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30 Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers
Table of Contents
- 30 Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers
- Behavior Management Hacks
- #1 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Use a Sticker Chart to Encourage Positive Behavior
- #2 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Turn Cleaning Up into a Game with a Timer
- #3 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Create a Calm-Down Corner for Tantrums
- #4 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Play “Simon Says” to Encourage Listening and Following Directions
- #5 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Create a Reward Jar for Good Behavior
- Mealtime and Snack Hacks
- #6 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Use a Muffin Tin to Serve Snacks with Variety
- #7 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Shape Pancakes and Sandwiches with Cookie Cutters
- #8 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Freeze Fruit Purees in Ice Cube Trays for Teething Treats
- #9 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Use a Cookie Sheet as a Magnetic Play Surface for Alphabet Magnets
- #10 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Use a Baby Wipe Container to Store and Organize Crayons or Small Toys
- Bath and Bedtime Hacks
- #11 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Make Bath Time Exciting with Colored Bath Drops or Crayons
- #12 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Keep Bath Toys Contained with a Laundry Basket
- #13 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Use a Pool Noodle Under a Fitted Sheet as a Makeshift Bed Bumper
- #14 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Play Classical Music During Quiet Time for Relaxation
- #15 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Use a Clock Made for Toddlers to Establish Wake-Up Time
- Playtime and Creativity Hacks
- #16 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Turn a Cardboard Box into a Mini Playhouse or Fort
- #17 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Play “Freeze Dance” Game to Burn Off Energy and Improve Listening Skills
- #18 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Use a Tension Rod and Curtains to Create a Cozy Reading Nook
- #19 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Create a DIY Sandbox Using a Plastic Storage Bin and Play Sand
- #20 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Create a DIY Obstacle Course with Pillows, Cushions, and Tunnels
- Safety and Organization Hacks
- #21 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Use a Binder Clip to Keep Electrical Cords Out of Reach
- #22 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Use a Mesh Laundry Bag to Contain Small Toys in the Washing Machine
- #23 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Use a Pool Noodle as a Soft Doorstop to Prevent Finger Injuries
- #24 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Attach a Magnet with a String to “Fish” for Metal Toys
- #25 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Create a first aid kit specifically for your toddler
- Travel and Outing Hacks
- #26 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Line Up Dining Room Chairs for a Fun Train Experience
- #27 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Trace Your Child’s Foot for Shoe Shopping Without Bringing Them Along
- #28 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Use a Tension Rod and Curtains to Create a Cozy Reading Nook
- #29 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Play “Red Light, Green Light” to Teach Stopping and Going
- #30 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Play “I Spy” During Car Rides to Keep Your Toddler Engaged
- Behavior Management Hacks
I know all too well that the toddler years are both joyous and challenging. While the sight of those tiny feet pitter-pattering around the house is nothing short of delightful, it can also be a real test of patience when those little feet lead to some “adventures” that make you want to pull your hair out. Thankfully, we parents have a secret weapon – ‘parenting hacks’. And these parenting hacks for parents with toddlers can help us navigate these energetic years with a bit more ease and a lot more fun.
In this blog post, we will journey through 30 such parenting hacks specifically curated for parents with toddlers. Each of these hacks is designed to ease some of the most common challenges we face in daily parenting – behavior management, mealtimes, bath and bedtime routines, playtime, safety, organization, and even outings. Buckle up, folks! This ride is going to make your parenting journey a whole lot smoother!
Behavior Management Hacks
One method my wife and I found successful in managing our toddler’s behavior is the use of a sticker chart. Each time our little one completes a task or behaves well, he gets to put a star on the chart. This not only gives him a sense of achievement but also reinforces the concept of cause and effect in a fun and engaging way.
#2 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Turn Cleaning Up into a Game with a Timer
When it’s time to clean up, setting a timer and turning the task into a game can make all the difference. We challenge our toddler to “beat the clock” and clean up before the time runs out. This simple game has made our living room less of a toy battlefield and taught our child about responsibility – all while having fun!
#3 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Create a Calm-Down Corner for Tantrums
Tantrums can be one of the most challenging aspects of parenting a toddler. A helpful solution we’ve implemented is creating a calm-down corner. This safe space filled with soft pillows, comforting toys, and books about feelings, allows our toddler to process his emotions in a healthy way.
“Simon Says” isn’t just a classic game; it’s also an effective parenting hack to encourage your toddler to listen and follow directions. The game is a fun way to reinforce these important skills, all while keeping your child engaged and entertained.
#5 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Create a Reward Jar for Good Behavior
Lastly, creating a reward jar for good behavior can further motivate your toddler to act positively. It’s a tangible, visual way for them to see the benefits of good behavior, and it can help reinforce the lessons taught in the previous hacks.
Mealtime and Snack Hacks
#6 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Use a Muffin Tin to Serve Snacks with Variety
Who knew a simple baking tool could be the answer to more varied and fun snack times? One of my favorite hacks to make snack time exciting for my little explorer is to use a muffin tin. Each compartment can hold a different snack, giving my toddler a smorgasbord of healthy choices. It encourages him to try new things and, let’s face it, anything that makes a toddler eat their veggies deserves a trophy!
Now, who says food should only taste good and not look fun? One day, to amuse my kiddo, I shaped his pancake into a dinosaur using a cookie cutter. You should have seen his eyes light up! Now, we often use cookie cutters to give a fun twist to sandwiches, pancakes, or anything that can be shaped. A quick tip: If you’re dealing with a picky eater, this hack is a game-changer.
When my little one was teething, my wife had a stroke of genius – freezing fruit purees in ice cube trays. It provided a healthy, soothing treat for our toddler and turned those teething woes into delighted squeals. Bonus: these fruit popsicles are great for summers too!
As a parent, I’ve learned that multitasking is an art. So why not make mealtime a little educational? A cookie sheet doubles up as a magnetic play surface for alphabet magnets, keeping your toddler engaged while they munch on their meal.
Last in our mealtime and snack hacks, we turn to an essential household item for parents – the humble baby wipe container. Once empty, these containers can be reused to store and organize small toys, crayons, and even snack bars. It’s a great way to teach your toddler about organization and reduce clutter around the house. Plus, their compact size makes them ideal for on-the-go situations.
Bath and Bedtime Hacks
Bath time in our house used to be a battle of wills until we discovered colored bath drops. These non-toxic, water-coloring drops transformed the routine into an exciting activity for our toddler. On some days, we would switch to bath crayons for an added fun of drawing on the bathtub walls. No worries, they wash off easily!
#12 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Keep Bath Toys Contained with a Laundry Basket
Here’s a hack that saved my sanity – using a laundry basket to contain bath toys. Just pop a basket into the tub, add the toys, and voila, your little one has all their toys within reach, and you’re spared the task of fishing around for stray rubber ducks. Plus, it’s easier to drain and clean the toys afterward.
When my toddler transitioned from a crib to a big kid bed, my biggest fear was him rolling off the bed in his sleep. Enter parenting hack 13: a pool noodle under the fitted sheet as a makeshift bed bumper. This hack ensured our little one’s safety while sleeping and gave us parents some peace of mind.
As an advocate for restful sleep and good dreams, I started playing classical music during quiet time. This hack has surprisingly turned into a beloved routine that soothes our little one and sets a calm atmosphere for bedtime.
Finally, a toddler clock that shows day and night times visually is a game-changer for early risers. Our toddler now knows that he can start his day only when the clock shows it’s morning. It has helped establish a consistent sleep-wake cycle and also bought us a few more minutes of precious sleep in the morning.
Playtime and Creativity Hacks
Oh, the humble cardboard box! This simple item can become a playhouse, a fort, a rocket ship, or anything your toddler’s imagination can dream up. Our little one’s cardboard playhouse has served as the setting for many adventures. Plus, it’s an affordable and recyclable solution for countless hours of play.
Ever need a quick way to help your toddler burn off energy indoors while having fun? Look no further than the “Freeze Dance” game. It’s not only an exciting way to get moving but also a subtle method to enhance your toddler’s listening skills. Bonus: It’s just as enjoyable for parents!
This hack transformed a corner of our home into a cozy reading nook. We used a tension rod and curtains in an underused corner or a large closet to create a private, comfy space for our toddler to enjoy his books. This simple setup promotes a love for reading from a young age.
A plastic storage bin and play sand can easily turn your backyard into a mini-beach. Our DIY sandbox has been a hit, providing endless fun for our toddler and a little bit of the seaside right at home.
Finally, a DIY obstacle course with pillows, cushions, and tunnels can bring loads of indoor fun. Not only is it a great way for your toddler to burn off energy, but it also helps improve motor skills. Just remember to ensure the play area is safe.
Safety and Organization Hacks
Safety first is a motto we live by in our home. To keep our adventurous toddler away from electrical cords, we started using binder clips to keep them organized and out of sight. This simple trick ensures our little one can explore freely without us having to constantly worry about his safety around electronics.
Have you ever tried to clean small toys in a washing machine only to have them dispersed everywhere? We’ve been there! That’s why we use a mesh laundry bag to contain them during washing. It keeps the toys together while ensuring they get a thorough clean.
Ah, the versatile pool noodle! Aside from being a bed bumper, it’s also a lifesaver as a soft doorstop. Just cut a slice of the noodle and place it on the top or side of the door. It prevents the door from slamming shut, saving tiny fingers from potential injuries.
Our toddler loves to play with metal toys, and sometimes they end up in hard-to-reach places. A magnet attached to a string has become our handy tool for ‘fishing’ out these toys from under the sofa or other tight spaces. It turns the rescue mission into a fun game too!
Put together a first aid kit tailored to your toddler’s needs. Include essentials such as band-aids, antiseptic wipes, child-friendly pain relievers, thermometer, and any specific medications they may require. Store the kit in a easily accessible location.
Travel and Outing Hacks
On rainy days, when going out isn’t an option, we bring the adventure indoors. Line up your dining room chairs to create a ‘train,’ and all aboard for a fun ride! It’s a simple yet engaging activity that stirs up the imagination and offers hours of play.
Shoe shopping with a toddler can be a circus act. That’s why we trace our kid’s foot on a piece of paper and bring that along instead. It’s an easier way to find the right size without the stress of keeping an active toddler entertained in a shoe store.
Remember the cozy reading nook from Parenting Hack 18? It can also be a perfect quiet space for your toddler during outings to the grandparents’ or friends’ houses. Just bring along a tension rod and some light curtains, and you can set up a familiar, comfy space anywhere.
“Red Light, Green Light” is a fun way to teach toddlers about when to stop and go. This game can be incredibly useful during outings, as it gives your little one an understanding of safety rules in a playful manner.
Long car rides can be a test of patience, for sure. To keep our little one entertained and engaged, we play “I Spy.” This classic game keeps his attention focused on observing his surroundings and makes travel time more enjoyable for the entire family.
As parents, we know the challenges that come with the joys of raising a toddler. That’s why we encourage you to try these parenting hacks. Don’t worry if not all work perfectly the first time around. It’s all about making each day a little bit easier and a lot more fun for both you and your toddler.
Remember, every child is unique, and so is every parent. What works for us might not work for you and vice versa. The key lies in adapting and experimenting with different strategies, learning from our successes and failures, and always striving to be the best parents we can be.
What are some of your favorite parenting hacks? We’d love to hear from you!