Best Parenting Hacks for 2021 - Tips & Tricks for Every Age
It’s safe to say that nobody has experience emerging from a pandemic, we’ll all just have to figure out how to face a post-pandemic world together. And in the meantime, making the best choices for our families isn’t always easy or clear. Figuring out how to keep your family entertained, safe, and healthy all at once is no small feat, but we’ve managed to gather quite a few tips, tricks, and life hacks to help you navigate our new normal.
For parents of little ones:
Noisy kid toys driving you crazy? Put a piece of tape over the speaker to quiet them just enough to keep you sane without damaging the toy or removing the batteries altogether.
Traveling or on the go with toddlers? Hair ties and bandages can serve as great options for temporary childproofing. Use hair ties or rubber bands to secure cabinets, and bandages to cover electrical outlets. Voila!
Pesky bathtub toys can collect mold and bacteria - use a hot glue gun to seal or close holes in tub toys to avoid dangerous mold buildup.
Use sound machine apps or white noise playlists to keep babies calm and asleep while on the go or at home!
For parents of big kids:
Messy eaters? Cut watermelon, cantaloupe, or pineapple into stick shapes (like fries) instead of slices to make snack time easier and less messy. You’ll avoid drippy, sticky hands and an easier cleanup.
Give yourself some quiet time by organizing daily or weekly check-ins with grandparents, aunts, or uncles. Your big kid will benefit from the social time, and you’ll get a break from having to entertain them. Plus, it gives them a chance to connect with family.
If it’s been a while since you’ve relied on a cardboard box to keep your kiddos busy, don’t forget the magic of handing them some markers and letting them go to town on an old cardboard box. The possibilities are endless!
Cut a sticker in half, put the left side of the sticker in their left shoe, the right side in their right shoe - this will help them get it right, every time, and get you out the door a little more gracefully.
For parents of pre-teens:
Help schedule virtual Zoom hangouts with cousins or friends to keep your pre-teen entertained and encourage socialization with their peers. Adding fresh faces to the mix will keep them stimulated and energized!
Let your pre-teen choose a new book, video game, or activity that you can learn or explore together. Maybe they’ll teach you a thing or two, and you’ll find time to connect along the way.
For parents of teenagers:
Figure out which chores your teenager likes to do (trust me, there’s at least one they love) and help decide a schedule or routine that works for the entire family. For example, running the dishwasher every night or unloading it first thing each morning.
Cut down on screen time by encouraging them to choose the next activity or outing. You’ll find time to connect, and they’ll enjoy doing something they love with their parent(s).
For the whole family:
Invest in designated water bottles for the whole family, fill them up each morning to cut down on dirtying cups and glasses throughout the day while keeping everybody hydrated.
When you can double the recipe...double the recipe. Freeze the leftovers and keep them handy for dinner in a pinch during the week.
Color code a clock so little ones and big kids alike know when it’s time to rest, when it’s time to play, when it’s time to eat, etc. This will help you maintain a routine as a family!