen!

Encouraging your child’s creativity

Some children are natural self-starters and will explore their own interests without too much prompting. They might head out into the park or garden and collect interesting stones, leaves and flowers, and lay out their treasures at home, building basic organizational skills. Other children might open up kitchen cupboards and pull out various ingredients, creating their own unique recipes which, whether edible or not, can give them a huge sense of accomplishment.

Other interests are often taken up after watching parents or caregivers partake in their own hobbies. Examples of these could include the following rewarding activities:

  • Woodwork:   Working with tangible objects is beneficial to brain development. This could be working with wood under the supervision of an adult. Woodworking helps a child become adept with tools, to understand the importance of measurement, and hand-eye coordination is improved and developed. A good way to encourage continued interest in woodwork is to allocate or give certain tools to a youngster (along with protective goggles).  Adding a custom stick-on label to a specific tool or tool box, will develop feelings of ownership, and a continued investment of time and interest.

Many woodworking hobby projects are done in a group setting or workshop and having “my” tools with customized labeling makes sure the tools come back home after use.

group of kids building a wooden bird house

·         Knitting or crocheting:  Another wonderful hobby for children is learning to knit or crochet.  The process of beginning with a ball of yarn and needles to creating a finished item that’s completely different from the raw materials gives a warm feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. The fact that it may not be perfect adds to the charm! Many of our own parents kept our first efforts as keepsakes that come with loving memories.  Creating a unique custom woven label which can be attached to the finished item, enhancing the sense of accomplishment and adding an extra special touch.  For example, a custom fabric label that says “Handmade By” and the child’s name will bring back happy childhood memories when they are older.

Group of kids learning to knit

  •         Gardening:  Some researchers think that there is nothing better than getting children out digging in the dirt. There are numerous studies which demonstrate the therapeutic benefits of gardening. One such study showed that children who participate in gardening score higher in science achievement that those who don’t. With a small bed of dirt, or a large pot on a deck or patio, it is relatively easy to interest children in the outdoors. There is something magical in planting seeds, and exercising patience as you watch the results. In addition, it sparks questions about why plants need sun, why plants drink water, and what makes soil “good” for growing living things. Valuable lessons in healthy eating can be demonstrated by growing vegetables. Radishes are a great place to start since they produce something that can be eaten in just a few weeks.

Giving a child their own gardening supplies lends a more permanent feeling of ownership of the hobby.  Custom labels can be attached to their own trowels, rakes, and watering can, and creates a valuable lesson in taking care of tools. A custom iron on label, with the child’s name printed on it, can be attached to fabric garden aprons and gloves, which can be proudly placed alongside the adult’s gardening kit.

girl gardening

One of the most exciting things about the hobbies we’ve listed here is that they are not electronic games. They are non-digital experiences that give children respite from excessive screen time. Hobbies, as they do for adults, give children a much needed break from their busy lives. With the right encouragement, hobbies will remain a fun and enjoyable part of their futures, and keep balance in their lives.


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How to Label Winter Clothing

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Which labels are best for winter jackets and knitted accessories?

The winter season, for many people, means digging out that trunk of knitted scarves, mittens and hats, and padded winter jackets. Winter is a wonderful time to relish the chill in the air, enjoy winter sports and savor the feeling of warming up when getting home.

However, it is almost inevitable that over the course of the winter, the odd scarf or glove will unfortunately go missing!  This is especially true for children’s belongings as they travel back and forth to school, and to their extra-curricular activities.

  • For loose knit items, such as scarves or bobble hats, discreet and yet easy-to-read personalized sewing labels can help the item get returned to its rightful owner if mislaid.  These labels can be attached with just a few stitches at each end and can easily be removed if the item is handed on to another person.
personalized sewing labels

personalized sewing labels

  • For padded jackets and vests with smooth fabric linings, iron on clothing labels are ideal, and just take seconds to apply.  These waterproof labels – either woven or printed – can also go through the washing machine and dryer – perfect for when items end up coming home muddy or soiled.
woven sewing labels for clothing

iron on labels for clothing

  • For winter items that are hard, such as ski boots and helmets, rain boots, sleds, etc. a printed waterproof stick on name label is a great way to make sure that a missing item is handed in. Available in a range of different sizes, shapes and designs, these are a super-easy way to identify valuable items.
labels for kids

labels for kids

To learn more about our useful and durable personalized labels for clothing and other personal belongings, please visit our website, itsminelabels.com!