When you finally become a parent, you might convince yourself that ready for any challenge. Still, it’s no secret that the parenting struggle can be very real. No matter how much you love and adore your children, you’ll be faced with a whole host of daily child dilemmas.
From the moment your children wake up, you’ll have to ensure they are washed, dressed, well-rested, eating the right food, taking their medicine, drinking enough water and entertained constantly. That’s before you’ve even attempted to leave the house.
Thankfully, these ingenious parents have passed out some savvy parenting tricks to help you get through a whole host of challenging scenarios. From keeping your kids entertained on a long flight to ensuring their toys are less noisy, we’ve compiled a list of parenting hacks, designed to make your life a whole lot easier.
When babies first learn to crawl, it can be a milestone moment for any parent. However, you’ll soon find that they’re unstoppable. Blink and you might miss them, as they wriggle their way across the entire house.
As a busy parent, we know there are not enough hours in the day to always keep the floors clean and spotless. So why not put these little balls of energy to good use and attach a few dusters to their onesies. While you turn your baby into a mini sweeper, they can have all the fun and you can get those spotless floors you always wanted!
A Medicine Pacifier
If your toddler is sick, the last thing they probably want to do is to drink some yucky tasting medicine. So convincing your children that medicine is just what the doctor ordered is one of the most painful and challenging aspects of parenting.
But that’s no sweat with this sneaky trick. Simply take their pacifier and slice off the tip. Then when they’re not looking insert the medicine dropper into the hole and make sure they get the right dose. Then when they use their pacifier, they won’t even realize that they’re secretly getting well too.
No More Bath time Tears
While bath time can be fun, and kids love splashing around with bubbles and toys, when it comes to washing their hair, it can quickly turn into a bath time tear session. While parent’s need to pour the water, no parent wants to see the bath water get into their child’s eyes.
It can become a daily bath time dilemma, as children don’t like getting the bath water in their eyes either. Still, you can solve this with one genius fix. Simply place one of these handy umbrella hands over their head, so you can wash away without worrying about any bath water tears.
Beach DIY Play Pit
If you’ve ever taken your toddlers to the beach, then you’ll know the parenting struggle is real. Before you even leave, you have pack extra toys, towels, snacks, drinks, sunscreen, and perhaps your kitchen sink. Then once you finally make it, you’ll have to keep them entertained the whole time and make sure they don’t run away on a beach adventure.
Still, one way to make your beach day more relaxing is to take a fitted sheet and prop it up with bags in each corner. This way you can keep your toddler entertained in their own personal beach playpen. You can also relax as it’s harder for them to crawl away.
Most small children have big imaginations. And when it comes to bedtime, many can let their imaginations run wild. Every shadow on the wall can be the bogey man and every sound can be the monster hiding in the closet.
Once your kids have convinced themselves that the bogeyman is real, it’s hard to convince them otherwise. But that’s before you heard about a ‘monster spray’. Simply take a cleaning spray and transform it into a monster themed spray. If you put it next to their bed, you can put their nightmares to rest.
After your toddlers have spent a long and entertaining day playing at home, it’s usual to find every game, toy, and random toy piece littered all over the living floor. So, it’s a good idea to teach them good cleanup habits from a young age, while letting them have fun.
While it’s usual to throw all the toys at the end of the day into their toy box, this idea is much more creative. If they collect sets of small cars, dolls or figurines, you can create a cool display box or toy organizer, where they can showcase all their favorites and easily find them the next day.
A Color-Coded Clock
When the school bell rings at the end of the day, most kids can’t wait to rush home so they can play, eat and go to bed as late as they can. So naturally, it can be harder to break it to them every day that they still need to do chores like homework and they can’t stay up every night.
So with a color-coded clock, you can teach them about structure, and managing their time. If they know that they have to do their homework before playtime and they have a set bedtime session, hopefully, there will be fewer tantrums.
A Car Seat Divider
If you’ve ever attempted to take your small children on a fun family road trip, then you’ll know that it can quickly turn into a family mobile argument, which is not so fun. The arguments could be about anything, from toy envy or boredom to snack-time quarrels.
A fast and easy way to resolve these arguments is by adding these nifty car seat dividers between each child. You can use some spare cardboard as the dividers, and hopefully, they won’t bother each other, when they can no longer see each other.
A Medicine Trick
We know it can be tricky to get your baby to take their medicine if they’re sick. Still, trying to convince your toddler to take their medicine is no walk in the park either. Most children would prefer to drink their favorite soda or juice any day instead of medicine.
So as a parent, sometimes honesty is not always the best policy, especially if you know best. So one cool medicine trick is to insert a straw into their medicine. Then tape it over the side of their favorite bottle or canned beverage. This way they won’t even realize that they’re drinking their daily dose.
A Clean Slate
Teaching your child to get into the habit of cleaning might not sound too fun. Still, you can make anything sound fun if you think creatively and out of the box. So simply grab some colored tape and stick it over a square in the floor.
Then all you need to do is to convince them to play a fun cleaning game. Encourage them to sweep all the dirt and dust in the room and make sure they place it all into the colored square. And voila, they can have fun and you’ll have a clean floor.
A Comforting Touch
For most children, and adults for that matter, a warm hug is the best way to comfort them and help them finally doze off to sleep. So if you have small children, you could spend hours holding them before they eventually fall into a slumber.
For busy parents, time is precious and you can’t always afford to spend the whole night comforting them. So a simple solution is to grab a knitted glove and fill it with beans or rice. Then place it over their back, and they will feel the same sensation, as though you’re holding them. And you can do all the things you need to get done before they wake!
A Shoe Toy Organizer
Most small children will have a favorite toy. Some even have a few favorite toys. They might also refuse to leave the house, travel in the car or go to sleep without their 20 favorite toys. So one easy solution is to grab a handy shoe organizer.
The shoe organizer has all sorts of useful pockets, so is perfect for storing their favorite small animals, books, coloring pencils and more. The best part is that your kids can still see all the items clearly displayed, and you can take the toy organizer with you on every long journey.
A Shower Travel Meal
If you’re planning to take your small kids on a long road trip, or simply running some errands around town, then you might have to bring some snacks for them. When you’re on the road, you might not have time to stop, so you can bring a meal for them to eat in the car.
Still, if you’re kids are eating in the car, you will usually find crumbs everywhere, stepped on crisps, squashed strawberries, drink spillages and more. So next time, you can bring a shower basket divider into the car. This way all their food and drinks can be stored neatly in one place and your car might be a little cleaner.
A Toothbrush Holder
While most families store all their toothbrushes in the same cup, it’s not always the most hygienic way to store them. The cup can become a playground for bacteria and you’ll be left with some murky colored water at the bottom.
A more hygienic and fun way to store all your family toothbrushes is to grab some colored clothespins. You can let your kids pick their favorite color and rest each toothbrush separately on them. You’ll also find they’re easier to reach too.
Left Foot, Right Foot
As every parent knows, it can be tricky for small kids to always remember which shoe is supposed to go on the right foot, and which goes on the left foot. In the morning, if you’re rushing to get them to school, then this sticker hack might just help.
All you need to do is grab a colored or cartoon-themed sticker and cut it in half. Then place half the sticker on each shoe, so they can remember each time. It’s also guaranteed to make your kids smile every time they try to put their shoes on too.
If you’re trying to get your children ready for school in the morning, you’ll find everything and anything can be a distraction. After all, getting ready for school can be boring for your kids, and is way less fun than playing with any toy they can see.
So another entertaining trick on the list is to glue pennies on the bottom of your kid’s shoes. This way they will be excited to put their shoes on every day and can enjoy tap dancing around the house while you help them get ready.
Noisy Toys No More!
As parents, we all want to get our children great toys, and some of those toys are unpleasantly super loud. Not only are they way too loud, but your kid pushing that button relentlessly makes that tune so repetitive you could just pull your hair out. So guess what? There’s a hack for this too.
To fix the problem, place a little tape over the toy’s speaker. Don’t worry, your kids will still hear it, but it won’t be nearly as loud! Yes, you can thank us later.
Plane Rides Can Be Less Traumatizing
Every parent who has flown with young kids knows how much of a nightmare it can be. We’ve all struggled to keep out children quiet on a long plane ride.
But the next time you have to travel, try bringing some sticky toys that they can stick on the window to create fun scenes in the sky. It will keep them busy for longer than you think. And then you can get back to reading your favorite book.
It goes without saying that kids love popsicles and ice cream cones. But these melting snacks can be super messy and can make their new clothes look like they’ve missed about 12 washes.
But there’s a super easy way to prevent the inevitably sticky mess. Just take a disposable coffee cup lid and slide the popsicle stick in the slit to catch all the melting ice! So simple yet so genius.
Arts and Crafts Hack
Glitter can be just about any parent’s nightmare. There’s something about glitter that makes it seem like it has superpowers. No matter how much you clean up after, the glitter will appear on you and your clothes weeks later.
So if you hate glitter as much as I do, you can use this simple hack that will make clean up so much better. All you do is use that lint roller that’s sitting inside the drawer to roll up all that glitter.
No Fancy Race Car Tracks? No Worries
It’s okay, you don’t need to buy some fancy super expensive race car track that will only break or go missing at some point far too soon. What do you need? Some tape. That’s it.
Like you see here, you can use electrical tape to make a cool racetrack, maze, or set of streets for little toy cars. If your kid gets sick of one track, just pull up the tape and design another track!
Speaking of Tape
Since we’re on the topic of tape, here’s another example of how some tape can keep your kids busy for a long time. You don’t need chalk or even a sidewalk to play hopscotch.
It’s best if you have some colored tape as it makes it more fun. But the idea is to put some down on linoleum or another non-carpeted floor to make your own hopscotch court and get hopping!
Make your own billiard game like this skee-ball you see here by using sidewalk chalk to draw a point-valued bullseye on the driveway. Give your kids some wet sponges to toss at the target to rack up points!
It’s actually great for getting the kids out of the house and away from the screens! But you’re going to want to arrange some sort of prizes to make it more fun for them. It’s up to you what those prizes will be!
Outdoor Dress Up
This parenting hack is probably best suited to the younger kids as older children might want something with a challenge. But for your young toddlers, this is a form of dress up, just outside on not on their actual bodies.
Have them play outdoor dress-up by first drawing characters on the ground with chalk and using old clothes to dress and accessorize them!
Here’s a way to make awesome pavement art with washable paint bombs! Here’s what you do: mix cornstarch, food coloring, vinegar, and baking soda in a plastic bag.
Seal it up real tight and wait for the pressure to build. Eventually, the paint bomb is going explode into a beautiful Pollock-esque piece of art! Your kids are going to love it.
DIY Sun Catcher
Want a fun indoor art activity to keep your kids and maybe their friends entertained on their next play date? Make a DIY sun catcher. It’s a lot easier than it may seem.
Start by filling the backside of a plastic lid with white glue and add a couple of drops of food coloring on top of it. Then use toothpicks to swirl the colors into patterns. Let the glue dry overnight, and you’ll have some hangable art for your kids’ rooms.
Another easy art project is getting your kids to paint with their feet! Who says kids should only finger paint? Switch it up by using your feet. Use bubble wrap to wrap their feet up. Let’s just start with that.
Then you’re going to dab the bottoms of their feet in washable paint and let them walk and stomp around on parchment paper. It’s not only fun to bubble-pop with their feet, but the end product is cool!
DIY Backyard Games
It’s a nice day out and the kids are bored. Or maybe you have an upcoming birthday party that you have to plan. This is a perfect game to get all the kids, and even parents, involved. Make a DIY target game in the backyard.
Make your very own tarp target game. You need to first get a tarp, preferably an old one, and cut holes in it. Assign point values, hang it up between two trees or fences, and see who can earn the most points tossing a ball or beanbag.
Jenga for Toddlers
Jenga is fun! But the blocks may be a little too hard and heavy for those little hands and arms. So you can make your own Jenga game at home using sponges. But they’re meant to be dry, not wet.
Cut up some colored sponges (because it’s more fun) into uniform pieces of the same size. The sponges are going to be a lot more little-kid-friendly than the original Jenga. You might even notice yourself enjoying the game too!
What kid doesn’t want to make their own river? Heck, I’m an adult and I totally want to make a river. This is actually another great idea for a birthday party or regular Saturday afternoon.
For some backyard water fun that kids crave in the summer months, you and the kids can craft your own rivers out of aluminum foil. Make them as long as you want, then turn on the hose and watch the stream flow!
Ball Game for Toddlers
Here’s a DIY game idea for the itty-bitty ones. It’s great for young toddlers who can keep themselves busy doing the same task over and over again without getting bored. Make them their very own ball game.
Make an exciting ball-catching game by taping a paper-towel roll to a low spot on the wall. Place a bowl underneath, and they’ll keep dropping those balls into the tube to watch it come out and drop into the bowl. If you don’t have balls, you can use pompoms or anything similar.
Sure, this hack is a little more complicated than the other much easier ones that you’ve seen on this list. But believe me, this homemade tapestry activity is going to be really fun for them and it leaves a lasting result!
Create your own tapestry by threading colored yarn through a big piece of burlap. Staple the burlap to a cardboard frame and you have yourself a homemade tapestry! Put it up on the wall in their room for them to be proud of their work.
This one isn’t for the anti-sand beach haters. This is for all the beach lovers who just love playing with all things sand. But sometimes it’s not possible to go to the beach or the playground sandbox. But you can make your own instead.
You can create a sandbox without sand, but sugar instead. Spread out the sugar in the bottom of a wide tray or shallow cardboard box. The kids can then use a pencil or straw to draw, trace, and erase the patterns they make.
Camping is a family favorite that will always create moments forever etched in your kids’ memories. But as fun as camping is, it’s usually done outdoors, and not everyone can take the time off to go on a full out trip.
So what can you do? Go on an indoor camping trip obviously! Set up a tent or build a blanket fort in the living room or your kid’s bedroom. Cap it off with a “campfire,” using a lamp or candle for the flame in the middle of some strategically placed old paper-towel rolls.
Balloon “rockets” are an excellent project for kids. Tape a straw tightly to a balloon and thread a piece of yarn through the straw. Tie the yarn between two chairs or two other steady objects.
Then when you blow up the balloon and hold it pinched shut without tying it up, you’ll be ready to launch the “rocket” by just letting it go and watching the balloon race between the chairs. Once you do it as a test, your kids will want to keep doing it after.
Regular normal size bowling is fun, sure, but have you ever played miniature bowling? They don’t have it at bowling alleys of course. But you can make your own alley, lanes, and pins yourself with your kids.
You can play miniature bowling on any hard and flat surface by setting up some pencil erasers as the bowling pins and shooting marble to knock them over. If you keep score it’ll make them feel like they’re playing the real sport!
This is a super cool game for any kid who has ever seen any kid’s movie with a secret agent that has to get through the secured place with lasers pointing everywhere. It’s also an active activity that will get them moving!
To play a secret agent, you need some red-colored yarn and scissors. Tie them in angular, crisscrossing patterns down the hallway and watch as the kids try to make it from one end to the other without touching any of the “laser beams.”
Home Science Experiment
Looking for a cool science experiment to wow your kids? This will surely do the trick. You’ll need some bar soap to start out with and you’re going to be using the microwave. Oh, and you might want to wear some old clothes.
What you do is microwave a bar of ivory soap and watch it bubble and puff into this strange and awesome bulbous shape. Be careful with the finished product, though, because once it cools, it’ll crumble into your hands! Be prepared to hear “Mommy, can we do it again?”
DIY Tennis Match
Tennis matches don’t have to be left to ESPN and played only by tall and slim French people. Tennis matches can also be played at home by you and your kids on a rainy day!
Set up your own tennis court and start by making rackets out of popsicle sticks and paper plates. Then use a balloon as the ball. Score it any way you want, but the point is to have fun and try to keep the balloon from touching the ground!
Larger Than Life Cobwebs
Painter’s tape can come in handy when making parenting hacks. You can use painter’s tape to make a fun indoor cobweb that your kids will love to both create as well as destroy. And both are equally as fun!
Place the tape across a doorway or up in a corner in a crisscrossed pattern, and then toss fake “spiders,” made out of construction paper or aluminum foil. They can throw them at the web and see how they stick!