Sometimes being a parent feels like an endless whirlwind of meltdowns mixed with tears. And even though many moms vowed to start 2016 off right and to have the most productive year yet, this resolution may feel completely unattainable as the weeks pass. But thankfully, these 29 parenting tricks are total game changers (think of the time you could save!) and will leave you wondering how you’ve made it this far without them.
Use Crayons For Touch-Ups
When kiddie shoes get scuffed up faster than your tot can outgrown them, try using crayons to touch up the marks and make the shoes last.
Use a Shoe Organizer For Cleaning Supplies
To get all of your cleaning supplies organized while also keeping them at eye level, hang an over-the-door shoe holder/organizer in your laundry room. This is much better than the typical under-the-kitchen-sink mess!
Prevent a sticky mess from popsicles dripping in the hot Summer months with one clever trick: thread cupcake liners up the bottom of the popsicle stick to create a “catcher” that keeps drips in the liner, not on your child!
Make Shoe Shopping Easier
Shopping with a toddler is never easy, so save yourself from the tears and leave them at home. For an accurate measure of their size, trace or stamp a footprint onto a piece of paper to take with you. This will also save you the time it takes to put on and take off a dozen shoes!
Perfect Strawberry Stems
Prepping your kid’s strawberries has never been this easy! Get rid of those pesky stems without wasting too much of the fruit by inserting a straw into the bottom of the strawberry and pushing up. The leaves will come off, too!
Use a Pacifier For Medicine
To get the medicine down with fewer struggles, cut a hole in the tip of an old pacifier and stick a dropper into it. Your little one is less likely to run if he or she sees a familiar, comforting object over a scary spoon and medicine bottle. Plus, what little one can resist their paci?
Make Homemade Chipwiches
There’s nothing like a hearty ice cream sandwich, but getting the ice cream to fit perfectly between the cookies can make for a tricky mess. Instead of struggling to perfect the ultimate treat, just cut the carton into even slices, place them between the cookies, and peel off the cardboard!
Easily Remove Permanent Marker on Wood
When your little artist colors way outside of the lines and onto your furniture, grab a bottle of toothpaste. Go for the traditional white (and cheap!) product instead of the blue/green gel option. Squeeze it out all over the lines, let it sit for about 5-10 minutes, then scrub away with a damp cloth!
Keep Apples From Turning Brown
No one likes brown apples — especially picky eaters! A Helicopter Mom’s tip of pre-slicing apples and then securing them with a rubber band is great for packing lunches or going out for the day. By keeping the slices together, air can’t get to the apple flesh, keeping the insides from turning brown!
Keep Their Crafty Mess to a Minimum
Confine craft time to a foil-lined cookie sheet or tray for minimal cleanup. So smart!
Stop the Unwanted Locking of Doors
Make a little fabric cover to slip over your door knobs to put an end to that annoying locking of themselves in their rooms.
Use a Pizza Cutter Instead of a Knife
Instead of painstakingly cutting all of your babe’s food with a fork and knife, grab a pizza cutter and roll away!
Organize Tub Toys
For all of those bath toys, consider using a shower/tension rod to get things organized while keeping them in arm’s reach. Add plastic baskets secured with shower hooks for toy storage that will also let them air dry without getting moldy!
Save Your Cup Holders
Use silicon cupcake liners to shield your car’s cup holders from crumbs and stickiness.
Roll Your Clothes When Packing
To maximize space in your suitcase, roll your clothes instead of folding and stacking them.
Cool Down Their Sunburn
Easily soothe their sunburn by filling an ice tray with aloe. The cold temperature combined with the soothing plant extracts combine for the ultimate Summer treatment.
Painlessly Pull Out a Splinter
Forget about painful attempts with tweezers! Easily remove them by combining baking soda and a touch of water. Cover the wound with the mixture and top with a bandage. After an hour, you’ll easily be able to pop the splinter out without any tears.
Microwave 2 Bowls at Once
Being a parent is all about efficiently multitasking. Get dinner on the table faster by fitting two bowls in the microwave at the same time. Simply place one on top of a glass so that it sits higher than the other and you’re good to go.
Prevent Toiletries From Exploding in Your Bag
To keep your travel toiletries from destroying your clothes, all you need is some plastic wrap. Unscrew each lid and add a small square of wrap before screwing the top back on to easily prevent a liquid or gel explosion.
Use Marshmallows to Cure a Sore Throat
This trick is a must if you haven’t already tried it. We’re not sure why (maybe something with the gelatin), but marshmallows will soothe your kid’s sore throat.
Add a Bib Hanger to Your High Chair
Instead of never having a bib handy right when you need one, consider using a command hook as a high chair bib hanger. Now you just need to get your tot situated in his or her chair and you’ll already have the bib at arm’s reach.
Create an On-the-Go Coloring Case
Keep art supplies under control when you’re running around by transforming a DVD case into a coloring kit. Add some paper and colored pencils to an old DVD book to create an easel that your crafty child can use anywhere.
Keep Track of Your Kids’ Medicine Doses
When life gets busy, never worry about missing a dose of medicine again. Create a chart on the prescription bottle to track when you give your child their medicine instead of wondering “did I already give them their second dose today?”
Keep Drinks From Spilling in Your Car
If you’re tired of cleaning up stains, create a spill-free sipper by inserting a crazy straw upside down into your little one’s cup. This makes it impossible for kids to pull the straw out and spill all over when you’re driving.
Turn Your Old iPhone Into an iPod Touch For Your Kids
If you’ve upgraded to the latest iPhone, make your kids’ day by keeping it instead of selling it. With one easy step, you can convert it into their own iPod — it will ease their smart phone cravings for the time being!
Make a Car Trash Bin For Messes on the Go
Turn a plastic cereal container into a no-spill car trash bin to keep things clean while you and your little ones are on the road. Your car floor will thank you!
Make Kids’ Slippers Slip-Proof
Instead of searching for special nonslip slippers, consider Prudent Baby’s brilliant solution. Use a hot glue gun to upgrade the adorable pair you already bought for them!
Transform Bathroom Storage With a Pegboard
Rethink those pegboards from classrooms and workshops by giving them new life in your bathroom. Martha Stewart recommends attaching wire baskets, pegs, and hooks to keep toys and towels off the floor.
Easy Peel Mandarin Oranges
Forget peeling and then pulling apart mandarin oranges — the process leaves your fingers smelling like oranges for days! Tablespoon has an easy — adult-only — way to get the job done, and kids will love picking the slices off the peel! Just cut off the ends of the orange, make a small cut in the side, and then the orange segments will roll open!