Helpful Hacks For Parents With A Sense of Humor

Natalia Hoss

lifestyle /
amazon.com

After trying numerous tricks, some parents have wished that their babies came with an instruction manual. Luckily, moms and dads around the world have created these helpful parenting hacks to make life with kids a bit easier.

Learn Math on the Stairs

As kids grow up, moms, dads, and guardians are keen on helping them in many ways. At the outset, this essentially requires teaching them not to put everything in their mouths. But once they start school, tasks can become a bit more complicated. Luckily, some parents have shared their self-discovered hacks with us.

Parent Hack Math Trick
Pinterest via Twinkleresources

This clever dad came up with an engaging and colorful way to teach his children math. The set-up might take some time, but in the name of learning, it's worth it! This minimalistic and convenient learning space might help kids find math to be almost…fun? Once they master a set, they can level up to other times tables.

Make a Sand-Tent

Many kids love playing and digging their feet in the sand. What some people are unaware of is how these actions can provide child development benefits. Improving fine motor skills, hand, eye coordination, or tapping into creativity and imagination are a few examples. That's why numerous parents purchase or build a sandpit.

Sand Tent Parenting Trick
Pinterest via Chelstie Smith

However, a standard sandbox is an open container typically built into the ground. So, pets or pests can quickly invade. Sandpits can also come with a large mess, but here's an excellent alternative: A tent filled with sand! This would keep sand inside during playtime and can zip up to keep animals out at night.

Build a Street of Tape

Many kids go through the toy car phase. This kind of motor play has proven to render many benefits for kids. Some include physical advantages, improving their language skills, and understanding new concepts, like 'go and stop,' 'left and right,' 'up and down,' but that's not all!

Tape Street Helpful Hack
Instagram via @tmccrum_mua

For this phase, some parents turn to create some form of track. As opposed to purchasing right off the bat, a less-costly option is to use masking tape to create his/her own race track. A real one might need to be purchased after a while, but this could be a good place to start if cars are new to the toy box.

The Washing Machine Show

Even the best parents need a 10-minute break to shower, eat, or take care of themselves. Whether time is needed to do some chores, get a bit of work done, or take a little breather, there are many tricks to support parents in the process. One example is sitting a toddler in front of the mysterious washing machine.

Washing Machine Parent Hack
Instagram via @cake_away_cancer

For the little ones, watching the washing machine cycle is the same as viewing an entertaining show on the TV. They commonly enjoy spinning colors and changing patterns. Of course, a parent may only have a few minutes to use this window. Eventually, they'll get bored of the show, but before then, go get some you time!

Color-Code the Family

Spending the day out with the family is never a bad idea. Yet, it's undoubtedly easier to watch over one kid than many. So, parents with several children tend to experience more difficulties when going out for pleasure. In other words, larger families usually fuse more hacks into their routines to make their lives easier.

Color Code Parenting Tips
Instagram via @brandi.marie.e

The big trick is to color-code the crew. That's right, everyone suit up! It's much easier to spot your children if they're all dressed alike. Experiencing the heart-dropping feeling of losing sight of a kid is scary, emphasizing the need for this trick. So, let the children wander, knowing that this hack can help keep them safe.

Save Your Ankles with Pool Noodle Bumpers

Baby walkers are created to grant children more mobility or help toddlers learn to walk. Although many parents find the walker useful, this teaching toy usually comes at a painful price. More precisely, many toddlers aren't aware that they're hurting their parent's ankles or destroying the walls. But we definitely are!

Baby Walker Parent Hack
Reddit via roswellc

The question is: What can be done to prevent these injuries and interior damages? Well, an easy option is to cut and attach pool noodles to the plastic bumpers with zip ties. Now, the ankle and wall slamming might still happen, but at least the blows will be softened a bit!

Bring Crayons to Doctor’s Appointments

For many children, going to the doctor's office can be a scary experience. They might recognize these appointments as something being wrong, leading to the trip. Many kids believe they're sick, so they begin to anticipate pain. Consequently, some toddlers tend to cry, even while merely sitting in the waiting room.

Doctor Parent Hacks
Reddit via anastasiabeverhousen

To make life easier, it's helpful to find ways to entertain the kiddos. One hack is to pack crayons for the appointment. This way, a child can draw on the sheet they're sitting on while waiting for the doctor to make their rounds. In other words, they'll be too distracted to worry about their surroundings.

Turn the Bathtub into a Playpen

Some kids become little ducklings around the house, following their parents everywhere. No matter if one is making lunch or organizing the closet, youngsters will probably be on your heels. As a parent, it's common to find a way of keeping the kids entertained so that tasks can be checked off the to-do list.

Bathtub Playpen Parent Hack
Instagram via @cake_away_cancer

A great way for parents to keep kiddos busy while getting ready in the morning is to turn the bathtub into a playpen. Add toys or washable markers. This way, mom and dad can brush their teeth without being interrupted. If your shower and tub are separate, this could even allow for a 10-minute kid-free shower!

Take a Bath in the Shower

For some kids, it doesn't get better than mixing playtime with pool time! Splashing around in a bath can create space for close interaction with your child, but what is one to do if they don't have a bathtub?

Parent Hacks Baby Pool
Instagram via @fjordliebe

Without a tub, making one is an easy hack! All it takes is a quick run to the store to buy a baby pool that fits inside your shower. Whether purchased for this specific cause or using one from beach days or traveling, both enable parents to bathe their children with ease. Time to bring out the rubber ducks!

Buckle Up For Safety With a Shirt

There are hundreds of gadgets for carrying children around today. There's the standard "kangaroo" carrier, hammocks, Bjorn, or alternate carrying wraps. Given all options, sometimes a parent needs a simple hack to keep their child in place so they can quickly finish a task. Luckily, this crafty dad found a way!

Shirt Baby Wrap Hack
Reddit via malleeman

Seen here, this father came up with a brilliant hack to secure his baby onto the chair by merely using his shirt. This is a flexible and soft tool and is a much cheaper option than traditional carriers. So, have no doubt that one can easily control their baby's mobility, which significantly helps those who are more energetic.

Take an Out of Order Sign To-Go

The majority of kids love trying new things and touching various objects. And, no matter how much a parent may try to convince them not to, they most likely will anyway. Unless that is, if a parent takes advantage of this clever hack, which happens to be one of our favorites on this list.

Easy Parenting Hacks
Twitter via @ShootTheSound

So, what's the easiest and most efficient way to keep errands as quick as planned? Well, by printing out an "Out of Stock" sign, one that would prevent little ones from exploring different items, mom or dad can save half the hassle. With this trick, the paper can be taped on any object. Looks like errands just got easier!

Keep the Pacifiers Clean

Many parents have praised pacifiers as a critical part of their toddler's life. Whether it helps kids calm down or keep them satisfied for a car ride, they can do the trick. However, pacifiers are small, so naturally, they often end up on the ground. When picked up, pacifiers often come with a collection of germs.

Clean Pacifier Parent Hack
cynthia.blogspot.com

Whether one has multiple children, pets, or both, pacifiers can often end up in the wrong mouths or places. But, in the end, toddlers will put the pacifier in their mouth no matter what, so it must remain clean. An excellent hack is to store each pacifier in a plastic sauce container, a perfect size to keep the object safe.

Streamline Their Style

Mornings can be tough for kids, primarily when getting dressed for school or a day out. With parents rushing to get to work or dropping the kids off at daycare, there comes a time where parents have to rely on their children to get themselves ready for the day. But, there is something that can make it a bit easier for everyone.

Organize Clothes Helpful Hack
Instagram via @kortneybrady

One of the best ways to help out a child while still giving them the independence to dress on their own is to organize their closet. Putting several combinations in each drawer of an organizer allows a youngster to make their own decisions but from a limited option pool. This easy hack is sure to save everyone time.

Pack in Plastic Bags

If it's been a struggle to pack the "right" things for the kids, you are not alone! In other words, it can take a lot of time and effort to prepare a suitcase for travel or even a weekend adventure. But, using this hack for packing can make things easier for everyone. All that's needed is a couple of plastic bags.

Plastic Packing Parent Hack
Pinterest via Kristinmaxwell

Say that midway to a destination, it gets chilly out, and little Suzie needs a sweater. Instead of rummaging through an entire suitcase, it's much easier when one can see all of the child's belongings. A great hack is to pack their outfits in plastic bags so time can be saved and stress can be avoided on vacation.

Hang the Bibs

Bibs can save parents a lot of time and effort, as they keep toddlers from spilling all over their cute little outfits during mealtime. Today, bibs come in all shapes and colors. Even so, they are all miniature, which means they're typically harder to find at the bottom of a bag. But, a simple hack can keep everyone organized.

Hang Bibs Baby Hack
Pinterest via Marcy Rosen Kiesche

To make your and your partner's lives easier, one must first determine a specific area for bib storage. Drawers might seem like a good idea, but better yet, devoting or designing a unique bib hanger is the best option. Storing it in the same location leaves no room for confusion and much for smooth sailing!

"Baby-Proof" the Snacks

To ensure that kids are hungry at mealtime, some parents work hard to hide or limit access to snacks throughout the day. No mom or dad favors when their kid skips an entire meal due to a bag of chips or a piece of chocolate. Despite parent's efforts, however, some kids have spy-like ways of sneaking their treats anyway.

Baby Proofing House Hack
Instagram via @hacked_by_a_mommie

To limit these chances, parents can take advantage of this simple hack. More precisely, one can keep cabinet doors closed by securing the handles to one another. This creates the illusion of an impossible entrance for the child. Well, at least until they're old enough to figure out that what's being used is a dog collar.

The Medicine Trick

It's almost a right of passage for kids to hate the taste of medicine. Even if they haven't tried the cherry-flavored syrup yet, they may refuse to take it. Or worst case, take it, then spit it out. Just as normal as it is for kids to do this, parents also have a series of methods they try of slipping the medicine in.

Kids' Medicine Helpful Hack
Reddit via bsurfn2day

This creative mom came up with the ultimate medicine trick. As we can see here, this little boy thinks he just scored himself a Pepsi as a bedtime snack. After all, kids around his age can fall victim to some of the most simple optical illusions. So, make sure to take advantage of this helpful trick while you still can!

Invest in Noise Cancelling Headphones

Becoming a parent shouldn't mean giving up everything once enjoyed pre-kids. And, as role models for the little ones, it shouldn't come as a surprise if they want to partake in your favorite pastimes too! If a parent happens to bring their child to a kid-friendly concert, here's a hack that will keep everyone happy.

Kids Headphones Parent Hack
Reddit via Decestor

Parents can allow their little man or lady to enjoy their favorite music with them, but not without a pair of noise-canceling headphones! This dad found a setup that allowed his mini-motorhead to hear the music at a more appropriate level while he jammed out like usual.

Paint Outside With Water

As mentioned earlier, toddlers will probably want to imitate their parents' actions. So, what does one do when the fence or livingroom walls need a fresh coat of paint? Logically, they can't do it unless there's spare time and materials to go over their artistry.

Water Paint Helpful Hack
Instagram via @macshona

A fantastic substitute for paint is letting the child paint with water. The spots where the brush touches will leave convincing marks on the fence or wall until they dry. If he/she is young, it's more likely to get away with this. Our advice? Take advantage of their cuteness and co-paint that fence.

Soothe With a Bean-Filled Glove

Many parents rock their kids to sleep with a gentle bounce or soothing touch. However, the problem arises when children get so used to it that they won't sleep unless they feel a parental touch. And, if an absence is felt, they could wake in the night, sometimes for hours. So, what is an exhausted caregiver to do?

Weighted Glove Soothe Baby
Reddit via FreddyJackson69

Fortunately, some parents online came up with a brilliant hack to help when this situation arises. Specifically, they came up with the bean-filled glove. This poses the question: What does the glove do? Well, whether a parent in the room or not, it can be placed on a little one's back to help them feel your presence. 

Hide Your Treats In This Clever Spot

Many children adore and beg for junk at every opportunity. But, as a parent, you probably try to keep your kiddos on a healthy eating regimen. After all, they need all of their daily servings of vitamins to grow. Even more, many parents utilize snacks as rewards and reinforcements. So, they save them for "special occasions."

Hide Treats Parent Hack
Pinterest via Loud Brain

The issue is when kids have full access to the snacks. No matter where you put the sweets or candies, toddlers have a knack for eventually finding the hidden treasure. Luckily, this parent came up with a great hack and hid their Snickers bars in a frozen edamame package. Even the most resourceful kids wouldn’t find them there!

Teach Them To 'Play' Video Games

Over time, parents have created many helpful hacks, but nothing exceeds the ultimate video gaming trick. What is this? Well, many parents cherish the time they get to entertain themselves once in a while. Yet, with children imitating nearly everything their parents do, it's often impossible to play video games.

Parent Hack Video Games
Reddit via somecallmemike

What is a parent to do when they need a gaming break but still need to be entertaining their kids? The answer is actually quite simple. You can give your children controllers but not plug them in. They probably won't understand the game at their age anyway, so they'll feel involved in your activity without costing you the game.

Make a Scavenger Hunt

Who said that toddlers aren't great detectives? And, who says that you can't use this to your benefit? With internet usage on the rise, plenty of parent blogs have shared many exciting hacks, but this one is definitely among the most beneficial for a parent. Did you misplace the TV remote? Or can't find your glasses?

Parent Hack Scavenger Hunt
Instagram via @ruby1508

Suppose you've happened to misplace something in the house but don't have the time to look for it. You can turn your frustration into a fun game for your child to help you in the process! The treasure hunt game will keep your little one occupied and entertained while also helping you find your missing stuff. A win-win!

Save Unfinished Lollipops

Kids typically don't finish their lollipops. Whether they have found something more interesting to do or had enough of the taste, the toddlers have no problem leaving the lollipop. But, they usually come back asking for it soon after. The question is: What can you do to save it for later?

Save Lollipops Parent Hack
Instagram via @lifehackerin

Logically, you can't keep throwing lollipops away just to open a new one over and over again. A better option is to store them in a plastic egg, like the one in the picture, to keep them clean for later. Of course, your kid may not ask for it again. But as most parents have learned, it's better to be prepared, just in case.

Keep Toys From Floating Away

No matter if you own a large bathtub or small baby pool, a young child often cannot reach toys when they begin to float away. So, it would help if you found a solution to keep them close. This way, you won't have to monitor toys the entire time and can focus more on the bathing part of bathtime.

Bath Toy Bucket Hack
Twitter via @SavannerBugs

A great option is to place the toddler and their toys into a plastic laundry basket inside the bathtub. It has proven to be a handy hack, as it keeps the little one safe in place. Not to mention, gives peace of mind for parents of wiggly kids. Also, children tend to have a better time when all of their toys are within reach.

The French Fries Hack

In recent years, creative parents have developed the most imaginative and innovative cooking methods to get their kids to eat. Some shape their kids’ food into attractive and appealing figures while others serve colorful food. Thanks to these tricks, children end up loving the meals, even if they contain fruits and vegetables!

French Fry Apple Hack
Instagram via @pura_vida_growers

This parent, in particular, thought up the French fries hack. As we all know, potatoes come in many different shapes, sizes, and flavors. But for some reason, kids favor the French fries edition. So, what better way to mask an apple than to cut it into the French fry slices? Carrots could even pose as sweet potato fries!

Frozen Marshmallow Ice Pack

One of the biggest challenges for a young child is when a parent's kiss doesn't make their boo-boo all better. Some stick a freezing ice pack on the injury, but thanks to our next hack, your little ones will never have to feel this pain again, allowing faith in the healing power of your kisses to return.

Frozen Marshmallow Parent Hack
Pinterest via kidsactivitiesblog.com

By turning this sweet treat into a healing helper, your kid will be back on their feet in no time. The secret? Marshmallows! To start, the gooey snack is reasonably soft, which means it won't ever get as hard or cold as those blue ice packs. And, an additional bonus, once they defrost, your children can enjoy a yummy treat!

Turn Chore-Time Into Game-Time

Who said chores have to be boring? We can all remember just how "unfair" it was, back in the day, when our parents told us we had to make our bed or wash the dishes. But thanks to this sly hack, you'll have your little ones racing for that kitchen broom in no time. So, what's the game plan for cleaning the house?

Chore Time Parent Hack
Pinterest via Danielle Porter

All you need is a roll of tape. Yep, easy as that. Simply outline whatever sections of the floor you'd like cleaned, then let your children's sibling competition do the rest for you. If you're feeling generous, you can reward the fastest sweeper with a treat or extra TV time; whatever positive reinforcement works for your kiddos.

Make a Cardboard Color Station

Whether you have a little one or are an aunt, uncle, or cousin, there's a good chance you've previously learned the hard way just how much youngsters love to draw. A coloring book? Your bedroom wall? Everything is a canvas to these little artists. Thankfully, we've found them their (and your) new favorite coloring station!

Cardboard Coloring Helpful Hack
Pinterest via berrysweetbaby

Thanks to this parent's ingenious hack, you can have your mini-me thinking outside the box...well, actually, inside the box in no time! Get it? Not only will your little one be thrilled to try out the cardboard box, but with the ability to color all over it, their little brains might go into overdraw...we mean overdrive.

Try a DIY Table Hammock

When thinking about a hammock, it's common to envision a palm tree on an island or in an open backyard with the chirps of birds filling the air. Sounds dreamy, right? Well, lucky for you, our next hack will take you right there - that is if you have headphones and a healthy imagination.

DIY Table Hammock Hack
Pinterest via LeAnn Faidley

All jokes aside, we might not be able to promise you that same undisturbed peace and quiet; but we're confident this easy hack will go over well with your kids. Before laundry day, strip a bed of its sheets and secure them around the dining room table. With a stable knot, you're good to go! Naptime has never been easier!

The Sorting Game

There are many ways to keep little ones amused when they have a lull in activity or feel a bit fussy. A brilliant hack is to assign kids the task of sorting things. This can be done according to shape, color, or several other attributes, such as sorting the felt balls into a muffin pan.

Parent Hack Sorting Objects
Instagram via @texaflora

This way, the child will be spending time learning to notice how objects are similar and how they differ. In the beginning, they will be consumed by patterns, which can grant a parent some limited alone time. However, in time, the toddler will improve at this game. So, moms and dads have to be on top of theirs!

At-Home Baby Photoshoot

Thanks to our parents, many of us have photo albums of memories that will last a lifetime. Even if the look on our faces shows how unhappy we were with a camera flash, photos are long-lasting memories. But now that we have little ones of our own, how do we get them to post like we once did?

Home Baby Photoshoot Hack
Pinterest via DIY Baby Photoshoot

Thanks to these clever parents, you can forget the temper tantrums and tears because, by the time the photo shoot is over, your baby won't even realize what's happened. All this hack requires is your favorite blanket which will hide you. So while it may look like a gorgeous background, it's actually hiding dad.

Make Locks Baby-Proof

If you've ever accidentally gotten locked in a bedroom or bathroom before, there's a large chance those memories still haunt you to this day. And, of course, we don't want our precious babies ever to feel the same way. Luckily, we've got the key (literally) to solving the problems and worries.

Baby Proof Locks Hack
Pinterest via Katie Weis

Forget dropping money on an entirely new lock. Just grab a rubber band, and secure it, as shown in the photo above. That's right, with this crafty and straightforward hack, not only will your wallet thank you, but you'll never have to worry about your youngsters getting locked in a room (in your home) ever again!

Easy DVD Box Coloring Set

We've already learned about our children's new favorite, cardboard art-room. But what about when they want to relax on the couch while giving their artistic talents a shot? Don't worry; we've got you covered. Here's how to encourage their creativity while sunken into the couch during movie time.

DVD Coloring Box Hack
Pinterest via Stacy Vaughn

For most, the days where we used to pop our favorite movie into the DVD player are long behind us. But did you know those dusty cases that now sit in your den can actually be put to good use? Just fold and place a piece of paper on both sides of the DVD case, add a few colored pencils, and voila

Turn Bath Time Into A Party

Bathtime could very well be one of the most unpredictable times of the day (aside from naptime, of course). Is your child going to hop in without a fight this time? Or will the tub call for a surplus of bubbles, rubber duckies, or even treats before they even step foot in the bathroom?

Glow Stick Bath Hack
Pinterest via happyhomefairy

Well, thanks to the help of some colorful glow sticks, you can turn a dreaded bathtime into a neon party. Yes, it's seriously that easy. Kids are all about the little things, after all. And what's more fun than things that glow? We can't promise you that they'll want to leave the tub afterward, but we wish you the best of luck.

Get Creative in the Snow

Many studies show the benefits of encouraging kids to play in the snow. More precisely, playing in the snow can improve their health and strengthen their immune systems. In addition, it can help them receive their daily dose of vitamin D, promote imagination and problem-solving, burn some calories, and even improve their sleep.

Tupperware Snow Igloo Hack
Instagram via @michelle_carvalho_

Children can get bored quickly after playing in the snow. Whether they're cold or tired, before heading inside, they usually ask for help building all kinds of figures to make their games more interesting. Thankfully, this parent thought to use Tupperware as a quick and easy way to build a snow wall, or fortress if you will.

BBQ the Kid-Friendly Way

Like this dad, you might also enjoy a homemade barbeque. After all, there's nothing like a day in the backyard with good food and some sunshine. However, this is only as simple when you're grilling with age-appropriate company. The problem begins when a youngster decides to try out cooking for the first time.

BBW Kid Safe Hack
Instagram via @ladbabyofficial

As we can see, the little man is at risk of getting burned. But, instead of continually coercing them away from the hot grill, you can build a fence to make things safer for the little ones. Even a puppy pen could work! Kids absolutely love getting into scary situations. This hack helps you stay safe rather than sorry.

Use Colorful Car Magnets in the Parking Lot

There's no doubt that being a parent can be tricky. Young kids require around-the-clock observation, especially if they have a lot of energy. "It was only a minute," is commonly heard from parents who have taken their eyes off of their kids for a short amount of time to turn around to see something dangerous about to happen.

Car Magnet Parent Hack
Instagram via @raleighmomscare

This trick can be useful in parking lots. Colorful magnets have proved to keep little ones occupied, especially if designed. This hack hinders children from running into the street by holding their attention and keeping them still. Adding a pretty magnet to the car's gas cap can turn staying safe into a game that kids love.

Make Fan-tastic Forts

Many of our favorite memories required lots of sheets, blankets, a couple of chairs, and flashlights as a kid. Maybe a stash of our favorite junk food too. Yep, we're talking about forts, people, and, trust us, they were without a doubt worth all of the time and hard work. But how does one bring a fort to the next level?

Fan Forts Parent Hacks
Pinterest via Autumn Wood

Thanks to these parents, the secret hack is right at your fingertips! All you've got to do is grab a floor fan during your collection of materials. Set up a fan in the center of the main sheet while keeping the blankets in place. With that, queue the best sleepover or movie marathon of your kid's life. Don't forget the snacks!

Keep Medicine Doses Organized

Whether it's allergies, strep, or a cold, there comes a time in our kid's lives that call for a teaspoon of flavored syrup. And, you can bet they're never thrilled about it. So, instead of relying on them to take their meds (trust us, it only happens in our dreams), we have a hack that'll help you stay on top of their dosages.

Medicine Dose Helpful Hacks
Pinterest via Amber Schauer

All you need is a Sharpie. Once you've got the marker in hand, draw a table with three columns. The first is for each day of the week, and the other two, are to mark morning and evening dosages. It's that simple, folks. Just remember to mark off when the meds are taken! Now, who's ready to take on another day of parenting?