This year my baby is going to Kindergarten. Sniff, sniff. Actually I am excited for him. A few weeks ago we were at Target and he asked for a Clone Wars lunch bag, thermos and backpack. I am using Shrinky Dinks, because we have some left from previous projects, to make name tags for his lunch bag and back pack. This year is going to be fun, exciting and a little scary for him. I wanted to do something special for him. It is also fun, exciting and a little bit scary for me to have both my boys out of the house all day every day.
1. You will need to find some simple drawings that you can trace onto your Shrinky Dinks. I found this coloring sheet of R2-D2 on line (Google “Clone Wars coloring pages”) and sized it down to 4 x2-1/2 inches to make it a better size for a tag. Remember the final size of the tag will be 1/3 the size of the original drawing you start with. On the left is the tag that came on the Thermos. It measures 3 x 4-1/4 inches.
2. Use colored pencils to trace your line drawing. I suggest you use two sided tape to keep the Shinky Dink from moving around while you trace and color the line drawing.
3. Color in your line drawing with colored pencils. I used my son’s Lego R2-D2 to get an idea for coloring him in.
4. Add your child’s name at the bottom. I put his first name and last initial. I used block lettering similar to how “Star Wars” is written. For extra pop, I outlined my block letters with black.
5. Cut off excess Shrinky Dink material and round the edges. Use a hole punch in the center of the top (not too far from the edge).
6. Bake the finished drawing to shrink it.
7. Add a jump ring and clip to your tag. You may need to use a split ring to hang it off the handle, like I did here. The zipper pulls were too chunky to hang the tag off of.
My son is not confident enough to make his own yet. He does not like to write, color or draw because it doesn’t turn out just so. However,this would be a great thing for an older child to do. Tracing a line drawing makes it easy to get great results. I simply followed the shading pattern for the clone trooper helmet. There are very little drawing skills needed for this. If your child has trouble with tracing lines, then you can trace the image and let your child color it in.
Along with making a tag for the lunch bag, I also make a tag for inside the backpack. This tag has my son’s name on it as well as my phone numbers in case of an emergency. I don’t like putting their names on the out side of the bags, even though they will never be left alone before or after school.
I decided to keep the Clone Wars theme for this tag. Though, you don’t need to go that far. However, it wouldn’t be as fun to share if I had just left it plain. ;) I got my image by doing a Google search on “Clone Wars images.” Some images are not high enough quality to print out so be sure to save a variety of pictures.
1. Resize your image to the size of a business card. Make it just smaller than the dimensions on the package of the pouches. You need at least 1/4 inch all the way around for the pouch to seal closed.
2. Make the contact info tag the same size. Mine says “This bag belongs to: child’s name. If found please call 000-000-0000 or 000-000-0000.
3. Use a glue stick or double stick tape to stick your picture to the back of your contact info. This will help when positioning them in the laminating pouch.
4. The laminating pouch has one side that is covered with adhesive, remove the protective paper and stick the sides together.
5. Punch a hole in the top and add a clip. Clip the tag inside the back pack.
I know that usually less is more. However, I don’t typically do things like leave little messages in their lunches. I am far more likely to add the occasional treat. He was excited to see me making them.
Some times those little treats are extra incentive for getting through what may be a hard day. When my oldest is having a hard morning and isn’t transitioning well, I will put a little something extra in his lunch. I then let him know that if he gets it together and goes to school with out a fuss, then he can have a treat at school. Some times I will tell him what I put in his lunch and some times I call ahead and let his teacher know he is having a hard morning and that I have sent a treat to help redirect him. It is a small thing but sometimes a fruit roll up has saved the day. Some times he just needs to take his mind off of the thing that is upsetting him. The time it takes to open and eat a fruit roll up is generally all he needs to regroup.