Summer is a time when we get to wind down, relax, and enjoy some fun in the sun. But, if you have kids who are home from school all summer long, then you probably just want to take a vacation away from them!
To help you get started on that trip, here are 30 priceless parenting hacks every mom and dad needs to know. These expert tips just may be the saving grace you need to keep your crazy house under control. They may seem small, but they’re brilliant.
1. That’s Just Plane Fun!
This fun parenting hack comes from @teachermama1138, who keeps her toddler entertained on the plane with these cute window decal stickers.
They’re easy to pack, even easier to remove, and it’s totally fun for them to play with!
2. Beachy Pool For Toddlers
Here’s a brilliant beach hack from Reddit user @thenextlvl. If your children aren’t old enough to swim in the ocean, make them a mini seascape for them while you’re at the beach.
Dig a shallow hole in the sand, then line it with an old shower curtain. Now even the little ones can have fun in the sun!
3. Bandaid Buddies
This clever hack makes it super easy to find just the right size Bandaid. Separate them by size into individual zipper bags, then apply one to the outside of the bag.
This is great for when you’re in a rush to patch up to boo-boo! You’ll know just by glancing at the bag if it’s the size you want.
4. Two-For-One Lunches
If you have two kids but only one microwave, it may seem like you’re playing favorites if one of them always gets fed first.
That’s not an issue with this two-tiered microwave hack. Just place a cup in between two plates of food, and it’ll heat both meals at once.
5. Pool Noodle Your Doors
It seems like pool noodles are used for everything but the pool, but that’s because they’re useful for so many things!
If you have little kids at home, these DIY door bumpers will stop delicate little fingers getting squished! It’s as easy as cutting a pool noddle and sliding it onto the edge of the door.
6. Bug-Proof Your Drinks
Speaking of cupcake liners, they’re also great at keeping your drinks free of icky bugs when you’re having a picnic on the patio.
Just poke a straw through the bottom of a cupcake liner to make an adorable “umbrella” drink topper!
7. Let Them Paint The Sheets!
Grab an old sheet from your closet or the thrift store, and turn it into an outdoor art canvas for the kids. Be sure to stake the corners of the fabric into the grass so it doesn’t blow away.
Fill some bowls with paint, then let the kiddo’s have fun using their hands, paint brushes, and sponges to create their next masterpiece!
8. Car Organizer For Long Road Trips
Organizing anything when you have kids is a challenge, but it’s even more so when you try to cram everyone and their gear into the confined spaces of a car.
If you want to keep everything neat and organized while you’re on the highway, then hang an over-the-door shoe organizer from the back of the seat.
It has plenty of easy-to-reach pockets, so everyone can find what they need in a flash!
9. PVC Pipe Pool Caddy
What a great idea! This rack makes it so easy to keep wet towels, pool noodles, and rubber duckies organized while they dry out in the sun.
Learn how to make one with this tutorial HERE.
10. Fridge Magnet Cups
Remind the kids to keep hydrated all summer long with these fun magnet cups. Just stick them on the fridge next to the water dispenser, and they won’t be able to resist its magnetic pull.
All you need is a plastic cup, a hot glue gun, and some magnets. Get the full DIY instructions on these fridge magnet cups HERE.
11. Turn The Back Deck Into A Game Board
No one will get bored with this large than life game! Just lay down some masking tape, use chalk to write on the game board, and roll the dice! The great thing is about this game is that anything goes – your kids can make up whatever rules they want!
Just don’t leave the masking tape outside for too long. It’ll bake in the sun, and then it’ll be impossible to get off! Check out this blog for more info.
12. Make Giant Soap Bubbles!
Yesssss! Need I say more? Even grown-up “kids” will have fun playing around with this one!
The key ingredient that makes the bubbles blow up to be big and strong is glycerin. You can find it at craft stores or buy it online.
For a good soap bubble recipe, and instructions on how to make a giant loop wand, check out this tutorial.
13. Keep The Bubbles Poppin’
Do your kids have a bad case of bubblemania? Then keep them entertained all day long with this handy bubble refill station!
With this setup, they get to choose their own bubble-making wand, and refill their own cups whenever they want. Find out more about this fun project HERE.
14. Put Frozen Water Balloons In The Cooler
Fact: Melted ice is no fun when it gets all up in your food and turns it into a sorry, soggy mess.
Fun Fact: After the ice melts, not only will the food still be dry, but your kids will have some water balloons to play with, too!
Tip: Water expands when it freezes, so make sure you don’t fill the balloon all the way.
15. Crafty On-The-Go Travel Totes
There’s no end to all the crafty ways you can upcycle empty baby wipes containers. If you don’t want to go to all that trouble, just re-purpose them as travel totes for the kiddos. You don’t even have to decorate them!
Stuff them with markers, crayons, toys, games, and other crafts, and then grab one whenever you’re on the move. Simple!
16. Boredom-Buster Jar
If it’s gotten to the point where the kids are bickering non-stop, then it probably means they’re super bored and looking for any way to keep themselves stimulated.
Keep the peace by having them pull an “activity stick” out of a jar whenever they start to get bored. The only rule is they have to do whatever is written on it! Check out this post for some fun activity ideas.
17. Keep Outfits Separated
Traveling with kids can be a challenge, but you can make it easier on everyone by planning what they’re going to wear ahead of time.
Just pack one day’s worth of outfits into a gallon sized bag, and you won’t have to worry about folding and re-sorting anything during the trip. Don’t forget to pack a garbage bag for their dirty clothes.
18. Magnetic Games In A Tin
Keep the kids entertained on long road trips with these “classic” hand-held games. Just re-use old Altoids candy tins and magnets to make Tic-Tac-Toe, Chess, or Backgammon.
Check out these instructions for more info.
19. Bumper Car Walker
If you have little ones who use a walker, give it a fun bumper car makeover! This cool tip comes from @roswellc on Reddit.
Just add these pool noodles around the bottom edges, and you’ll no longer have to worry about your ankles (or walls) getting banged up and bruised. Beep beep!
20. Work Smarter, Not Harder
Depending how you look at it, this may be an example of either good or bad parenting.
But, you have to hand it to this clever dad – his brilliant multitasking invention is getting two jobs done at once!
21. Freeze Aloe Vera For Sunburn Relief
Aloe vera has some amazing skin healing properties, and it’s one of the best things to use on a burning hot sunburn.
But if you want to give aloe vera even more cooling power, squeeze the gel into cute candy molds and pop them into the freezer first!
The fun little bits of frozen gel will make having a sunburn a little less painful than it already is.
22. Valuable Diaper Decoy At The Beach
There’s no need to buy an expensive gadget to conceal your valuables while you’re at the beach.
Just gG to the grocery store, buy a pack of diapers, and you’re all set!
Make the diaper look “used” by stomping on it in the parking lot with your shoes, then roll it around in the sand. No one in their right mind will come near your beach towel!
23. Kid-Friendly Breakfast Station
When you’re in a rush to get to work in the morning, the last thing you have time for is spending half an hour making breakfast for your kids.
If they’re old enough to hold a bowl and a spoon, then they’re old enough to feed themselves with this cool breakfast station hack.
You can pre-measure dry cereal into single-serving containers, and place them in a drawer or on a shelf that they can easily access. Leave a few surprise snacks in there, and they’ll love you even more than they already do!
24. Keep Blankets Dry While Stargazing
This is such a fun idea! Stuff a blow-up kiddie pool full of pillows and super comfy blankets, and they’ll forget all about the giant bean bag chair you never got them.
It’s great for watching TV or reading, and you can even take this outside after the sun goes down to spend quality time stargazing with your kids.
25. Melt-Proof Those Ice Pops
Don’t you hate it when the heat of the summer sun starts making homemade ice pops drip all over the place?
Next time, make it melt-proof by adding some powdered gelatin into the mix! Don’t have a recipe? Get one right HERE.
You could also use a cupcake liner to stop it from dribbling down your arm.
26. Jar Of Good Grades Goodies
Let your kids pick out a mystery reward for getting good grades! Write a fun reward on a Popsicle stick, and when report card time rolls around, let them choose one at random.
You can set whatever rules you want. For example, you can tell them that each ‘A’ will earn them a reward, and a perfect 4.0 gets an extra draw!
27. Marshmallow Cone
When you’re scooping ice cream into waffle cones, plop a big fat marshmallow into the bottom of the cone first.
Not only will it stop the ice cream from dripping out the bottom, but your kids will have a fun surprise waiting for them when they eat their way to the bottom of the cone!
28. Portable Pillowcase Beds
Don’t spend any money on bean bags or large cushions for the kids to lay down on while they watch TV. Just use what you have at home!
Just sew four pillow cases together and insert the pillows. You can rest easy knowing that they’re resting easy, too!
29. Mama’s Helping Hand
If you’re a new mom, then this clever little hack is just for you! Whenever you need a coffee break, just fill a rubber glove with some rice and place it gently by your little one’s side.
They’ll never even notice you’re gone!
30. Watermelon Trick
Watermelon that’s been cut into the usual triangle shapes can sometimes be a little bit too large for tiny hands to grab hold of.
If you cut them into little snack-sized matchsticks, it’ll be easier for everyone to eat! Just slice the melon lengthwise first, then cut them into matchsticks.
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