Kindergartner-Proof Name Tags–Make or buy?

The Question: 
What do you use for name tags? Our kids need one daily for their lunch number and other reasons for groupings…we laminate tag board and then book tape them… But they are Always ripping. I need a good solution for next year!!!
The Answers:
April Griggs Smith 
Buttons!!! Does your school have a button maker?
Amy Guiliani
 At Walmart, in the office section, there are plastic tags and metal snap fasteners. I filled out a card to put in it. with all their information and they’ve held up all year! It’ll cost you $5-10 but it’s worth it!
Christi Cross Hall
 I use the plastic cover ones like those you get at a conference or something. They have a gator type pinch clip on the back for easy on and off. I taped the back and sides shut so the tag wouldn’t fall out and they worked great! Good luck!!
Nicola NikNak Norris
 I use clothespins. They put them on their collar or end of short sleeve. When they get to the register, they take it off to look if they need it. Most of the students have memorized their numbers by the third week. The clothespins are durable. On the cart that accompanies those that bring a lunch, I have a small round basket. The kids clip their clothespins along the edge for safekeeping after eating lunch. We go outside for recess immediately afterwards so this way they never get lost.
Erica Marie Denton
 Forehead + Sharpie= Problem solved. ;~)
Dana Hagelberg Hilmoe 
I have a button maker and I make buttons eveyr year.
Deepi Mann
 I buy name tag holders from lakeshore,  a little pricey but they last the whole year. The necklaces have Velcro so they’re easy for the kids to use.
Danielle Savage 
We use their ID cards that we get with pictures, and write their lunch numbers on the back with a sharpie, and put it on string or a lanyard. It was so cool for the kindergarten kids to do it, older kids have started to copy 🙂
Marcy Davis Wegner
 I used to make buttons, and loved them, but kids sat and twisted them and ended up putting holes in their clothes. I went to the kind of name tag that Chrsti mentioned, and like them a lot. But kids would take them off and play with them and left them behind in PE or Music. But this year I printed a page of address lables for each kid. The whole page has their name on each label. I keep them in my sub file and they just take one off and put it on and it stays on all day. Of course there are still those that take them off and then they rip or get unsticky and fall off. But it’s easy to give them a new one if needed, and it seems a lot less distracting for most kids than a button or name tag. Most kids forget about it within seconds of putting it on.
Marrissa Russello Johns 
This year I took name label stickers “hello my name is”, cut them out, laminated them and hole punched them. The clip them on daily. They’ve lasted so far. I take away recess for a week if they rip them. I’ve only lost 3 this year. They also only need them for fine arts and lunch.
Jeanie Gotcher-Smith 
Go to office supply or Walmart and get badge holders and lanyards for the lunch tags. They last all year and you can use lanyards the following years. Good investment.
Carolyn Lerner 
luggage tags.
Megan Carney
 We use clothes pins for their lunch number.
Jodi Peacock Stone
 I attach key tags to ponytail elastics to make lunch bracelets. You can get 24 for $3-4 at a hardware store. Key tags are on key rings that you can lace onto the ponytail elastics. The kids wear them to lunch and put them in their pencil boxes after lunch.
Kathi Patton
 Last year I made them by using the red solo cups. I put them on a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil and put them in the oven for a few minutes. I can’t remember what temp or for how long but you can just keep checking until they are almost flat. They melt right down. When cool I drilled a hole at the top and added a green felt leaf to make it look like an apple. Put a string through the hole for a necklace. You can add the name on an address label and reuse every year or use a sharpie and send home name tag every year. Very durable!
Carol Toney Johnson 
How about discontinued laminate counter top tiles (samples) that you can ask for at home improvement stores. Use a sharpie then at the end of the year use goo be gone to wipe it clean.
Brenda Smith Browning
 Highlights offers nifty velcro name tag holders that I can reuse each year. My students learn their lunch/library number the first few weeks of school and then we retire the name tag holders. I use tongue depressers for groupings, etc. Hope this helps. :o)
Shawna Kerns 
Last year I used small butter bowl lids. You just sharpie their information on and cover that with contact paper, then you punch a hole in the top ( about a 1/2 inch to 3/4 from the edge) they are very durable and work great.
 P.S. you can also put a small color dot on them for groupings
Amber Monson Schaefer
For groupings, I used washable markers and put an X on each kid’s hand to indicate their color group until they memorized which group they belonged to. @Kathi Patton Love the Solo cup idea! There are so many fun colors to do that with! Do I melt them upside down?
Keri Hughes 
Sara Steward Cooper
 I need to have mine be orange. Each class has a different color. They need their name, number, and a shape (for another grouping we use) I’ve done the plastic name badge ones, but they don’t last for my kids who eat them, rip them, dunk em in water and other casualties. I read that someone buy the flexible plastic binders and cuts them up, hole punches…etc. my kids are just too rough with them…and I’m afraid of buttons because of the sharp aspect, my kids are challenging! Thanks for tips! Going to research!!!
Christie Lozen-Looney 
We do the Solo cup idea too.
Kim Nations Pool 
Computer labels–address size. Print, peel, stick.
We used clothespins this year. They had their names on one side and numbers on the other.
Kelsey Frost
 I got some plastic sleeves from the Dollar Tree and tied yarn through them. They lasted so much longer than any other name tag I had used and they were cheap!!
Kristin Murray
Lanyards with the clear pockets?
Barbara Johnson
 I had a parent make some out of wood and drill a hole for a cord. I wrote on them with permanent marker. They worked great!
Nadine Inglis Berger 
Idea from Kelly’s Kindergarten…(I used it to begin the school year with, then we recieved name tags with barcodes on them for lunch, media check out)…Purchased the cheap, floppy plastic three ring binders, cut into nametag size and labeled with child’s name in permanant marker. Then I put clear packing tape over the name to keep it from wearing off. Glad I saved them as kids keep throwing their nametags away with their lunch..they keep forgetting to put them back on!
Buena Kaylor 
This year I bought lanyards with plastic to hold name cards. Will never do that again…they were in their mouths constantly. If I use nametags again, I will do something I pin on!
Beth Binyamina Kleinman
 I used the office name tags mentioned above, and they lasted about three years. I kept them in a basket by the door, handed them to the children as they lined up for lunch, and then stood at the door and collected them as they walked into the classroom with their lunches. (We ate lunch in our classroom. If we had eaten in the cafeteria, I would have collected the tags right after they went through the lunch line.) Any spaghetti sauce wiped off easily with a wet wipe. As mentioned above, you could color code it with sticker dots, or you could just make a dot with a marker.
Bette LoPresti 
I have used the plastic card holders with the clips for several years with their names on one side and their lunch number scan card on the other side. I was very happy with how they worked although sometimes the kids got food in them. Never thought about taping them shut. In the past I also have used the margarine tub lids with their names and lunch numbers on them. This year the person in the cafeteria who supervises the Kindergarten made us make the kids hats with their names on, so they knew who to reprimand for bad behavior, so we used sentence strips that we laminated, and we used the clear packing tape to attach their lunch number scan card. I put velcro on, so that the hats store flat but are adjustable and they can put them on. Out of 23 kids only one has ruined hers and she now has to remember her number and punch it in instead of me scanning her hat.
Amanda Weaver 
Highlights magazine offers some on lanyards with plastic holders for collecting the take home papers for ordering. Mine lasted 4-5 years!
Brenda Mcp 
We used to use solid colored thick rubber placemats and cut them using an Ellison machine. They lasted very well. Harder to find the placemats now.
Holly Bertram 
We make t-shirts with their names on them to wear when need be.
Megan Reith
 Paint sticks–spray painted for lunch pin numbers—and then use a paint pen to write their name and number. Felt circles safety pinned onto clothes with names puff painted name for regrouping, specials, and whenever I know a sub will be in the room.
Cheryl Dycio 
Popsicle sticks.
Jamie King Makara
 Lakeshore Learning has badge holders that are really cute. The have break away tabs for safety. I am using them for bathroom and hall pass. I think a class set is $30 and are reused:)
Jennifer Hermsen Swink
 I cut plastic folders into rectangles! Awesome!
Wynn Godbold: life, love, and lesson plans 
Love the solo cups melted and the wood tags. Those sound uber durable. Wondering would plastic picnic plates be about the same as the melted solo cups- maybe not quite as thick, but an easy substitute?
Cheri Dodson Smith
 By the way everyone…..just a fun “secret”…for all of you who use sharpies….you can “erase” sharpie with a dry erase marker! simply color over the permanent markings with the dry erase marker, and wipe clean! FYI~

One thought on “Kindergartner-Proof Name Tags–Make or buy?

  1. This year I bought those little foam visors at hobby lobby on clearance… Put their name on them…I teach pre k and necklaces end up in mouths, broke, choking someone etc… I vowed to never do that again! I haven’t used them yet but hoping they work better!

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