30 Life-changing Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers

Friendly FYI: this site uses affiliate links. If you buy something, we might earn a small commission. Without your support, this site wouldn't be possible. Thank you! For more information, visit our Disclaimer Page.

30 Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers

Table of Contents

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

#1 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Use a Sticker Chart to Encourage Positive Behavior

Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers - Colorful sticker chart featuring rewards and milestones to motivate and reinforce positive behavior in toddlers.

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

Engage toddlers in a fun cleaning game with a timer, transforming tidying up into an exciting challenge.

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

Inviting pile of fluffy pillows, perfect for creating a cozy and comfortable space for toddlers to relax and play.

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.

#4 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Play “Simon Says” to Encourage Listening and Following Directions

Young girl with a beaming smile, joyfully waving her hand in a friendly and enthusiastic greeting.

“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

Delightful jar filled with an assortment of colorful candies, tempting treats for toddlers to enjoy as a special reward or occasional indulgence.

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

Innovative use of a versatile muffin tin to serve an array of snacks, offering toddlers a delightful variety of bite-sized treats for a fun and engaging snacking experience.

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!

#7 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Shape Pancakes and Sandwiches with Cookie Cutters

Creative sandwiches artfully cut out with cookie cutters, transforming ordinary meals into whimsical and appetizing shapes, sure to captivate and entice toddlers' taste buds.

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.

#8 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Freeze Fruit Purees in Ice Cube Trays for Teething Treats

Practical teething solution: freezing nutritious fruit purees in ice cube trays, providing soothing relief for toddlers while introducing healthy flavors and textures.

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!

#9 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Use a Cookie Sheet as a Magnetic Play Surface for Alphabet Magnets

Vibrant set of alphabet magnets, featuring colorful letters, ideal for educational play and fostering early language development in toddlers.

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.

#10 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Use a Baby Wipe Container to Store and Organize Crayons or Small Toys

Convenient baby wipe container, designed to securely store and dispense moist wipes, ensuring quick and easy access for parents during diaper changes and mess clean-ups.

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

#11 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Make Bath Time Exciting with Colored Bath Drops or Crayons

Entertaining colored bath drops, adding a playful and vibrant touch to bath time for toddlers, transforming ordinary water into a captivating sensory experience.

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

Smart parenting hack: Keep bath toys contained and organized by utilizing a laundry basket, providing a practical and efficient storage solution for a clutter-free bathing experience.

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.

#13 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Use a Pool Noodle Under a Fitted Sheet as a Makeshift Bed Bumper

Helpful parenting tip for parents: Create a makeshift bed bumper by placing a pool noodle under a fitted sheet, providing a simple and effective way to prevent toddlers from rolling off the bed during sleep.

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.

#14 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Play Classical Music During Quiet Time for Relaxation

Captivating arrangement of classical music sheets gracefully intertwined with delicate paper roses, evoking a harmonious blend of artistic elegance and relaxation.

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.

#15 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Use a Clock Made for Toddlers to Establish Wake-Up Time

Thoughtful clock designed specifically for toddlers, featuring playful visuals and easy-to-understand cues, empowering them to establish their wake-up time and develop a healthy sleep routine.

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

#16 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Turn a Cardboard Box into a Mini Playhouse or Fort

Clever parenting hack: Transform a simple cardboard box into an enchanting mini playhouse or fort, igniting toddlers' imaginations and providing them with endless hours of creative and adventurous play.

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.

#17 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Play “Freeze Dance” Game to Burn Off Energy and Improve Listening Skills

Engaging parenting tip: Play the energetic 'Freeze Dance' game with toddlers to burn off excess energy while enhancing their listening skills, as they groove to the music and freeze in amusing poses when the music stops.

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!

#18 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Use a Tension Rod and Curtains to Create a Cozy Reading Nook

Shower curtain rod

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.

#19 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Create a DIY Sandbox Using a Plastic Storage Bin and Play Sand

A delightful sandbox using a plastic storage bin and high-quality play sand, offering toddlers a safe and enjoyable space to explore sensory play and engage in imaginative sandcastle adventures.

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.

#20 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Create a DIY Obstacle Course with Pillows, Cushions, and Tunnels

DIY Obstacle Course with a girl coming out of a tunnel

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

#21 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Use a Binder Clip to Keep Electrical Cords Out of Reach

Handy parenting hack: Utilize a sturdy binder clip to keep electrical cords neatly organized and out of reach of curious toddlers, ensuring their safety while minimizing potential hazards in the living space.

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.

#22 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Use a Mesh Laundry Bag to Contain Small Toys in the Washing Machine

Efficient parenting tip: Safely wash small toys by placing them inside a mesh laundry bag before tossing them into the washing machine, allowing for a thorough clean while preventing loss or damage to the toys during the wash cycle.

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.

#23 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Use a Pool Noodle as a Soft Doorstop to Prevent Finger Injuries

Protective parenting hack: Utilize a pool noodle as a soft and cushioned doorstop to prevent finger injuries, ensuring the safety of toddlers' little hands while allowing for easy access and movement throughout the house.

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.

#24 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Attach a Magnet with a String to “Fish” for Metal Toys

Magnet with a String to "Fish" for Metal Toys

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!

#25 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Create a first aid kit specifically for your toddler

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

#26 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Line Up Dining Room Chairs for a Fun Train Experience

Elegant dining room ensemble featuring a sturdy table and a set of comfortable chairs, providing a stylish and inviting space for family meals, gatherings, and shared moments with toddlers.

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.

#27 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Trace Your Child’s Foot for Shoe Shopping Without Bringing Them Along

Young child's feet

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.

#28 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Use a Tension Rod and Curtains to Create a Cozy Reading Nook

Cozy Reading Nook with a young girl reading

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.

#29 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Play “Red Light, Green Light” to Teach Stopping and Going

Red light

“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.

#30 of our Parenting Hacks for Parents with Toddlers: Play “I Spy” During Car Rides to Keep Your Toddler Engaged

Young girl with binoculars

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!

24 Parenting Hacks Every New Parent Should Know

Hey there! I'm Allen, but you can call me "The Corny Dad" from Canada. I have a wife and four kiddos. Yep, one's full grown, but they'll always be my babies. When I'm not doing something with my family or playing video games, I'm here, jotting down my bits of wisdom on this blog. From the fun stuff to the parenting chaos, I cover it all. Believe me, with the right attitude, parenting's a smoother ride and I'm here to help.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles