Starting School

H is starting school next week. There, I’ve said it. Actually, I’ve said it everywhere.

Starting school is such a big thing – mainly for the parents I think! It doesn’t matter how many times I repeat it, it still hasn’t quite sunk in. We’ve all been there, we all remember the good and bad times and now it’s becoming a reality for our little ones. Slowly one by one Facebook friends are posting photos of their children in their new, oversized uniform as they all start their journey.

Back to School - 2013

We have uniform – lots of. Some might say too much. I’ve kept Marks & Spencer, H&M, Aldi, the school uniform supplier and the school going with my money, as well as a last-minute fitting for shoes in Clarks. Friends have passed on old bits of uniform, a book bag and a PE bag too. I know the Children’s Centre attached to the school sells a lot of second-hand uniform for around 50p a time.

Somehow everything we’ve bought has cost over £100. Fortunately we’ve had help from family to meet all the costs so it wasn’t too hard on our bank balance, so now we’ve got to hope everything lasts! We have so much but my thinking is if I can have five full days of uniform before washing then that’s good. There’s another thing which changes, see. I no longer have my day off in the week – I’m going back to five days in the office.

Label-wise I’ve got the Stamptastic stamp pad which has marked all the clothes, as well as the Bandino cup band which will have her new cup labelled and ready. I bought some Clarks shoe labellers (at £3.50) as the insides of her shoes are black and I couldn’t use the Stamptastic pad, which is the last thing we need to do.

She’s having school dinners to start with, but we do have a fabulous Bento Lunchbox that we’re reviewing which I’m really impressed with so far and is very child-friendly.

I have various iPad apps ready to complement her learning – the Biff, Chip and Kipper one, quite a few numeracy ones and loads of phonics ones as well, she’s going to be overloaded with learning. I know the first thing they’re working on is syllables.

I guess all I have to do now is pack her book bag and we’re ready. Gulp.

Stamptastic – A Personalised Name Stamp Suitable For Clothes

Stamptastic are a simple stamp and ink pad which are long-lasting. They are also the answer to my prayers – they stop the boredom when it comes to labelling H’s clothes!

Stamptastic Stamp PadsStamptastic is a simple clear resin stamp with an accompanying ink pad. You can stamp on several surfaces, including School Uniform. This appealed to me a lot – oh, the tedium that came with handwriting H’s name on every single piece of clothing at nursery. I got so bored I forgot what I was writing, and put something else in there instead. Some people call it baby brain – I call it labelling boredom brain!

After having written out twenty or more party invites recently, the next thing on the list of most boring things you have to do as a parent is labelling clothes. I have a pen I can use but after I’ve done five sets I’m bored, my pen is bored, the clothes are bored waiting for me, and I lose the will to continue.

Step forward Stamptastic. Now I can cover the pad with ink, get it into the right place and I’m able to see where I’m stamping too thanks to it being clear. Never has such a tedious job been so much fun – I LOVE it. I am living my inner librarian when I stamp, stamp, stamp – it dries quickly and even better, it stays.


You can also use the stamp on lunchboxes and water bottles. I’ve found the ink doesn’t stay on as long this way, but you can always re-stamp! I prefer the Bandino bands for water bottles, as these tend to mean the bottles are easier to find (as you can guarantee there will be a minimum of five other children In Your Class with the same bottle!

I needed something to make labelling life easier and this does. I’m impressed and may have stamped lots of H’s things.

Even her shoes (top tip, the soles don’t hold the ink well, the sides do. I realise this is common sense but I just wanted to stamp and didn’t think). Now all her possessions have her name on them – and it took me a fraction of the time.


We got H’s name put onto the stamp – generally Stamptastic can fit most things on there. We kept her class group off there so we can use it throughout school. At £8 for a stamp and £10 for a pad I think this is really reasonable price to pay. The convenience factor is a huge plus. (edited to add, after two five (!) years it’s still going strong too)

Each stamp is 38mm x 15mm in size, the fonts used are Arial, Arial Narrow or Abadi MT Condensed Light.

We were sent a stamp pad and stamp for the purpose of review, all opinions are mine, and that of my patience.

Stamptastic Ambassador

Bandino Cup Bands

We have had a chance to review Bandino Cup Bands, and I think they’re brilliant – read on to find out why.

Bandino Cup Bands are an excellent idea – they’re personalised bands which fit most brands of cups that your child is likely to use. Each band has the name you require stamped into it – so it can’t be rubbed out or picked off, and is in a nice clear font. We got a blue one with H’s name on – ideal as we’ve been told we have to provide a cup when she starts school in September. If it’s anything like nursery, several children will have the same cup, and they’ll often get mixed up – with Bandino cup bands this isn’t going to happen.

Bandino cup bands

So far the only cup which it doesn’t fit on is her H&M Smurfette one – but that’s only because it’s narrow. We’ve tried it on all her other cups and it fits perfectly, stays on, doesn’t slip and her name is really clearly identifiable. She likes it too as it’s blue – her favourite colour.

When we first reviewed these Bandino bands, I didn’t know what to expect. Since then we’ve bought more, as they’re handy for lost cups (H has lost several, which we’ve found thanks to the bands), holiday club cups, and just having spares. We have only lost one cup which was never returned to us since using these.

I put the Bandino Cup Bands in the dishwasher to see how it fared, and it came out perfect – they’re also microwave safe. They also comply with the General Product Safety Directive 2001/95/EC, are BPA free, and free from Cadmium and Phthalates.

Bandino Cup Bands

(H’s name has been blanked out on the above picture)

One thing Bandino point out is how it can alert others to allergies – as you can have anything stamped onto the band – what a brilliant idea!

A pack of three Bandino Cup bands comes in at £8.95 which isn’t expensive – and the available colours are red, pink and blue. I know this is something that will get a lot of use once H starts school, and I suspect we’ll have a few other parents asking us where we got them from…

Bandino Cup Bands can be bought online here they’re on Facebook here, Twitter here and Pinterest here. The business was started by two mums who know what a pain it is – and I think it’s brilliant!

We were sent one band for the purpose of review – all opinions are our own.