I attended the NAEYC Conference at the beginning of November. If you are educator like I am, then you go to the conferences and you spend any time between the sessions finding new products to try or buy. For the next couple of months I will be trying out products that I have picked up from the conference and then writing a blog on them.
For this week I will be working on Mabel's Labels. Mabel's Labels is a company that produces labels for home and daycares. The company has many many uses for their labels and have said that their products can be set apart from other labels due to the fact that they are dishwasher safe, microwave safe, water proof, and I was also told that they are washer machine safe.
I was walking around with several bags and a huge purse. Attempting to look professional yet knowledgeable. This is hard when you keep spending money and have to carry everything around with you. But it was fine. FINE! I was learning a lot and filing away techniques and new equipment to order for my students. One thing I was looking for was products that would help me run my classroom more efficiently. Specifically, in the area of Family Dining. Family Dining is something I do with my preschoolers because it helps with manners and learning to sit with others during meal times. They learn to pass the dishes around and to sit with their legs under the table. Using their manners is a big deal while sitting together at the table.
One aspect of family dining that children just can't seem to grasp is, not spilling their drinks. No matter how still they are, or where the cup is located they seem to spill everything. So I have the cups placed in a certain area for them to access. They are able to pour their own milk or water during the day and at lunch their cups are filled with milk. This means that I can not depend on them to remember the color of their cups. Playing is a lot of work, and sometimes less important things slip their minds. Which means that drinking out of the right cup is not always priority. This also means that fights can break out between children because someone accidentally uses their cup.
Since their cups need to be labeled, I have used several different ways. One way, was to use a sharpie on the ikea cups I had purchased. It washes off. True story. The cups go through the wash multiple times and the writing only lasted about a month because it began to fade. So I tried dry eraser tape wrapped around the cups. The tape is expensive and it also would come off in the wash. It was frustrating to try all the different ways and not be able to find something that would work. So when I stumbled upon the Mabel's Label booth I was super excited. I was given some of the labels to try.
IT WAS AWESOME!!!
I have used them for two weeks for my class. It has been wonderful. I have sent them through the dishwasher literally everyday of the week. The name tags have stayed on without air bubbles or fading from the excessive washing. I did find that if I needed to removed them for another child's name to be added I could do it with little effort but that the children couldn't just remove them. I am very pleased with this finding. It means that the cup is not unusable after a child has left the program.
So now that I have established that the product is a quality product for the dishes, I have also found that they can be used to teach children their left from the right foot and to label clothing. They can also be used to label lunch boxes, thermos and any other thing that is send to the preschool. With this information I decided to check out the fundraising part of the website. It all looks very easy, so I will be trying that out this month and writing about it too. So far it looks very easy and doesn't require me to purchase stock or make an initial investment. Which if you are running a preschool or home daycare program like me, it's hard to justify putting up the money when it could be going to something that the children need in the classroom.
Overall so far, I am very impressed with this product and I am looking forward to using it more and will be posting updates as I continue to use the products. Let me know if you have tried Mabel's Labels and what you think!