Top 5 Tips for Rugby Mums

As we move into autumn the rugby season starts in earnest.  Maybe you’re new to the wonderful (muddy!) world of rugby, or maybe you’re a dab hand.  It’s an incredibly rewarding sport for children to play for so many reasons.  The core values of rugby: Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship are qualities that are important to encourage in children and these provide the ethos of the game.

Of course, there is one downside to rugby (and indeed any outside winter sport!) and that’s the cold, the mud and the early starts.  Becoming a rugby mum or dad means no more lazy Sunday mornings at home.  Instead, you will be standing on the touchlines, in the cold, supporting your kids whilst mainlining coffee – not always as much fun as it sounds!

Here are Ooh La Label’s top tips for rugby mums to make it a little easier.

  1. Warm clothes, warm shoes.  Waterproof clothes, waterproof shoes.  This cannot be emphasised enough.  It gets cold. So cold. And wet.  The kids don’t care – they’re having a lovely time running around and keeping warm.  Parents watching, not so much!  Gorgeous blogger Kat @ Doesmybumlook40 always manages to keep warm and look stylish when watching her sons play rugby, so it is possible, but perhaps not easy!  Brands to try include Ilse Jacobsen, Aigle and UGG.
  2. Get to know the parents of other team members.  Not only does a game pass more quickly when you have other people to chat to and bond with, but they are valuable contacts for lift shares for away matches, or when you have other family commitments or are unwell (or hungover!).   
  3. Treat yourself to a good thermos flask and don’t forget it.  Coffee will be your friend!  You might even take soup in it, depending on match times.  
  4. Plastic bags in your car and lots of them!  They can be used for muddy kids to sit on and put their feet on once you’re in the car and on your way home.  On a wet day you will not believe how muddy it is possible for a child to get!  Kids will also want to change out of their boots (and sometimes their whole kit) so the plastic bags are invaluable for all discarded kit to go into.
  5. Label everything!  A sports changing room can be chaos with clothes discarded with little care as discussing the match is far more important.  Our stick-on name labels (link to website) are waterproof, mud proof, washing machine proof – whatever you can throw at them, they will stay stuck.  Don’t just use them on kit, they’re also great for flasks, water bottles and bags.

And finally, enjoy watching your child burning off all that wonderful energy!

Summer Holidays

Summer holidays are a time for fun, relaxation, spending quality time with your family and generally recharging.  However, the organisation that takes place before going on holiday with children can be exhausting!

Our mission at Ooh La Label is to help busy parents and make life a little bit easier, which after all is the whole reason behind our business.  So here are some quick tips for keeping kids amused on long journeys and our summer holiday packing list – if you use this as a guide you won’t forget anything crucial.  And remember to use our name labels to label everything – it only takes minutes and ensures there are no lost flip-flops or iPads at the beach.

In the internet age finding things to amuse your children couldn’t be easier, here are some things we’ve found:

This quiz from the Telegraph has 180 questions targeted at kids, but you mind find there’s a few you don’t know yourself! http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/7877363/Childrens-quiz-questions.html

Activity Village is an amazing resource for ideas and contains 1000s of free printables from colouring in pages, to word searches. http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/

50 Questions to ask kids is sure to prompt some interesting and sometimes hilarious discussions: http://www.crayonfreckles.com/2014/01/50-questions-to-ask-kids-plus-free.html

And finally, a good old travel journal can be a wonderful way to keep children busy and will make a lovely keepsake in years to come.

Ooh La Label’s Packing List

Mustn’t Forget:

  • tickets/booking documents/email confirmations
  • money/credit cards
  • health insurance (including EHIC if you’re travelling to Europe)
  • car insurance and driving licence
  • phone and phone charger
  • passports
  • medical kit, including: plasters; Savlon; Calpol; paracetamol and anti-histamine
  • any necessary medication, e.g. inhalers
  • sun cream for you and the kids
  • insect repellent

Toiletries:

  • toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • shampoo and conditioner
  • flannels
  • hairbrush
  • make-up!

And of course:

  • underwear
  • clothes – weather appropriate plus the obligatory cardie/hoodie just in case of bad weather
  • kids’ comforters/special toy

Electronics:

  • Cameras
  • Camcorder
  • Kids’ electronics, i.e. Nintendos, iPods

Beach Things:

  • towels
  • sunhats
  • swimming costumes
  • goggles
  • buckets and spades

Activities for the Kids:

  • books, activity books and colouring books
  • comics
  • snacks and drink for the journey

Top Tips for Residential Trips

It’s that time of year when lots of schools have residential trips for their pupils, which is a fantastic learning experience for children, but sometimes brings anxiety for both kids and their parents! Here are Ooh La Label’s top tips to help your child get the most out of their residential trip.

  • The most important key to success is that old cub motto, be prepared! Your school will almost certainly have issued a list of required equipment so make sure you’ve read this carefully well in advance of the trip and won’t need to make a midnight dash to your nearest 24 hour supermarket to find a pair of waterproof shoes, rucksack or camping pillow!
  • Make sure every item your child takes with them has a name label. In the chaos and fun children often mislay things – if you want them to bring home everything they take, name labels are important.  Labelling everything needn’t be a lengthy chore though – Ooh La Label’s name labels are no-sew, no-iron, stick-on name labels that go through the washing machine, tumble drier and dishwasher: they’re quick, they stick and they can be customised with your school badge or even a picture of your child.
  • Children often like structure and routine so if your child is nervous, familiarise them with the itinerary so they know what to expect. Talk through any activities they’re going to be taking part in so they understand what will happen and when.  If your school has run the trip previously speak to other families who have already been to get your child excited.
  • Prior to the trip, use the opportunity to get your child doing more for themselves at home. Encourage them to help lay the table, or wash up afterwards.  If they don’t already, show them how to make their bed.  These simple tasks are likely to be expected of them on the trip and it’s a great excuse to get them involved in the chores at home.
  • When you’re packing (remembering to put name labels on everything!) pop a little note from you into their bag for them to find when unpacking. You could even include a picture of your family.  This reminds the child that you’re thinking of them and can be a great comfort if they get homesick.
  • Don’t let your child pick up on your anxiety. It is often the parents that feel the separation more acutely – the kids are too busy having fun and learning new things.  Children often mirror their parents’ attitudes so even if you’re nervous, try not to let them know that and send them off with a wave and a big smile.
  • Finally, be enthusiastic and excited about the trip. It’s a wonderful experience for children to spend time away from home and challenge themselves to try new things.  They are making memories that will last a lifetime and this is invaluable.

Introducing Ooh La Label

Ooh La Label was set up by Ashley and Laurie, two busy mums with seven children between them. With the pressures of modern life they decided life was too short for certain things, sifting through yucky piles of lost property and sewing on name labels being two of them!

Rather than spending hours sewing or ironing on name labels they decided there must be a better way, and after hours of research, testing and retesting, parents everywhere can rejoice: they finally developed sticky labels that actually stay put. Ooh La Label was born. Using airline labelling technology these stick-on name labels can withstand the most challenging conditions: your washing machine, tumble drier and dishwasher are no match for them! They stick on clothing care labels as well as other things like water bottles, swimming kit, laptops and shoes.

However, this wasn’t the end of the story. Yes, the labels stick, and yes they stay put, but it was important to Ashley and Laurie that they look good too. Ooh La Label worked with talented designer, Mary McKinley, formerly a top designer for Shape magazine in New York, to create labels that are as stylish as they are functional. These stick-on name labels are fully customisable so that you can create something (almost!) as unique as your child. Colours can be selected and there are lots of different themes you can choose from, including music, sport, animals and transport.

Perhaps most exciting of all though, is the brand new Selfie Label. Upload a picture of your child to add fun and individuality to your label, or, on a more serious note, these name labels are perfect for children with allergies so they are easily identifiable by teaching staff. Selfie labels are unique to Ooh La Label and we’re very proud of them.

Ooh La Label also work with a large number of schools to offer labels that can include your child’s school badge. Perfect for sports kit, school trips and all uniform, simply check our list of school badge name labels to see if your school is available. We currently have over fifty schools participating, with more joining us all the time.

Nothing leaves our homes now without its stick-on name label – they’re easy to apply and impossible to miss. Our kids’ schools love them and we hope you will too. So, help spread the joy – you can stop sewing and ironing and start sticking!