I've never been the kind of parent who carefully labels each of her child's belongings at the start of each new school term. I wish I was, but the truth is that I tend to scribble their names in biro on the labels of their clothes and just hope for the best. As a strategy for ensuring that we don't lose their belongings it seems to work pretty well, but I suspect that has more to do with the fact that no-one else wants to claim such shabbily-named possessions. So when we were asked to review personalised name stamps from www.stamptastic.co.uk I was quietly relieved.
Billed as a new fast way of naming all your belongings, the best thing about these personalised stamps is that they are usable on fabric, metal, wood and plastic, which means you can use them to stamp names on just about anything. No more sewing or ironing on labels (like we did that in our house anyway). And no more losing your pencil case or P.E. kit. The stamp itself is made from a chunky, transparent block which makes it really easy for kids to use, guaranteeing accurate, easy positioning.
You can create your own personalised stamp (£8 each) here and ours came with an ink pad which costs a further £10. You can create a stamp using whatever combination of letters and numbers you wish - names, telephone numbers or postcodes, and Stamptastic will do their best to fit even the longest names on the stamps. My sons names aren't exactly short but there were no problems getting their full names on the stamps. You can even choose the font - the current options are Arial, Arial Narrow or Abadi MT Condensed. The ink is oil-based, which is the equivalent of a marker pen, and should last for between 40 and 50 washes, depending on the fabric, wash cycle and temperature you use during laundering. But if the ink fades you can just stamp again.
What's especially cool about these stamps is that my kids love using them as much as I do. They completely adore using their stamps as quick, cool alternatives to signing their names on pieces of artwork or notes, and I adore being able to instantly mark everything from items of school uniform to new books with ease. The ink really does 'take' on everything from paper to clothing labels to the straps of their swimming goggles, and we lost far fewer belongings at school during the term that our stamps were in use. I didn't really expect my kids to take too much interest in these but they were weirdly enthralled by the prospect of being able to stamp their names on anything and everything. Suffice it to say, I had to confiscate them eventually.
Our Stamptastic stamps are indispensable in our house now. They've completely replaced laundry pens and every other half-hearted effort I've ever made at labelling my children's possessions - these are all you need for the job.
None. Ok so they're not as cheap as a laundry pen but in terms of price-per-use I think these stamps represent excellent value for money.