Hacks. What in the world does this trendy word mean? Life hacks, computer hacks, and now—parenting hacks? If you’re unfamiliar with the term hack go ahead and ask your average tweener or millennial. Chances are their responses will be somewhat close to “. . .a quick shortcut solution to a tricky problem.” Of course, it must be said that some hacks may not be foolproof or a 100% fix, however, there are many out there that will leave you wondering, “Of course! Now why didn’t I think of that?!” Below are a list of my Top 10 Parenting Hacks:
Cut a pool noodle and slide it over the edge of bedroom doors. This will create a “door stopper” to prevent little fingers from being squished by accident. Ouch!
Use painters tape to make large shapes on hardwood floors. Give your little toddler or preschooler a small broom and ask them to try to push all the floor yuckies into the different shapes. They learn their shapes, you get a clean floor. Win-win!
Twist rubber bands around the neck of soap bottle pumps. This will help keep kids from being wasteful by “overpumping” soap when it’s time to wash hands.
To help children put their shoes on the correct feet, get a large sticker of their favorite character and cut it in half. Put each corresponding half into either the left or right shoe. They will see that in order for the character to line up, their shoes must be in the correct formation.
Soak apple slices in pineapple juice to prevent them from browning. No more, “But I don’t want the brown one!” Plus, the taste of apples is naturally sweetened.
To help your preschooler hold a pencil in “writing position,” wad some kleenex for them to hold onto with their ring and pinkie fingers against their palm while the other three fingers grip the pencil.
Always remember to take a picture of your children when entering large open places like malls, carnivals, and fairs. If you should ever become separated you know exactly what they are wearing and can show authorities what they look like. Even better, dress your child in bright solid colors so that they stand out in crowds and make sure to use a sharpie to write your phone number on the bottom hem of their t-shirts.
Make an instant dirty diaper decoy. If you’re ever worried about your valuables in a public place, wrap your small belongings in a diaper and it instantly looks like something that potential thieves wouldn’t dare steal. Just remember to secretly mark it so that YOU know not to accidentally toss it!
Stick a strip of painter’s tape about 12 to 18 inches below the toilet paper roll. Potty training kiddos will be able to see how much is “enough” toilet paper to unroll by not passing the line.
Pull up the side tabs on juice boxes to make “wings” or “ears” for little hands to hold on to. Gripping the “wings” or “ears” keeps young children from squeezing the juice box and spilling their drink each time they pick it up.
The Parenting Hub would love to hear about other genius parenting hacks that make life easier for you and raising young children. Please send your hacks to: firstname.lastname@example.org