Calculator as TV remote stand-in
Here's our most recent parent hack - my son Noah (12 months) is obsessed with the TV remote - and when we take it away from him he has a bit of a tantrum. Recently my sister-in-law was grading papers for her English class and Noah grabbed her calculator. We've now started replacing the remote with a $5 calculator from Target - no need to worry that he'll break it, reset anything or figure out how to turn on the TV. Of course we still don't want him to eat it, so this is a supervised toy!