Back-to-school shopping this year is not quite the same. Along with a fresh new pair of sneakers, new backpack and fresh pencil crayons, we’ve added face masks to the list. Schools across the country are prepping for our kids and face masks will be manditory for majority of the students heading back to the classroom. I know, it’s hard to imagine our kids, especially the younger ones keeping the face coverings on while they’re at school. Keep in mind, the teachers are well-aware themselves. Hey, also keep in mind that they are often parents themselves! They get it. And they are going to be the ones trying their hardest to get the kids to keep them on during school hours! Our collective efforts will help with the transition.
While parents are trying to stay positive and making the most of this back-to-school season (however it may look), there are ways of making the whole face mask-wearing easier. Customized face masks anyone? More on that below thanks to our friends at StickerYou!
TIPS ON FACEMASKS AND KIDS:
Purchasing masks: Look for breathable and comfortable fabrics if you’re shopping for reusable versions. One of my teacher friends also suggested masks ideally come with some sort of breakaway fastening so the mask won’t get caught on playground equipment or backpacks. Purchase child-appropriate sizes – you can even make your own. You’ll want to get on this NOW before the stock is all gone. We’ve found numerous dry-cleaners in all areas of the city who make them on-site that may be able to customize fit. Once you find a good fit, order several to keep them in rotation or if they get lost – yes, the facemask will be the new lost mitt. Calling it! It’s inevitable. There are fun ways to customize your own (because, like everything else they bring to school, they should be labelled with their name) — more on this below.
Start getting them used to wearing them: If your child hasn’t already worn one…start slow. 15 minutes, 1/2 hour, 1 hour etc. each day. And lead by example. You can even have the entire family wears them at the same time. Remember those sticker star charts? If that’s been a good incentive for your child, then add this onto the list. Take your child shopping (where you know cleaning protocol is in place) or go for ice cream to show that everyone is wearing them. A social distance outing with a friend can also help reinforce that wearing a face mask is okay too!
Set an example: We know kids absorb what we see and do. Yes, you may not like it either but complaining about it doesn’t help. Just wear it (properly) and go on with what you need to get done. Don’t make a big deal out of it and chances are your kid will just be fine.
Clean ’em often: for the reusable cloth masks make sure you wash them. I would recommend daily. Make sure you remove your child’s mask from their backpacks when they come home and wash them immediately – or at least air them out until you can get to washing them. Keeping the masks trapped in enclosed compartments will be a haven for bacteria growth.
Above we talked about how to make masks fun for kids. We came across StickerYou.com – a Toronto-based company that has offered up a solution to help to bring a little more joy into the back-to-school season with customizable decals and transfers — and yes, even for face masks!
“Designing your own iron-on transfers to personalize your mask is a fun and easy activity you can do together, even with your kindergarteners!” says Vivian Choi, StickerYou’s Director of Design. “StickerYou’s online editor allows you to browse graphics from our gallery, or upload your own artwork, then edit size, shape, colours and add a name or any other text. Our PageMaker editor allows you to put as many different designs as you want on a page and since the graphics need to be small to fit onto a mask, you can squeeze a lot of different ideas onto the page allowing you to personalize masks for the whole family or classroom, or one for every day of the week!”
Designing your own iron-on transfers can be as quick as a couple of minutes to upload and order, to as long as 15-20 minutes if you want to spend the time to fully design your customized page to your heart’s desire.
Their iron-ons work on any fabric that can be ironed onto such as cotton, polyester blends, spandex and canvas. However, they do not recommend applying the iron-ons onto any delicate garment that cannot be ironed with high heat.
The iron-on transfers are permanent – once they’ve been ironed onto a fabric, they cannot be peeled off. Best practice for cleaning is to wash inside-out in a washing machine to avoid abrasion and then hang to dry.
Any tips on creating our own designs? “I always try to use high contrast and complementary colours so if you’re adding any names or text to a graphic, it will be more legible at a small size and from a distance,” said Choi. “Bold and thicker fonts are preferred if readability is important. I love using the image die-cut feature to give the graphics a nice edge around it (not a boring circle or square) so try to make graphic choices that will look nice when die-cut around the contour of the image.”
For back-to-school, StickerYou is a great one-stop shop for customizing kids’ back-to-school gear, from iron-ons for masks, patches for backpacks, to name labels and stickers for their lunch boxes and hydro flasks. “Something unique to add this year can be custom badges with their photo on it, so teachers and other students can see what a nice smile your kid has behind the mask that they may be required to wear all day!” said Choi.
You can link to their site here: StickerYou.com
Enter for a chance to win a $300 Back-To-School Shopping Spree with StickerYou!
GRAND PRIZE: $100 gift card to StickerYou, $100 Staples Gift Card, and $100 Amazon Gift Card. Total prize valued at $300 Canadian!
There are three ways to enter:
1. Leave us a comment on this post by telling us what is your child’s favourite subject in school?
3. On FACEBOOK, find this corresponding post on @Auburnln, leave a comment on the post and tell us what is your child’s favourite subject in school.
Contest closes on September 8th at 12:00 noon EST.
No purchase necessary. Contest open to Canadian residents only who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory they reside in. Contest period from August 25 to September 8th (12:00 pm EST). Enter daily. One (1) winner will be randomly selected from all eligible entries. Prize valued at $300 Canadian. The selected entrant will be contacted via private message on the social media channel by which they entered and/or email. Selected entrant must answer a time-limited, mathematical skill-testing question correctly before deemed confirmed winner. If the selected entrant does not respond within the designated time frame, another entrant will be randomly selected. Must be accepted as awarded. The prize is non-transferable, no substitutions, and not convertible to cash. The sponsor and host of this contest reserves the right to cancel, suspend, cancel or alter this contest in any way without prior notice or obligation. This contest is not affiliated with Facebook or Instagram in anyway. *Prizing provided by StickerYou.