It’s back to school season – time to restock pencil cases, buy uniform and shoes and get everything ready for the new school year. Most years this is exciting for many children, but this year could be different. Most of the children have had five monhts or more out of the classroom – they have missed out on milestones, parties, celebrations and important transition points.
Some of them I know are definitely excited and can’t wait to get back and see their friends again. But for others, the more introverted ones, or anyone going back to a new or unfamiliar setting, this could be a time of anxiety and stress. I asked my daughter how she feels about this and what I could do to ease the stress a bit – I love this response. Over to Anne-Sophie…
As we head towards a September full of uncertainty, many of us are having to think about readjusting to ‘normal’ life. Whether you’re going back to work, or your kids are going back to school, the idea of being out of the house during the day is likely to be strange or even a little intimidating.
Personally, I seem to be forming a mental list of the home comforts that I’m definitely going to miss when I’m back in school: my bed, fridge, coffee machine, and most of all my dogs. I know it might sound a little silly, because of course they’re still going to be there at the end of every day when I get home. However, I’ve spent almost every day of the last five months working with our little poodle Sykes on my lap, and I really am going to miss his emotional support as I work my way through textbooks and practice exam questions.
I’m sure I can’t be the only one who’s appreciated the extra time spent with their pets; for many it’s been tough to find a silver lining from the past few months and so the little things have been really important. To help ease the transition, for either you or a loved one, I’ve put together a list of small, pet-themed gifts, many of which are customisable – if your furry friend can’t be nearby, seeing their face on a mug or keyring could be a welcome reminder of home.
Vector Pets Personalised Pet Portrait
This is the first idea on my list because it’s a gift that was given to me! Vector Pets create an illustration of your pet from a photo that you send them, which you receive as a vector.
My mum got portraits of both of our dogs which I could put on anything: phone cases, travel mugs, notebooks, stickers… Getting the dogs to sit still long enough was apparently a bit of a nightmare, but I think they came out looking very cute!
I love this idea specifically because you have so much choice as to what you put the pictures on, and it doesn’t break the bank (from £8 per illustration!), so it’s a nice small gift for any pet lover in your life.
Here are the pictures we sent
And this is what they did with them (they take 72 hours to arrive, one is back and we are waiting on the other one)
I think these are both lovely and now I can make all kinds of personalised gifts with them.
Lovingly Handmade Crochet Personalised Pet Head Keyring
These are so adorable! Lovingly Handmade Crochet specialise in making personalised plush versions of pets, and these keyrings are an adorably fluffy way to take yours with you everywhere. They’re a little more on the expensive side, and there’s currently a waiting list for new orders, but I still think these are absolutely lovely.
Dogsy Dog Face Air Freshener
This one’s a little unconventional, but still very cute. Dogsy offers many different customisable dog-themed gifts (their dog face socks are a favourite!), and this specific gift allows you to turn a photo of your dog’s face into a car air freshener, or you could use the custom animal Illustration from Vector Pets above!.
There are eight different scents to choose from, all of which are great for masking the infamous post-walk wet dog smell. For practicality alone this is a great little gift; the smiling doggy face is a wonderful extra perk!
Yappy Personalised Notebook
Yappy is another website offering personalised gifts for dog owners and lovers, and I particularly really like their range of personalised notebooks. Their personalisation service is fast because you choose from a wide variety of pre-designed icons for different breeds, to find the one that looks like your dog. There are loads of different fun designs to choose from, all on high quality lined A5 notebooks.
Pet Paw Print Necklace
Not On The High Street sell many unique pet-related gifts but I think this necklace from eclectic eccentricity on Not on the High St. is especially lovely. It can be personalised with an initial, either yours or your pet’s, and it only measures 14mm across, so it’s super dainty and subtle. These are a very classy way to keep your furry friends close to your heart – literally!
Dog-Print Face Masks
Face masks are an all-new necessary item for the return to school and work, so why not get one with dogs on it? These are available from every corner of the internet, but websites like Etsy are especially great, because they have many customisable options and you’re supporting smaller, independent businesses when you buy. The range of prints is huge, whether you’re looking for brightly coloured paw print patterns or something that will make you look like you have your own snout! Patterned masks are an excellent way to be responsible and keep healthy while also expressing yourself.
Are you buying your children a couple of extra treats for back to school this year? What do you think would make them happiest?