Classroom Labels

There are many benefits of labeling not only the center areas in your classroom but the materials you keep in those centers.

Labels provide young children with a visual that helps them determine where each item belongs; which can speed up your clean-up time and make it less chaotic.

classroom writing center

Classroom Labels

When materials are clearly labeled on shelves they are easily accessible to your students which allows them to be more productive.

Clearly labeled shelves and tubs will also help reduce your students’ frustration levels and save them time searching for materials.

In the picture above you can see my writing center. I used to attach the pictures to the ends of the tubs using clear contact paper. However, I had a few issues with the contact paper, the first being that each time I wanted to change out the materials on the shelves I had to peel the contact paper off and start over.

The second issue was that they changed the formula they used to make the clear contact paper a few years ago and it no longer sticks very well. In an effort to solve these problems I started investigating new methods of labeling the tubs.

classroom labels
As teachers, we tend to save certain items that most people would normally throw away. One of the items I have saved over the years are clear vinyl badge holders that you get at teacher conferences. I knew they would come in handy someday and they did! If you don’t have a secret stockpile of badge holders don’t worry, you can find them in the office supply section at Wal-Mart.

To attach the badge holders to my plastic tubs I used E6000 glue which will adhere anything to anything. You can also find E6000 glue at Wal-Mart or your local craft supply store.

Once you attach the badge holders to your tubs cut the pictures to size and insert them in the top of the badge holders.

When you want to change out the materials in your bins just pull out the picture from the badge holder and replace it with another- easy peasy!

Now you have a neatly labeled classroom that you can change up quickly and easily whenever necessary!

If you use cloth or wicker baskets you can still use the clear vinyl badge holders, just get the badge clips to go with them and clip them to the handles.

classroom label borders
Check out how using cute polka dot labels can spice up the look!

Follow my Classroom Organization board on Pinterest for more great ideas!

About Vanessa Levin

Vanessa is the creator of Pre-K Pages and author of the book A Fabulous First Year and Beyond: A Practical Guide for Pre-K and Kindergarten Teachers. She has more than two decades of teaching experience and enjoys helping kids and teachers through her professional development sessions. Follow Vanessa on Facebook, Google +, Twitter and Pinterest.


  1. Laura (The SEEDS Network) says:

    I love the badge holder idea, Vanessa! That is a great way to be able to reuse them.

    We have used contact paper for years – but you are right, it doesn’t stick as well anymore. For larger center signs – or other pictures we want to hang around the classroom – we use clear 8 1/2 x 11 page protector sleeves. Similar to the badges – you can change out what’s in them pretty easily. We also had some teachers use the page protectors for displaying children’s artwork – which reminds me that I have to post those pictures! :-)

  2. I spray and wipe the centers down with bleach solution. Do the badge protectors keep the labels dry or can liquid seep in?

    • Good question Julia! I suggest laminating the pictures before putting them in the badge holders if you will be spraying with bleach.

  3. This is great not only for classrooms but home organization as well. I stumbled this post.

    Vicky from Mess For Less

  4. Heidi Butkus says:

    OOOH! Vanessa, I must admit that I hate it when I find out that you are smarter than I am, LOL!!! The badge holder idea is pure genius!!!! All I have ever done is print out a label and tape it on with clear packing tape, ha ha! Yours are great. Do you have trouble with the kids taking them out of the badge holders, though? That used to happen a lot when I used them as cubby name tags. They came out so often that I finally gave up and just taped their names down, but that was because they would slide out when they pushed the backpacks past the badge holders, of course.
    Heidi Butkus

    • :) I haven’t had any problems with the labels slipping out of the badge holders on the end of the tubs or kids taking them out. I think the pictures stay in the holders because most of my tubs have a large lip that protects the badge holder if that makes sense. Kids grab the tubs by the lip and don’t have to touch any other part of the tub. I used the badge labels in my classroom library too and it was great for changing out thematic/seasonal books. You can laminate the pictures prior to use just in case they do slip out.

  5. Cheryl Stanke says:

    I use the badge holders but I use velcro so if thet get ripper you can justbput a new one in the same spot.

  6. Chanel Wilson says:

    Hi I just found your website and I’ve already been on here over an hour:) I was wondering how you create your labels with the picture and the word, I work in a district that require we label with pictures and words black font in English and red font in Spanish so I have a lot of classroom specific work to do that does not allow me to purchase pre-made labels. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Vanessa Levin says:

      Hi Chanel, I just use Word to create my labels. I take the pictures on my phone, e-mail them to myself at school, insert them in a blank Word document and add text under each photo. Then I print and laminate them. Hope that helps!

      • Chanel Wilson says:

        Hi Vanessa Levin:
        Do you create a table when inserting the labels. Your labels look really nice by the way:). I live in Newark, NJ I can’t wait to attend your workshop:)

  7. I am so enjoying all of your Centers posts, which led me here to the labeling post! Genius! I am in the process of re-organizing a pre-k classroom I inherited from a dear friend who also happens to be a bit of a pack rat! Seeing how your centers are set up is so inspirational and helpful! Thanks for all the great ideas you share.

    • Also, thanks for telling me about the E6000 glue. I’ve been experimenting with different ways of attaching plastic sleeves to hold the pieces for my file folder games. Sounds like this is the solution I’ve been looking for!

Printables for Pre-K and Kindergarten Teachers

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