There’s really no denying that parenting has its ups and downs. It’s so rewarding to watch your child learn something new, such as picking up their own toys. But when they’re shoving peas up their nose and need to be brought to the emergency, you kind of start to doubt whether or not you’re made for the job. Parenting doesn’t come with a manual (although, it would be nice to have one called “How Not to Mess Up Your Children 101”), but as long as they’re not burning down the house, it’s safe to say that you’re doing a solid job.
All jokes aside, parenting isn’t easy, so why not learn some great hacks to help you get through life’s little lessons with a little more grace?
1. Once children reach school age, many of them become so stressed out because of math that homework time is more of a therapy session.
Instead of watching your child become more and more discouraged, try out this helpful hack. Learning the multiplication tables can be tricky business, but it’s all about memorization. They’ll be able to learn every time they walk up the stairs and you could turn it into a game, as well.
2. Parents who have twins have heard all of the crazy questions that people like to ask about twins.
People typically want to know which twin is older and how the parents tell them apart. The parents of these twins were tired of all the questions, so they made things much easier for the curious folks. Instead of having to answer the same questions over and over again, all they have to do now is point to their babies heads to give a quick answer.
3. Unfortunately, summer is gone and winter is blowing it’s frigid temperatures all over the place.
While winter is beautiful to look at, it’s not always fun to play in, especially if your child wants to go swimming. This mother took her child’s favorite part of summertime and brought it inside so he could enjoy it all year long. Now he can play in the water without the risk of frostbite!
4. Speaking of winter, even if you can’t go swimming, there are still a lot of fun activities to take part in .
If your child is a huge fan of snow forts, then you’ve just become the coolest mom or dad on the block. Using a Tupperware container, make your little one blocks to use for building their epic fort.
5. Every parent understands how painful of an experience taking a road trip can be, especially when potty breaks are needed every five minutes.
When you’re traveling and you’ve just stopped for the fourth time in an hour, you don’t want to stop again until you get to where you’re going. But little bodies need to go potty, so instead of stopping ever three miles, take a potty chair with you. Line the chair with a diaper, and sit them down when they need to go potty. This is a simple solution with an easy cleanup!
6. One of the greatest things about children is their fearless ability to imagine anything that they choose.
Instead of spending money on a car track rug, this little boy’s parents had an ingenious idea. Using tape, they created a race track for their son. The little boy still gets to play and there’s not a huge rug taking up half of the living room.
7. Once children get the taste of junk food, they’re hooked for life.
This parent refused to let that happen. When their little one wanted some greasy french fries, they cut up some apple slices to resemble fries. Warning: this hack only works with children that can’t really tell the difference between the two. Attempting to use this on older children will result in laughter, disappointment, and more demands for french fries.
8. As a parent, you know that there are days when you don’t want to hear your daughter talk about that boy at school she likes over and over again.
On days like that, follow this wise parent’s advice. This way you don’t have to listen to your daughter talk about that boy and his new haircut, but you don’t have to blatantly ignore her, either. It’s a win-win situation!
9. Say hello to the arch nemesis of all parents.
These little pieces of plastic provide hours of fun for your child, but if you’re not careful, one of these things can send you flying down the stairs and into the back of an ambulance. Before your children go to bed every night, have them pick up their Legos and put them in this easy-to-use organizer.
10. Painting is a great way for children to express themselves, but unfortunately, little ones tend to put everything in their mouths.
If you want to paint with your little one, but don’t really want them eating large amounts of craft supplies, then check this hack out. Using yogurt and food coloring, you can create art supplies for your child that can be eaten at the same time.
11. Being in the car with a child can be extremely stressful.
There’s screaming, potty problems and the constant desire to throw their cup across the car. Not only is this unsafe for the driver, but it’s incredibly annoying to have to keep reaching back for a cup. To avoid backaches and car accidents, use a long cord to keep the sippy cup close to their car seat at all times.
12. Trick-or-Treating is a fun experience for every child, but candy isn’t really the best thing for children to eat.
If you’re the type of parent that would prefer that their child didn’t have much candy, then try this great trick! Once they get all of their goodies from Halloween, explain to them that the “Switch Witch” wants to trade with them. Ask them what they would like for a gift and while they’re sleeping, trade the candy for the gift!
13. When children are beginning to walk, they tend to fall down all of the time.
One of the main reasons for this is their slippy socks! Their socks can’t grip the floor, so using puff paint, draw designs on the bottom of their socks. It’s a fun project that will help your child get the grip that they need.
14. As a parent, I am not a fan of any type of glitter in my home.
But with an idea like this, the glitter gates will be opening soon. When there’s a glitter mess all over the kitchen table or floor, using a lint roller, you can pick up all of the glitter….or at least most of it.
15. Children love being able to go to the beach, but it can be a bit hectic for parents.
The beach is so large and small children seem to think that they can explore the whole thing. It can be nerve-wracking trying to keep up with them, which is why this hack is such a great idea. Take a fitted sheet with you on your next beach day and create a playpen for your child.
16. For some reason, the backseat of the car turns into a wrestling ring as soon as children climb in.
This father was tired of backseat brawls so he came up with a brilliant solution! Using large pieces of cardboard he made dividers to put in between each of his children. Don’t put up with fights in the Prius anymore and get some cardboard today!
17. Being a parent is expensive, so it’s always nice when you can re-purpose something.
These creative parents took their child’s old bed and turned it into a station for their children to do their work. That’s definitely one way of thinking outside of the box!
18. Being afraid of monsters comes with the territory of being a child.
Unfortunately, some children become crippled by their fear of a monster under the bed. This is when the parents truly become the hero. Take an old spray bottle and fill it with water. Once you decorate the outside the bottle you’ll have your very own Monster Repellent. After spraying this, you’ll kids will feel safe enough to go to sleep and you’ll be well on your way to sainthood.
19. There’s really nothing better than spending time outside with your family.
But fun time spent outside can be cut short when you’re party’s being crashed by a bunch of mosquitoes. Instead of running back inside to get your little one away from the blood-sucking vampires, put a sheet over their playpen so they can continue to enjoy being outside.
20. Being locked out of the house is a real fear for parents.
Your child may not mean to lock you out, but it happens more than parents like to admit. The next time you have to run to the car or to the laundry room, wrap an elastic band around the doorknob so they’re not able to lock you out.
21. Children have a real problem with the toilet paper in the bathroom.
Kids seem to think that they need half a roll to clean their bottom, which is obviously not the case. To teach their child how to get the correct amount of toilet paper, this parent put markers on the wall. Now if only you could teach your toddler that unraveling the whole roll may be fun, but it should not be shoved down the toilet.
22. Pool noodles have a number of uses other than swimming.
Children who are learning to walk are wobbly almost all of the time, which causes a ridiculous amount of spills and falls. It seems like every time you look, your child has a new scrape or bruise. Most of the time falling down is fine and you just help them up and give them a kiss, but falling down isn’t okay when there are sharp corners involved. Babyproof your home with these pool noodles to avoid some nasty accidents.
23. It goes without saying that most teenagers hate doing chores, but give them an electronic and they’re all over it.
If you’re one of many parents who have a difficult time getting their teenager to do anything around the house, then you should take a note out of this parent’s playbook. It might also be fun to lock the Wi-Fi everytime they talk down to you.
24. A parent doesn’t necessarily want to ground their child, but if it’s necessary, you might as well have a little fun with it.
This system for ungrounding your child is great. As long as they do the chores listed, they can get ungrounded as soon as they’d like. Or, they can choose to sit in their room and watch the dust bunnies float on the fan until their sentence is up.
25. There’s nothing more exhausting than continuously having to put things back where they belong because your toddler insists on pulling everything out over and over again.
It’s almost as if children know what they’re doing and they just enjoy seeing you sweat. This parent figured out what their child was up to and quickly ended it. And all it took was a yardstick to put an end to their torture.
26. Bath time is a lot of fun for children, but it can be a nightmare for parents.
From slipping on the bathtub to throwing water all over the place, you would think that you were in the bath instead of them. Make bath time a little easier by putting a laundry basket into the tub. It will prevent them from sliding all over the place and your clothes will be drier because of it.
27. If your child takes a binky then you probably understand how difficult it can be to keep track of them, especially when you go out in public.
Dropping a binky on a public surface is absolutely disgusting and it’s extremely inconvenient if there’s no place to wash them nearby. There’s no need to worry about misplacing or dropping binkys on the ground anymore with this hack.
28. Sometimes you just need a little time to do the things that you need to get done.
When you have to get something done, or you just need a little quiet time, giving your child something to occupy their attention for a little while really helps. Put a small square of tape on the floor and show your little one how to sweep the dirt off the floor. It can be a great game for them and a nice break for you. Not to mention your floor will get cleaned, as well.
29. Parenting obviously takes up all of your free time, but you deserve a break just like anyone else.
This father just wanted to enjoy a beer but his child wanted to swing, so he gave them both what they wanted. He can enjoy kicking his legs up with a beer and his kid can have a great time on the swing. Don’t judge, you just wish you’d thought of it.
30. There’s nothing more annoying than listening to your kids fight all day long.
Siblings that fight have to be taught a lesson and this parent knew exactly how to do that. When this brother and sister fight, they have to wear this specially designed t-shirt until they decide that they can get along. I have a feeling that there’s a lot of tears shed when this happens.
31. There are plenty of parents out there that still enjoy playing video games, but it can be really hard to enjoy their favorite hobby when they have children climbing all over them.
Instead of continuously trying to take the controller away from your child while you’re playing a game, give your children their own controllers that aren’t plugged into the game. They’ll spend the whole time thinking they’re playing the game and they’ll be happy about it, too. It may be cruel, but it works.
32. Having daughters can be extremely hard for dads, especially when they start getting older.
This father was not having his little girl thinking that wearing short shorts was an option. Instead of just telling her no, he decided to make a point. Talk about embarrassing.
33. Cooking around small children can be dangerous, especially since they want to touch everything.
This dad knew that he needed to find a way to BBQ his favorite food for the Sunday football game, so he did what any dad would do. He created a fortress of steel around his meat.
34. Playing in the sand is a great for children to explore their imagination, but it can be a bit messy.
If you have an old tent then this hack is perfect for you. Using a tent instead of keeping the sand outside will prevent sand from getting all over your yard, as well as deterring cats from using it as a litter box.
35. It’s so much fun to watch your child learn to crawl, and then eventually, take their first steps, but it can also be a bit dangerous.
If you’ve ever been smacked in the shin by one of these you know exactly what we’re talking about. Wrap the pool noodles around the base of the walker, tie it with some zipties, and send your child on their merry way. They’ll have fun and you’ll protect your body parts…and your home.
Use a disposable coffee cup lid or muffin baking liners to keep Popsicles from turning into a huge mess. Simply turn the lid upside down and insert the Popsicle stick through the hole. As it melts, the lid will catch the drippings.
If your little girl has problems keeping up her summer dresses or spaghetti straps, all you have to do is use a barrette to keep straps from slipping. Simple and useful.
If your toddler is a natural-born painter, but you’re worried about the chemicals in the paints, then we have a healthy and safe solution for you. Mix yogurt and food coloring to make baby-safe paint, and you won’t have to worry about your baby’s “art” since it will also be edible. Greek yogurt is the best kind to use since it’s thicker than your regular yogurt and provides a better consistency for the paint and is easier to handle.
Put cupcake liners inside cup holders for easy cleanup. It will also impress your kids because let’s face it—children are pleased by little things that we older folks aren’t anymore.
Is your child a picky eater? All you have to do is shake a few sprinkles on their food. See, according to various studies, sprinkles make everything better for kids, even food they don’t fancy.
Stick a Command hook to the back of the high chair for easy access to bibs.
Keep fruit fresh for your kids without any problems. When you are simply slicing an apple for lunch, put it back together and secure it with a rubber band for a crisp snack.
Buying shoes with a tearful child is never easy, so why not stamp his footprint on a piece of paper to take with you as an accurate measure of his or her shoe size? Be practical.
Put a fitted crib sheet on top of the playpen while your baby is in it to keep mosquitoes out during the summer. This is especially helpful for those summer barbecues and picnics.
Are you one of those parents whose babies love to throw their pacifiers everywhere, causing you to worry about their hygiene? Well, all you have to do is keep a couple of their pacifiers in your bag in sauce-to-go containers, and they will be perfectly clean every time.
Teach kids to know how to understand time by color-coding a clock. For example, color-code the clock in their room as follows: if it’s yellow, they can play quietly in their room before they go to sleep; if it’s red, then it’s time for them to go to sleep; if it’s green, then it’s the ideal time for them to wake up and start the day.
As you probably remember from your own childhood, that beautiful period can also be full of bumps and bruises. So when your little guy has an accident and needs some pain relief, freezer packs might be too cold for him. Not to mention how the ice can get really messy and melt as time goes by. So what’s the best solution to soothe a boo-boo? Frozen marshmallows! After putting them in the freezer for a bit, marshmallows are still soft enough for a tender bruise and lightweight enough for kids to handle easily. Not to mention that they don’t get too cold for comfort.
Change up your children’s everyday lunch with fun, healthy “bento box” ideas that will help them eat healthy. Fill and ice cube or multi-sectioned container with a different food in each block: blueberries, mini-crackers, pretzels, cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, or any other toddler-friendly foods. These beautiful bento box ideas will certainly make things different, but still let you incorporate your kid’s favorite foods and healthy snacks.
Most kids want to do things by themselves as they get older. The good news is that you can give them the chance to do so by letting them fulfill their most basic needs. Teach them how to wear the correct shoes on the right feet by using a sticker. Cut a sticker in half, and put the left half in the left shoe and the right half in the right shoe. When they make the sticker line up, it will help your little man or woman put their shoes on the right way, and most importantly, they will enjoy the learning process.
Get your kids involved in laundry sorting by using color-coded baskets to help them contribute. A white basket is for white clothes; a black basket is for dark clothes, and a red basket for colors. This way they learn to do laundry the right way at a young age.
Old baby wipe containers have a few possibilities. They make great storage containers for small toys and baby items. For slightly older kids, they are great for stashing toy cars, action figures, and Legos. For toddlers learning to take things in and out of containers, they serve as a great homemade toy. Because of the convenient size of the containers, these new “toy boxes” are also great for when you travel.
Put a laundry basket in the bathtub to keep your baby’s toys within easy reach.
As most parents already know, shopping with a toddler can be a problematic endeavor. So, if you want to keep your child busy while you shop, make him or her a cool Cheerio necklace and put it on them while you’re at the mall. They will be easily distracted, allowing you to purchase all your goods without forgetting anything.
Create a sensory bag by filling a gallon Ziploc bag with cheap, clear hair gel and some rounded, cheap plastic toys like dice and marbles. Seal it and wrap it with duct tape to make sure nothing oozes out. It’s a good way to keep your kids entertained when you can’t go outside.
Use a fitted sheet and a pool noodle to keep your toddler from rolling out of bed at night.
Put baby vapor rub and socks on your baby’s feet to help alleviate a nighttime cough.
Combine water and lavender oil to make monster spray for nervous kids who have trouble going to sleep at night.
Soak a washcloth in chamomile tea for a teething baby. It will relieve their pain, which means less crying.
Put a pool noodle on doors to keep them from slamming or to prevent kids from locking themselves in.
Make a bracelet for your child with your phone number on it so in case your child gets lost (we HOPE NOT), whoever finds him or her will know where to call.