How to Find Affordable Parenting Hacks That Cost Next to Nothing


Absolutely, parenting is a mix of challenges and incredible moments! Household items can indeed become lifesavers for parents. There are so many clever tricks and hacks out there that can make everyday parenting tasks a bit more manageable. From using a hair tie to secure cabinet doors to turning a pool noodle into a bumper for the edge of a bed, these hacks can be real game-changers. What are some of your favorite parenting hacks or tricks you’ve come across?

Cardboard Dividers

Brothers and sisters always argue sometimes, no matter how old they are. It might begin with someone taking a toy or snack, and then things can get really big and loud. It happens to everyone!

To prevent any arguments during the car ride, just take a fresh sturdy cardboard piece from the recycling pile and place it between the car seats. This way, each child has their own space.

Drink Up

Not many people enjoy taking medicine, especially kids. It’s something that often makes them uncomfortable, especially if it’s a tablet or tastes really bad.

It’s important not to deceive kids, but here’s a helpful trick to encourage them to take their medicine. Place their favorite soda can in front of them and use a straw with the medicine bottle. This way, they might take the medicine without realizing it’s not soda.

All Ages Concert

Young kids’ ears are delicate and still growing, so it’s crucial to protect them from loud noises like heavy metal music. If parents love going to concerts and want to share that experience with their kids, it’s important to use proper ear protection.

Those ear protectors you use for loud tools like lawnmowers work great for covering children’s ears at concerts too. They can still enjoy the music without worrying about hurting their ears.

Time To Paint

Kids have such vivid imaginations, and their creativity often leads them to explore and express themselves through art. Sometimes that exploration can extend to unexpected places, like the living room wall. It’s a classic scenario for many parents! Managing their creativity while also teaching them boundaries about where it’s appropriate to draw can be quite the balancing act, don’t you think?

Numerous art supplies cater to children, yet the simplest includes a bucket of water, a wooden fence outdoors, and a paintbrush. Children can freely paint the fence, allowing them to express themselves without concerns of mess or unwanted artwork for their parents to handle.

Go Sand-Free

For countless families, beach days stand out as the pinnacle of summer. Children revel in building sandcastles and splashing in the water while parents enjoy relaxing and socializing with friends.

To sidestep the inevitable influx of sand, a smart hack is to bring a fitted sheet to the beach. By curling up its edges around heavy bags and coolers, you create a barrier that effectively keeps the sand at bay, preventing it from invading your belongings.

The Crib Desk

Once babies outgrow their cribs within a year or two, rather than immediately listing them on Facebook Marketplace, it might be worthwhile to repurpose them for a craft project.

Indeed, many cribs feature a removable side. By taking off this side and repurposing the mattress, it’s possible to create a fantastic desk that suits the needs of a growing child.

Keep Candies Close

Absolutely, many kids have an affinity for sweets, although some might not be as keen on them. Parents are well aware that excessive sugar and kids don’t always go hand in hand. However, that shouldn’t deter the older generation from indulging in a treat every now and then. Balancing enjoyment with moderation can make those sweet moments even more special.

Hiding sweets in plain sight can be a clever tactic to keep them away from children. Using a frozen bag of vegetables as a camouflage for candy or chocolate bars can be an effective way to ensure that the treats remain out of sight and out of mind for little ones.

A Helping Hand

Ah, the challenge of helping children drift off to sleep independently! It can be tough when they crave that parental comfort. Fortunately, there’s a trick or two to help with that.

For children who seek the reassurance of a gentle touch to fall asleep, the glove trick is invaluable. Fill a glove with sand, secure it tightly, and place it on the almost-sleeping toddler. This creates the sensation of a comforting touch, making them feel like their parent is nearby.

Keep Heads Safe

Babies go through a learning process to understand how their body functions. They learn that their arms can prevent falls, but rolling around near furniture can sometimes lead to accidental bumps and painful head knocks.

To safeguard a baby from rolling onto their backs and potentially hurting their delicate heads, a baby backpack head protector offers a practical solution. Creating one yourself using sturdy pillow material and secure straps not only provides protection but also allows for customization and adorableness.

The Box Of Creativity

Cardboard boxes are a goldmine for kids’ creativity. They’re not just hiding spots but also fantastic canvases for budding young artists to unleash their imagination.

That’s a brilliant idea! Keeping a child-sized box handy allows you to create a contained space for your toddler to explore their creativity with markers and crayons, ensuring they can freely create their masterpiece without any worries about marks on furniture or walls.

Teaching Time Management

Grasping the concept of an analog clock can indeed be challenging for kids. Understanding the function of the hour and minute hands and their correlation to time can take some time and effort to master.

Afterward, understanding how these hands collaborate becomes the next step. To assist kids in comprehending when specific activities occur, consider color-coding a clock to match each corresponding activity.

Right And Left

It might seem like a natural assumption that knowing which shoe belongs on the right foot versus the left would be intuitive. However, learning fundamental life skills often proves that even seemingly simple concepts can be less intuitive than expected.

Indeed, for certain kids, getting shoes on might feel like fitting mismatched puzzle pieces. Introducing stickers indicating which shoe belongs to each foot can be a complete game-changer, making the process much smoother and less confusing.

Game Of Chores

Chores might not seem like the most thrilling activities for kids, but there are surprises in store when it comes to making them enjoyable.

Parents seeking assistance with chores such as sweeping can effortlessly transform them into enjoyable games by utilizing tape and setting simple rules. Children can engage in a game like “Sweep the Garbage into the Square,” making the task entertaining and engaging.

Hanging Out

Blanket forts are classic, but ever heard of the blanket hammock? An inventive parent discovered that a simple sheet can transform into the perfect hammock for kids. Innovation at its finest!

With just a large flat sheet draped over a dining room table, you’ve got yourself a toddler hammock—perfect for some relaxed lounging.

The Drippy Popsicle Catcher

On scorching summer days, nothing beats refreshing popsicles made from natural juices, steering clear of refined sugars. To prevent sticky fingers, using the plastic lid of a coffee cup is a clever trick that keeps the popsicle juice from dripping onto hands. Smart and mess-free!

Just slide the popsicle stick through the drinking slot, and voila—no more sticky fingers! A simple solution for a mess-free popsicle enjoyment.

Barbie dolls Need TLC Too

Absolutely, children’s toys, especially items like Barbie dolls, can be quite pricey. Over time, Barbie dolls’ hair often gets tangled and looks a bit unkempt after being played with.

Rather than tossing the Barbie and purchasing a new one, giving her hair a wash with a blend of dish soap, water, and conditioner can work wonders, restoring her locks to a salon-perfect look. It’s a cost-effective way to rejuvenate the doll!

The Drawing Wall

Encouraging kids to express their creativity without marking up walls can be a challenge. Providing designated spaces, like a large easel or a chalkboard wall, allows them to freely unleash their artistic talents without the worry of damaging pristine surfaces.

To prevent walls from becoming a canvas for marker art, try setting up a picture frame with a roll of butcher paper above it. Simply feed the paper behind the frame, ensuring a fresh “canvas” is readily available for drawing at any time.

Video Game Family Time

Video games appeal to adults as much as they do to kids, but sometimes young children might not grasp why their mom or dad might not want to share the controller.

For uninterrupted adult gaming sessions while letting your kids feel included, offer them a disconnected controller that mimics gameplay. It’s a clever strategy to keep everyone engaged!

The DIY Parking Garage

Resourceful parents have a knack for turning everyday household items into toys and storage solutions for kids. This trick is so straightforward, you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it sooner.

Combine a wooden crate with a collection of empty toilet paper rolls, and you’ve got yourself the ideal setup for a toy car garage. Brilliant!

Infant Photoshoot

New parents adore professional photoshoots with their newborns in charming outfits, yet getting a newborn to stay still can be challenging. A secret trick used by baby photographers involves using a parent as a hidden prop to help create those beautiful shots.

To keep the baby serene and capture that picture-perfect moment, simply position a parent underneath using a blanket to discreetly conceal them in the photo.

Monster Spray

Absolutely, in older houses, the sounds of the house settling can indeed be unsettling, especially for young children. Those unexpected noises in the night can be quite spooky!

For kids who believe in monsters, a simple solution is crafting a special monster spray to ward them off. All it takes is an empty spray bottle and some stickers to create this imaginative defense.

Growing Up Through The Years

While some parents opt for the classic method of marking their kids’ growth on a door frame, others prefer to explore more creative ways to track their children’s growth spurts.

Using a large t-shirt with the year of the child’s expected graduation is an excellent way to illustrate their growth and transformation over time. Capturing a photo of them in it each year creates a visual timeline of their growth journey.

Mosquitoes Be Gone

During hot days, placing a baby or toddler’s portable crib in the yard can be a great idea. It allows parents to tend to yard work while keeping an eye on the little one. Additionally, it offers a pleasant change of scenery from being indoors.

In regions abundant with mosquitoes and other hot-weather bugs, preventing a child from getting covered in bug bites is crucial. Covering the top of the crib with a fitted sheet acts as a protective barrier, keeping bugs at bay and ensuring the baby’s safety from insect bites.

A Practical Treasure Map

Kids have a remarkable talent for finding things, especially when a pair of keys or glasses goes missing. That’s the perfect time to enlist their help in locating the lost items.

Crafting a detailed list of the missing items serves as a guide for kids, helping them understand what to search for. It also adds an element of excitement, making them feel like they’re on an adventurous treasure hunt while looking for the items.

No More Slipping

Certain socks come equipped with rubber lines or patterns on the bottom, specifically designed to prevent slipping on hardwood or linoleum floors for both kids and adults.

No need to spend a fortune on these. Simply apply slick paint carefully onto regular socks for the same effective result.

Chart Out The Medicine

Illness is something everyone experiences—it’s a part of life. For kids needing multiple medications, recalling the last dose can be tricky. A helpful way to track this is by drawing a chart with the days of the week, labeling “morning” and “evening,” and adding boxes to mark each dose. This makes remembering much simpler.

it’s crucial for the parent administering the medicine to remember to mark the container each time to prevent the risk of double dosing. Consistent tracking ensures the right dosage and maintains safety.

Hold On To Your Lollipops

Lollipops are typically meant to be finished by licking, but some kids struggle to do so in one sitting. Limiting the sugar intake by extending the time it takes to finish a lollipop can be a good idea. It not only makes the treat last longer but also helps prevent a sudden sugar rush for the child.

Fortunately, plastic eggs or toy containers from Kinder Surprises serve as excellent storage options for preserving lollipops, ensuring they stay fresh for a longer duration.

An Inflatable Fort

Constructing a blanket fort can be time-consuming as it involves arranging chairs, adding pillows, and carefully draping blankets over the entire structure.

For parents seeking a quick fort solution, using a duvet cover and placing a fan at the open end creates an inflated space resembling a balloon. Kids can enjoy this cool hideout until they’re ready for bedtime.

Pool Noodles And Trampolines

Trampolines offer heaps of fun, but they do come with certain risks. It’s crucial for parents to implement proper safety measures to ensure a safe jumping experience for their kids.

That’s a smart idea! Cutting pool noodles to size and fitting them over the metal parts that connect the trampoline to the frame can provide added protection for children in case of falls, cushioning their impact.

Homemade Ice Packs

Falls are a part of growing up, and for kids, they can result in a few bumps and bruises that parents need to tend to.

In situations where ice packs aren’t on hand, using damp marshmallows in a sealed ziplock bag and freezing them can serve as an alternative for soothing minor injuries.

A Very Special Coloring Case

Certainly! While DVDs might be less commonly used now, it’s still a good idea to hold onto the plastic containers they came in rather than immediately recycling them.

Absolutely! Those plastic DVD containers can be repurposed perfectly to hold sheets of paper and colored pencils, creating the ultimate portable coloring case.

Welcome To The Bathtub Rave

Absolutely! Bath time doesn’t have to be all about quiet play with rubber duckies and toy boats. It can transform into a fun bathtub rave!

Turn bath time into a mini-rave by cracking a few glow sticks, scattering them in a filled bathtub, and playing some kid-friendly tunes while enjoying the colorful glow with your kids.

The Vanity Step

Indeed, many kids might not reach the sink comfortably for brushing their teeth until they’re around 7 or older. While a step stool can be helpful, there are other solutions too.

Transforming the bottom drawer of a vanity into a built-in step stool for kids offers both practicality and convenience, as it’s easily accessible yet discreetly hidden away when not in use.

No Locked Doors

Absolutely! Kids often find delight in locking bedroom and bathroom doors as a way to keep siblings and parents at bay. It’s their way of asserting a bit of independence and privacy!

That’s a clever workaround! Preventing doors from locking by placing rubber bands over the handles is a smart way to bid farewell to accidental locks, especially when kids are young.

A Mix Of Toys

The days of gender-specific toys are fading away. Boys can freely play with dolls, and girls can enjoy playing with cars—or any other toys they feel drawn to. Toys are for everyone to enjoy without limitations based on gender.

Exactly! Offering a variety of toys to children and letting them choose what they want to play with teaches them that it’s perfectly fine to enjoy and play with whatever they like, without any restrictions based on stereotypes or expectations.

Informational Tattoos

Keeping a close eye on children during big events can be challenging, and accidents where they wander off can happen.

That’s a smart idea! Parents concerned about losing their children can opt for temporary tattoos featuring their contact information. It’s a clever way to ensure they can be easily reached if separated during outings or events.

Baby Shower Caps

Regular baths are important for keeping babies clean, and it’s a great opportunity for parents to engage in skin-to-skin contact by bathing with them. It’s not just about cleanliness but also a chance for bonding and closeness.

While some babies might find shower time enjoyable, it’s crucial to prevent water and soap from getting into their eyes. Using a small shower cap with a visor over their eyes helps ensure no water or soap gets in, keeping the experience comfortable for them.

Float On

It’s true, many parents might not consider how frustrating it can be for a child when their favorite bath toy drifts away.

To prevent toys from escaping, place a plastic laundry basket in a filled bathtub and sit the child inside it. This way, both the child and the toys stay contained and within reach.

Protect Little Fingers

A door slamming shut can pose a serious risk to fingers caught in the frame. Using a pool noodle is another way to prevent this potential hazard.

Again, cutting a pool noodle to size and placing it over a door can prevent it from closing fully, ensuring that fingers don’t get caught or crushed when it shuts.

Animal Toothpaste Time

Routine activities such as brushing teeth can be transformed into thrilling experiences with the right accessories.

By placing an adorable animal head over the opening of a toothpaste tube, brushing teeth can become an adventure, with the toothpaste squirting out from the animal’s mouth.

No Bath No Problem

Apartments and homes that only have a shower can pose a challenge when it comes to having bath time with little ones.

Showers can transform into impromptu bathtubs by using a blow-up pool. Be sure to inflate the pool inside the shower to ensure it fits, allowing for a makeshift bath for little ones.

The Times Table Stairs

Learning times tables can be challenging for kids, and they often need helpful tricks to remember the sequences of numbers.

That’s a brilliant approach! One parent came up with an innovative method by displaying times tables on each step of their stairs, making it much easier for kids to remember them.

Time To Sort

Children learn a lot through tactile experiences, especially when it comes to colors, shapes, and matching. It’s a crucial part of their developmental journey during early childhood.

That’s a great idea! To sort buttons or other small items, turn it into a game by giving your child a muffin tin. Explain that each circle corresponds to a particular color or shape, and let them enjoy the sorting process.

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. 

That’s a smart strategy! Ensuring the whole family wears the same vibrant color, like a striking red, by getting matching shirts can make it much easier to keep track of each member in a crowded park or public place.

Keep Ankles Safe

When babies begin to learn to walk, they are often placed in a walker or a chair equipped with wheels on the bottom to help support and encourage their movements.

Indeed, these chairs enable babies to explore their homes safely without the risk of falling over. Yet, they tend to bump into ankles quite often. Using a pool noodle to cushion the impact when placed along the bottom edges can help alleviate those collisions. Just make sure to cut them down to size for a perfect fit.

Start Drawing

Visiting the doctor can be a daunting experience for children, often involving vaccines or procedures they might not enjoy.

Having crayons readily available can be a great distraction for a child during a doctor’s visit. They can draw on the paper covering on the examination table, but it’s important to avoid using markers that can bleed through and mark the table surface.

The Potty Training Hack You Need

Potty training can be tough, but here’s a simple and affordable trick. Keep puppy pads in your child’s car seat for accidents. Just clean up and change the pad—it’s that simple!

Now your pricey car seat won’t suffer when accidents occur. Consider it a lifesaver for your investment!

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