Parenting Hacks To Make This Summer Easier

School's out for summer, and, in the words of the inimitable Alice Cooper, there are "no more pencils, no more books, no more teacher's dirty looks" to keep your kids happily occupied. With weeks and weeks of warm weather stretching out before you, filling your kids' days with fun activities can seem daunting. Never fear, though, we've got the down-low on how to make summer fun for everyone.

The best part about these easy parenting hacks? They don't cost an arm and a leg and they don't take a degree in arts and crafts to set up. After all, who wants to spend hours putting together an intricate activity that is discarded just a few minutes later? Continue reading to find all the tips, tricks, and activities you'll need for the next few months.

1. Backyard Organization

Momnivore's Dilemma

Pick up some cheap plastic baskets at the dollar store and use them to keep bubbles, chalk, and more organized and within easy reach.

2. Giant Tic-Tac-Toe

A Turtle's Life For Me

Use tape to make a grid on a cheap shower curtain. Then, grab several frisbees to use as markers.

3. Sponge Ice Packs

The Kitchn

Rather than buy pricey ice packs that are often too large, soak a cheap sponge in water, stick it in a plastic bag, and freeze it. 

4. Cooling Sponge Necklace

The Tiny Funnel

These necklaces work the same way as the homemade ice packs above. Soak it in cold water and hang it around your child's neck to help keep them cool.

5. Mess-Free Popsicles


Nothing's better in hot weather than eating an ice-cold popsicle. The mess caused by the melting pop running down your hand? Yeah, that part's not so great. Simply slide a cupcake wrap underneath the pop to keep the mess at bay.

6. Bug-Free Drinks


Use the same cheap cupcake liners to keep bugs and ants out of sweet beverages. Just slide the liner down the straw and over the top of the glass to put a lid on it.


7. Giant Bubbles

Dollar Store Crafts

Bubbles are so simple, yet so fun. But did you know you could amp up that fun by super-sizing those bubbles? All you need is water, dish soap, glycerin, a baby pool, and a hula hoop. Find the full instructions at Dollar Store Crafts.

8. DIY Face Paint

Ruth L

Let your kids transform themselves into whatever they want with this easy, DIY face paint. Simply mix together 1/8-cup baby lotion, 1/4-teaspoon powdered tempura paint, and one squirt liquid dish soap.

9. Road Trip Toys

Sunny With a Chance of Sprinkles

Keep kids distracted during a long drive with toys that are nearly impossible to lose under their seats. Get a cheap metal cookie sheet and magnets for them to play with. If you want to take it a step further, paint the cookie sheet with chalkboard paint and let them doodle away.

10. Cheap Travel Containers

Shady Tree Diary

Speaking of road trip tips, use travel soap containers to store cards, crayons, and more. This keeps small items from ending up all over the place.

11. Driveway Bull's-Eye

Mamas Like Me

Chalk and cheap sponges are all you need to set up a giant game in your driveway.

12. Noodle Obstacle Course

Toddler Tales

Make a fun obstacle course to dive under, jump over, and dodge using cheap pool noodles.

13. Pool Noodle Lightsabers

Fussy Ninja

Make the perfect weapon for your little Jedi by cutting a pool noodle in half and using duct and electrical tape on the "hilt."


14. Lunch-In-The-Car Caddy

Look What I Did

Summer activities mean staying on the go. Staying on the go means lunches and dinners in the car. Keep the mess at a minimum with a cheap plastic caddy.

15. Perfect Beach Bag

The Idea Room

The beach is awesome ... the sand that gets into everything is not. Keep most of the sand on the beach and out of your car by storing toys in a mesh laundry hamper.

16. DIY Drying Rack And Storage

Dump a Day

Using PVC pipe, build a rack to hang wet towels and swimsuits on and attach floaties to.

17. Activity Cup

Artists Helping Children

Your kids can never claim that they're bored if there's an endless supply of activities at hand!

18. Ultimate Car Organization

Kids Activities Blog

Whether you're headed out for a few hours at the park or a full weekend at the beach, these shoe-caddies-turned-trunk-organizers will make your life easier. Stock the pockets full of all the necessities, like sunscreen, toilet paper, bug spray, and more.

19. Phone Survival Kit


This one's more for the parents than the kids! Summer means water activities galore, but iPhones aren't exactly waterproof. Stick yours in a cheap plastic bag to keep it from taking a fatal swim.

Be sure to SHARE these summer hacks with your friends and family.

H/T: 22 Words

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