40 hacks in August 2008

28 August 2008

Classic hack: Reverse psychology and the toddler

Duane's hack uses his toddler's natural propensity for saying "no": One for the "don't forget the obvious" file: Reverse psychology, particularly for the 2yr olds, often works like a dream. My son is particularly vulnerable to it. Not a night goes by without this discussion: "Can you eat one more...

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24 August 2008

Freeze water bottles to use as icepacks in lunch boxes and coolers

This, from one of my best and oldest friends, Judie (always a thrill when I discover a friend reads Parent Hacks): I usually use Blue Ice, which is an ice substitute that can be frozen over and over again and is packaged to not leak, in my insulated picnic cooler...

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23 August 2008

Bath toys gain new life as pool toys

There's still time and heat for the kiddie pool! Jenna's good-sense hack: So, for all those late summer afternoons when the thrill of the kiddie pool itself has worn off…we just figured out that bath toys, especially the ones that have been forgotten INSIDE, make perfect pool toys outside. Our...

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23 August 2008

Parent Hacks admin: Summer (mental) vacation

Hello, dear Parenthackers! It has been a long time since we checked in. I hope that you and your families are enjoying the end of summer, bittersweet as it is. Many of you are already deep in back-to-school, and many more have years before school is on the horizon. We...

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21 August 2008

Record yourself telling stories to calm bedtime fears

We've published a variant of this hack before, but I thought Sara's take was worth sharing as it has helped her calm her daughter's bedtime fears: I know I was one of the lucky ones. After a colicky start, I was blessed with an easy-to-put-to-bed toddler; however, inexplicably at 20...

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20 August 2008

Clean summer toenails with a toothbrush

Susan's colorful story about how to clean those summertime toes illustrates the importance of "The Spin" with reluctant kids: My 3-year-old daughter inherited my family's World Famous Wonky Toenails, which means that even diligent clipping doesn't eliminate all those deep deep little crooks and crannies where summertime dirt holes up...

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20 August 2008

Reuse lidded divided storage containers as lunchroom "bento boxes"

Jill in Atlanta found a way to give her lidded divided plates a new life in the lunchroom: When my children were toddlers I used divided plates that had lids. I never used the lids and stashed them away. Recently I started to put away the plates for good and...

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19 August 2008

Basic manners: why have they changed so drastically? Talk amongst yourselves.

Tipnut passed along this link yesterday; basic etiquette lassons from the 1950's: 12 Rules of Etiquette For Children: Timeless Wisdom Collection I was thoroughly shocked. Both by how old-fashioned some of the suggestions seemed (asking children to rise when an elder enters the room), and by how little most of...

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18 August 2008

Amazon Family DVD sale: tons of good stuff

We're movie people. As a matter of fact, my kids are watching Star Wars as I write this, and I feel perfectly happy about the good-and-evil lessons they're learning (while I ogle Han Solo). If you're a movie person, too, you'll appreciate the range of titles Amazon is featuring in...

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18 August 2008

Pack 'n Play doubles as a play fort

Ah, the simple satisfaction of stumbling onto a parent hack. From Molly: I just turned our Pack 'n Play on its side, threw a large thin blanket over it and voila -- instant fort. I can't believe I didn't think of this sooner. My babes are crawling in and out...

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18 August 2008

Formula scoop works for coffee, too.

Short, sweet, and caffeinated. From Janette: The formula scoop makes a perfect coffee scoop! Related: Nifty gifty: Aeropress Espresso Maker

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17 August 2008

Keep clothes neatly folded (er, rolled) with hairbands

Sheri! I love you! You have just made my back-to-school organizing so much easier! I have a 4 year old daughter who LOVES to try all of her clean clothes on... EVERY DAY! To minimize the mess I have begun rolling her clothes and using ponytail holders to keep them...

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16 August 2008

Rub out splinters with a pumice stone

SiloDog's splinter removal hack should come in handy during these barefoot backyard days: Next time your little ones have splinters in their hands or feet, try this: Let them soak well in the bathtub, then use a pumice stone (like you would for rough heels or elbows) to rub over...

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15 August 2008

Cut cardboard with an electric carving knife

Ha! We should all have such smart, practical friends! From Melissa: I was given an electric carving knife as a wedding present with a note that went something like this: This is great as a carving knife, but even better for all those times you need to cut cardboard for...

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15 August 2008

For kids learning to button their own shirts, suggest they start from the bottom

Speaking of school-readiness, self-dressing is such a confidence-builder for kids and a time-saver for parents. Here's Rabia's simple tip: My 4-year old daughter has just recently started buttoning her own shirts. She has had some frustration with getting the buttons in the right holes, so I gave her this tip:...

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