This article was originally published on Kueez
Parenting has its highs and its lows. Changing diapers isn't exactly a high point, but the moment your child starts toddling around and speaking is something no parent ever forgets. For the parents that need a little bit of a helping hand when it comes to raising their kids, you have come to the right place at the right time. The following list of parenting hacks utilizes everyday household items to make looking after kids just a little bit easier. Who knew these things could be so simple?
Siblings, no matter their age, always get into little spats with one another. It might start with someone stealing a toy or a piece of food, which can quickly escalate into a full-blown fight. We've all been there!
To avoid any fighting while on the road, simply grab a clean piece of thick cardboard from the recycling bin, and slide it in between the car seats. This gives each child their own space.
Does anybody really like taking medicine? If there is one thing that makes most kids squirm, it is having to take a tablet or a gross-tasting medicine.
While we would never advise tricking children, this is a great hack for getting your kids to take their medicine. Simply place a can of their favorite soft drink in front of them, and a straw in the medicine bottle. This way they get their medicine and don't realize it's not soda.
All Ages Concert
Young children are still growing and developing, which means they should not be exposed to loud noises like heavy metal music without proper ear protection. For the parents that enjoy going to concerts, and want their kids to share this joy, then grab this handy item.
Ear protectors that are used when mowing the lawn, or using other noisy power tools can be used to cover children's ears at concerts. They can still hear the music but without any fear of damaging their eardrums.
Time To Paint
If there is one thing that children love to do, it is to take their favorite markers or paint and create fantastical drawings on whatever surface they can find, and that includes the living room wall.
Many different painting and drawing tools have been created with children in mind, but the best is simply a bucket of water, a wooden fence outside, and a paintbrush. A child can paint the fence to their heart's content, and their parents never have to worry about a mess or an unwanted mural.
Beach days are the highlight of the summer for many families. The kids get to build sandcastles and wade in the water, and parents get to lounge around with friends.
The only downside is the sand that gets into and onto everything. To avoid any sandy situations, bring a fitted sheet to the beach, and curl the edges up around heavy bags and coolers. This keeps sand out.
The Crib Desk
After a year or two, most babies grow out of their cribs and require toddler beds. Instead of listing the crib on Facebook Marketplace, consider holding on to it for a craft project.
Most cribs have a removable side, and with the removal of the side and mattress, a great desk can be created for the growing child.
Keep Candies Close
While some kids don't like eating sweets, most have a real love of the sugary stuff. All parents know that kids and a lot of sugar do not mix very well, but that shouldn't stop the older generation from enjoyed a treat here and there.
To keep children away from sweets, simply hide them in plain sight. A frozen bag of vegetables can be used to hide candy and chocolate bars, and no one will be the wiser.
A Helping Hand
Some children don't like falling asleep without the loving embrace of a parent. However, most parents don't have hours to spend with their kids waiting for them to fall asleep. Believe it or not, there's an easy trick for that too.
For the kids that need a heavy hand on their back to help them sleep, then the glove trick is a must. Fill a glove with sand, seal it so the sand will stay in place, and place it on the almost asleep toddler. This will make them think their parent is right there.
Keep Heads Safe
Babies take a while to learn exactly how their body parts work. Arms need to stop falls, and rolling around on the floor next to furniture can lead to painful headbanging.
To keep a baby from rolling onto their backs, and potentially hurting their delicate heads, a baby backpack head protector is a nice little solution. Plus, they are absolutely adorable, and you can make one yourself with a sturdy pillow and some straps.
The Box Of Creativity
Kids always need an outlet for their creativity, and cardboard boxes might just be the perfect place for this. Not only are they fun to hide in, but they also make great canvases for young artists.
Next time you get a child-sized box, hold on to it. Your toddler can be placed inside with a variety of markers and crayons, and create a masterpiece, away from any furniture and walls.
Teaching Time Management
Learning how to tell time on an analog clock takes some serious work. First kids need to understand what the big and little hands mean, and that can be tricky.
Then, they need to learn how they work together. For kids that need a bit of help in understanding what time activities take place, consider color-coding a clock to the corresponding activity.
Right And Left
You would think that it would be intuitive, which shoe goes on the right foot and which shoe goes on the left. But nothing is intuitive when it comes to learning important life skills.
For some kids, putting shoes on can be a bit like trying to cram the wrong puzzle pieces together. Adding a sticker to show which shoe goes on which foot, can be a gamechanger.
Game Of Chores
For children, life is all about having fun, and doing chores does not fall under the fun category, or does it? Well, you're in for a surprise.
Parents that need help with chores like sweeping, can easily turn it into a fun game with the help of some tape and some simple rules. Kids can play sweep the garbage into the square.
We have all heard of blanket forts, but have you ever heard of the blanket hammock? One truly innovative parent realized that a sheet can also make the perfect hammock.
All it takes is a large flat sheet wrapped around a dining room table, and voila, the toddler hammock is ready for lounging.
The Drippy Popsicle Catcher
Hot summer days call for cool popsicles, especially ones made from natural juices which aren't full of refined sugars. To avoid any sticky fingers, the plastic lid of a coffee cup can be used to keep popsicle juice from dripping on hands. How's that for a clever trick?
All you need to do is slide the popsicle stick through the slot used for drinking, and there will be no more sticky fingers.
Barbie dolls Need TLC Too
Children's toys are expensive, especially Barbie dolls. After being played with for a while, the hair on Barbies tends to get a bit straggly looking and full of knots.
Instead of throwing the Barbie out and buying a new one, just give her hair a wash with a mixture of dish soap, water, and conditioner, and it will look salon-perfect.
The Drawing Wall
For many children, it can be hard to fight the urge to draw on a pristine white wall in their bedroom or living room. But what can you do to allow them to express their creativity?
To avoid a wall covered in marker swirls, consider hanging a picture frame, with a roll of butcher paper above it. This paper can be fed behind the frame, and a new 'canvas' will always be ready for drawing.
Video Game Family Time
Video games are for adults too, but sometimes little children don't understand why their mom or dad may not want to hand over a controller.
To enjoy adult video game time, and make your kids think they are playing, just provide them with a controller that is not connected to the gaming system. Genius!
The DIY Parking Garage
Crafty parents know that everyday household items can easily be repurposed into toys and storage containers for kids. Here's a trick so simple, you won't believe how you didn't come up with it yourself.
A wooden crate and some empty toilet paper rolls can be used to create the perfect toy car garage. Genius!
New parents love to get professional photoshoots done with their newborns in adorable costumes, but keeping newborns still can be tough. A secret hack that baby photographers use is a parent as a hidden prop.
Dad or mom can be placed underneath the infant to keep them calm and picture-perfect. All that is needed is a blanket to disguise the parent in the photo.
Sometimes things do go bump in the night, especially in older houses. The sounds of a house settling can be pretty scary for young children.
Kids that believe in monsters just need a special monster spray to keep them away. An empty spray bottle and some stickers can get the job done.
Growing Up Through The Years
Some parents like to track their kids' growth spurts by measuring their height in a door frame each year. Others, like to be more creative.
A large t-shirt with the year the child will graduate is a great way to showcase how a child has grown and changed. A photo of them in it each year will track their growth.
Mosquitoes Be Gone
On hot days, it's nice to put a baby or toddler's packable crib outside in the yard. Parents can get some yard work done, and watch the baby at the same time. It also provides a nice escape from the house.
Some places have a ton of mosquitoes and other bugs that come out in the hotter months, To avoid having a child covered in bug bites, just place a fitted sheet over the top of the crib. The bugs will stay away, and the baby will stay safe.
A Practical Treasure Map
Kids are excellent at finding things, so when a pair of keys or glasses go missing, it is time to put them to work.
A carefully drawn list of the missing items will help kids know what to look for, and they will have the added bonus of thinking they are on a treasure hunt.
No More Slipping
Some socks are designed with rubber lines or patterns on the bottom of them to keep kids and adults from slipping on hardwood or linoleum floors.
There is no need to shell out the big bucks on these though. Some carefully applied slick paint on normal socks has the exact same effect.
Chart Out The Medicine
Everybody gets sick, that is just a fact of life. For kids that need to take different medications, it can be hard to remember when they last had a dose. Drawing a chart of the days of the week, and adding 'morning' and 'evening' with boxes for 'x's' makes remembering easy.
The parent administering the medicine will have to remember to mark the container each time to avoid double dosing, however.
Hold On To Your Lollipops
Lollipops are designed to be licked until they are finished, but some kids find it difficult to finish an entire one all in one go. It is also a good idea to limit the sugar intake from an entire lollipop, which means it will last longer, and the child won't experience a crazy sugar rush.
Luckily, plastic eggs or toy containers from Kinder Surprises can be used to preserve a lollipop. This keeps them fresh for longer.
An Inflatable Fort
Building a blanket fort can take quite a bit of time. Chairs need to be carefully placed, pillows need to be added, and blankets need to be draped over all of it.
For the parent that wants a fort fast, simply take a duvet cover, add a fan at the open end, and it should inflate like a balloon. Kids can hang out in the cool space until they are ready for bed.
Pool Noodles And Trampolines
Trampolines are a lot of fun, but all parents know that there are a few dangers associated with them. For this reason, it is important to have safety measures in place.
Pool noodles can be cut down to size, and fitted over the metal parts that attach the trampoline to the frame. This protects children that may fall against them.
Homemade Ice Packs
We all fall down, and for kids, that can lead to a few boo-boos that parents need to take care of.
Sometimes ice packs aren't readily available, but some damp marshmallows placed in a ziplock bag and frozen can do the job.
A Very Special Coloring Case
DVDs have quickly become a thing of the past, but that doesn't mean you should start recycling the plastic containers they came in.
Those plastic containers are the perfect size for some sheets of paper and some colored pencils for the ultimate portable coloring case.
Welcome To The Bathtub Rave
Bathtubs don't need to be quiet affairs with rubber duckies and toy boats floating around, instead, they can be bathtub raves.
Crack a few glow sticks, scatter them in a full bathtub, put on some kid-friendly tunes, and have a mini-rave with your kids.
The Vanity Step
Most kids aren't tall enough to reach the sink to brush their teeth until they are about 7 years or older. A step stool can help with this, but so can something else.
The bottom drawer in a vanity can be turned into a built-in step stool for kids, which makes it both practical and easy to hide away.
No Locked Doors
If there is one thing kids love to do, it is lock bedroom and bathroom doors to keep siblings and parents out.
This is a fun game, but locked doors are not a good thing when kids are young. Say goodbye to locked doors, by placing rubber bands over the door handles, to keep them from locking.
A Mix Of Toys
Gone are the days of gender-specific toys. Boys can play with dolls, girls can play with cars, and anything else they feel like playing with.
By providing a mix of toys for children, and allowing them to choose what they play with, parents can show that it is okay to play with whatever you want.
When going to a big event with children, it can sometimes be hard to keep a close eye on them and accidents happen where they wander away.
Parents who worry about losing their children should consider getting temporary tattoos made with their contact information on them.
Baby Shower Caps
Babies need to be bathed on a regular basis. This keeps them clean, and parents can also bathe with them for some skin-on-skin time.
Some babies enjoy going in the shower, but getting water and soap in their eyes must be avoided. A little shower cap, with a visor over their eyes, helps keep any water and soap out.
Most parents don't think about how annoying it can be for a child to have their favorite bath toy float away.
To avoid any toys from getting away, place a plastic laundry basket inside of a full bathtub, and the child inside of it. Now the child and the toys are contained.
Protect Little Fingers
A slamming door can be a serious hazard for any fingers that might be in the door frame. This is another thing that can be avoided with a pool noodle.
Once more, a cut-to-size pool noodle can be slipped over a door and used to keep it from closing. That saves any fingers from getting caught and smushed when it closes.
Animal Toothpaste Time
Mundane tasks like brushing teeth can be turned into exciting events with the help of certain accessories.
Placing a cute animal head over the opening in a tube of toothpaste can make brushing teeth an adventure with toothpaste squirting out of the animal's mouth.
No Bath No Problem
Some apartments and homes only come with a shower, which can make having bath time with little ones difficult.
Showers can be turned into makeshift bathtubs with the addition of a blowup pool. Just make sure to blow up the pool inside the shower, otherwise, it might not fit.
The Times Table Stairs
When it comes time to learn times tables, it can be a bit tricky. Kids need tricks to be able to remember the sequences of numbers.
One parent developed this innovative method, in which each their stairs showcase the timetables. This makes remembering them much easier.
The Sand Tent
Most of us are familiar with sandboxes, but have you heard of sand tents? Instead of buying or building a box, think about repurposing an old camping tent.
The tent can be filled with sand and toys, and when children aren't playing in it, zipped up to keep out any pesky critters, like cats.
Touch The Magnet
All parents know how tricky it can be to keep kids entertained, especially when they are outside of the car and the parent is busy doing something.
Consider adding a colorful magnet to the outside of a car door, as it gives a young child something to fixate on for a few seconds.
DIY Racing Track
Toy cars need roads to follow, and other cars to race. Buying an expensive racing car mat isn't necessary if you have a roll of tape.
The tape can be placed on a rug or linoleum floor to form a race track and give a child a place to play with their cars.
The Show Is Starting
At first glance, a running washing machine may not sound like something interesting to watch, but for babies it is mesmerizing.
Babies love new experiences, and basically, everything they are introduced to is one, such as watching the washing machine run through its cycle.
Time To Sort
Kids are very tactile, and learning about colors, shapes, and matching is an important part of childhood development.
For parents who need buttons sorted, or other odds and ends, turn it into a game. Give your child a muffin tin, and explain that each circle belongs to a certain color or shape. Then, they can get sorting.
Color Coded Family
For families with a lot of children, it can sometimes be hard to know where each one is in a park or other public place.
Keep track of each one, by making sure that the entire family is wearing the same color. A vibrant red always stands out, so it is a good idea to buy matching shirts in this color. Then, each family member can wear one of these shirts, which makes them easy to spot.
Keep Ankles Safe
When a baby starts to learn to walk, they are sometimes placed in a walker, or a chair that has wheels on the bottom.
This allows them to carefully wander around their homes, and parents don't have to worry about them falling over. However, these chairs always manage to hit ankles, and a pool noodle can cushion the blow when placed on the bottom. Just be sure to cut them down to size to fit along the edges.
Going to the doctor can be a bit of a scary experience. It usually means a vaccine might be involved, or something else a child doesn't necessarily like.
Keeping crayons at the ready, can help distract a child from what is happening, as they can draw on the paper covering on the examination table. Make sure not to use markers though, as they can bleed through and mark the table.
The Potty Training Hack You Need
Potty training can be super frustrating for parents and kids alike- but this simple and cheap hack can make things a little more bearable. Those accidents are going to happen occasionally, and when they do, you can be prepared. Keep some puppy pads handy and line your little one's car seat with them. Now, when they have an accident, just clean them up and change out the pad. Too easy!
Now that expensive car seat doesn't have to pay the price when accidents happen. You can thank us later!