Labels for pre-readers? Use photo stickers!

At Amazon: Avery Sticker Project Paper, White, 8.5 x 11 Inches, Pack of 15 (03383)
At Amazon: Avery Sticker Project Paper, White, 8.5 x 11 Inches, Pack of 15 (03383)

Isa's two-line hack is an organizing revelation for parents whose kids can't yet read labels:

When our twins were too little to read, we labeled their things with their photos. Bought sticker paper, printed their photos on it at home.

THINK OF THE POSSIBILITIES for teaching kids — from an early age — to begin to help themselves!

  • Lunchboxes, dishes and cups so kids can identify their own lunch paraphernalia.
  • Duplicate toys so ownership is never in question.
  • Coats and outerwear. When a photo sticker gets paired with a written label, it helps kids begin to recognize their names.

You could take this hack further and label toy bins with photo stickers identifying the contents (Legos, dolls, cars, etc.)

You could label wall hooks so kids know where to hang their coats and/or bath towels.

You could label kitchen drawers so kids know where the forks and spoons are stored.

How else might photo labels be useful for teaching kids to be independent? Please leave a comment!

Related: More hacks for people who love labels

More: Check out the Getting Organized archive for even more ideas

Get updates from Asha.

I'll email you when I have new writing, events, or news to share. This isn't an automated newsletter -- it's a personal note from me. Low-frequency (I respect your attention & inbox), privacy always, unsubscribe any time.

*indicates required


  1. Katherine says

    My daughter’s Montessori preschool labels their work drawers with their name and photo. It always seemed like a great idea. Luckily there aren’t any identical twins at the school though. :)

  2. Bev says

    At my daughters nursery, every child had a symbol, Sally the Sun, Molly the Mole, Charlie the Caterpillar, and there things were labeled with their name and their symbol.

  3. HRM says

    Wow, that’s a great idea. For our twin girls we used color codes and used those round office stickers for labels. Green for one girl and pink for the other. Now that they’re older, we still use those colors on calendars for appointments, etc…

    But I like the idea of printing out your own photo stickers at home, I can see that coming in very handy. Thanks!

  4. Dawn says

    When I went to Montessori preschool/kindergarten they used our names and an animal sticker. I only really remember the year (35 years later) they used dinosaurs, but I remember they were on everything. My son’s classroom only used their names but by 3 most of the kids seem to at least be able to recognize their own name.

    We also use colors for each member of the family (toothbrushes, calendar-digital and paper, etc). I also made tags for my 3 yo backpack so he always knows who is picking him up from school.