75 Genius Parenting Hacks to Make Life Easier

Aug. 24, 2015

Move your parenting game up a notch! These 75 hacks will help free up your time for the more important things -- like taking it easy!

Parenting is the toughest job you'll ever love. Parenting hacks can help you get that job done quicker and easier.

These 75 parenting hacks will help save your sanity while leaving you more time for the important things in life -- like having fun with your little one:

  1. Attach a baby gate to your banister railing with heavy duty plastic cables.
  2. Use a hot glue gun on the bottom of your child's shoes to keep her from slipping.
  3. Apply a temporary tattoo with your phone number onto your little one's arm in case he gets lost.
  4. Tear a sticker in two and place the halves inside your toddler's shoes to tell left from right.
  5. Take a photo of your kids upon entering a park in case they get lost and you need to tell someone what they are wearing, look like, etc.

    amusement park

  6. Place a pool noodle under your child's fitted sheet to keep her from rolling off the bed.
  7. Give kids a list of chores they must do in order to unlock the day's Wi-Fi code.
  8. Use Monopoly money to teach kids budgeting.

    kids budgeting

  9. Stash nonperishable snacks everywhere -- diaper bag, glove compartment, stroller, your purse or laptop bag -- for those moments when hunger strikes unexpectedly.
  10. Decorate a spray bottle of water with stickers and make "monster spray." Use it to banish boogie men from under the bed.
  11. A laundry basket in the tub keeps toys from floating away.
  12. Use a bed sheet tied to a table to make a fun toddler hammock. Test it for sturdiness before they climb in!
  13. Keep pacifiers sanitary when you're on the go by storing them in to-go sauce cups.
  14. Catch Popsicle drips by poking the stick through a cupcake liner.

    melting popsicle

  15. To find out a baby's gender (without offending the parents), ask the baby his name. The parent will answer if the baby can't talk.
  16. Create an inflatable kids fort with a fan and a bed sheet, supervising the activity, of course!
  17. Holly Homer of Dallas, Texas, suggests transforming a DVD case into a travel art kit filled with paper and crayons.
  18. Put a fitted sheet over a pack and play outdoors to keep mosquitoes away from your baby while you're close by. Keep an eye out that she doesn't pull it down.
  19. Cut a slit in a pool noodle and use it to cover the top of a door frame so kids can't close a door all the way or pinch their fingers.
  20. Sanitize plastic toys in your dishwasher. Let them air dry after the wash cycle.
  21. Stick a plastic hook on the back of your little one's high chair to hold bibs.
  22. Make a mark on the wall to show your little one how much toilet paper to use.
  23. Use magnets or Velcro to attach your child's cup to the fridge and always have it handy.
  24. When your baby is born, reserve him a good email address. Send pictures and notes, and give your child the password on his 18th birthday.
  25. Turn your child's old crib frame into a chalkboard table by painting it with chalkboard paint.
  26. Cover trampoline springs with pool noodles cut into pieces.
  27. An empty inflatable pool (away from the sun) makes a great play area for your baby.
  28. Have a race each night and see which of your kids can brush their teeth and get into bed the quickest.
  29. Puree extra baby food and freeze in ice cube trays for quick meals.
  30. Store your kids' clothes in large plastic bags when you travel (with a day's clothing in each bag) so you can just hand out for them to dress themselves.
  31. Make stations with various activities, like they do at kids' museums, and let your child choose which one to do each day while on vacation.

    childrens craft

  32. Use a heavy absorbency maxi pad in your child's diaper at night to cut down on leaks.
  33. Wash LEGO bricks in a mesh laundry bag in the washer with hot water and a little detergent.
  34. Raise your eyebrows when holding a baby. She'll watch your facial expression and be less likely to cry.
  35. Fold baby's legs crisscross when changing diapers to keep baby's feet -- and your hands -- out of the poop zone.
  36. Try this dad's tip of using baby powder to remove sand painlessly from a child's feet.//www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LJ8lgBXHt8


  37. Keep a folder or binder for adding your kids' physical reports each year. That way you'll have that record of their growth and other medical information all in one place.
  38. Use bandages to babyproof electrical outlets if you're away from home and don't have covers and plugs.
  39. Download a white noise app when staying in a hotel.
  40. Nancy Fairchild of Phoenix, Arizona, suggests parents and kids dress in matching clothes when traveling.
  41. Leslie Hoglund of Virginia Beach recommends spending 15 minutes every evening on a family cleaning challenge.
  42. Let kids clean your hardwood floors by "skating" with socks on their feet.
  43. Finger paint outdoors and leave the mess behind.

    finger painting

  44. If you have a tough talk to conduct with your tween or teen, do so while engaged in an activity or while driving.
  45. A fishing tackle box makes a great traveling snack tray.
  46. A shoe organizer over the car's seat back holds toys and snacks.
  47. Renea Webb of Round Rock, Texas, suggests using a frozen juice box to keep lunch cold.
  48. Kids who help cook meals are more likely to try new foods, so get them cooking!
  49. Missy Lapine of Westchester County, New York, suggests adding blended vegetables to soups and sauces.
  50. Let the slow cooker cook your dinner while you work or play.
  51. Package serving-size portions of fruits and veggies in baggies so they can be grabbed when you're on the go.
  52. Angela Harding of Lawrence, Kansas, says rainbow foods are always more fun -- ditto for food with sprinkles.
  53. Create family traditions with Meatless Mondays, Pizza Fridays or Breakfast for Dinner nights.
  54. Melissa Norris of Rockport, Washington, says she cooks extra meals on the weekends and freezes them for pulling out in a pinch.
  55. Fill an empty dish-washing soap bottle with water and food coloring and let your kids "paint" the snow.
  56. Take a photo of weekly spelling words to practice when you're on the run. Check out these cool, fun ways to practice spelling words.
  57. Julia Cook of Fremont, Nebraska, suggests letting kids practice reading to younger siblings or family pets.
  58. Use a plastic sled to pull your kids' beach toys and other gear across the sand.
  59. Make a magnetic chalkboard wall for your little one.
  60. Lint rollers also clean up glitter.
  61. Laurie Hamm of Lynchburg, Virginia, swears that an empty box can become anything.
  62. Repurpose a sheet as an outdoor art canvas.
  63. Turn a bookcase into a doll house.
  64. Rename food to make it more exciting for kids, such as "Fairy Chicken." Sometimes that's enough to inspire kids to eat it.
  65. Pin socks together with safety pins to keep them together before washing them.
  66. Do a family dance to a silly song to banish the blues.
  67. Use the same stuffed animal prop in your little one's monthly baby photos.
  68. Trips to the pet store help little ones get over their fear of dogs or cats.
  69. Make your baby's first shoe into a unique Christmas ornament.
  70. Color code each family member's activities on your calendar.
  71. Kids listen better if you hold their hands and look into their eyes.
  72. Use a hanging tiered fruit basket to hold bath toys.
  73. Reserve space in a kitchen cabinet for old pots and pans your little one can play with while you cook.
  74. Use a shoe organizer to sort LEGO bricks by color.
  75. To give kids the chance for free artistic expression in their rooms, have them paint a picture or design on the back of their bedroom doors -- any way they want!

75 Parenting Hacks


Sandy Wallace has spent years learning parenting hacks through her kids and their friends. Visit her website for parenting tips and ideas about fun family activities.

Tips and stories from parents and caregivers who’ve been there.

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