Awhile back, we were over my sister's apartment for dinner. Mazzy wanted to use her watercolors (I happened to have a set in my bag) but I didn't want her to make a mess. After trying and failing to find some newspaper to put on the floor, I suggested using a puppy pee pad since my sister has a dog. 

We quickly realized this was THE BEST IDEA EVER since puppy pee pads are super absorbant with a plastic backing so nothing soaks through. (FYI- It's an even better idea if you don't have a dog so no four-legged creatures try to pee on your child's masterpiece in mid-creation.)

I have never been more proud of myself as I was in that moment. I had created my very first "parent hack". 

I wish I could name twenty more that I've developed since, but the truth is, that was the one and only time true inspiration struck. The rest I've been collecting from around the web on Pinterest in a board called "Parental Brilliance".

Buzzfeed did a great post on parent hacks about a month ago, so I would check that out too, but they missed a few. 

Here are 21 of my favorites acts of parental brillance…

1. Put a cupcake wrapper under a popsicle.


Image Source: Juggling with Kids

2. Use empty toilet paper rolls to hold together rolls of wrapping paper.


Image Source: My Love Bug Baby

3. Put a suspension curtain rod between a crib and the wall to create a playspace or reading nook.


Image Source: Ohdeedoh

4. Transform Starbucks to-go cups into no-spill paint cups.


Image Source: Muffin Tin Mom

5. Put an Elmo scrunchi around the lens of a camera to get your kid to look in the right direction.


6. Cut a hole in the tip of a pacifier to help administer medication.


Image Source: Buzzfeed

7. Tie a tissue box to an empty tissue box with rubberbands for a convenient used tissue garbage.


Image Source: Wide Awake

8. Cover a paint tray with tin foil for no clean-up.


Image Source: Imgur

9. Have your toddler hold a juice box from the side tabs to keep him from squeezing the box too hard and spilling all the juice.


Image Source: Buzzfeed

10. Use a hanging tiered fruit basket to hold bath toys.


Image Source: Indulgy

11. Use a lint roller to pick up glitter.


Image Source: Juggling with Kids

12. Instead of bringing an autograph book to Disney World, bring a photo mat for all the characters to sign.


Image Source: Disney Trip Expert

13. Cut a pool noodle to prevent a door from slamming.


Image Source: Buzzfeed

14. Use a bread tab to find where the tape begins.


Image Source: My Kotori

15. Paint old pieces of denim with yellow lines to create roads you can easily pack in a suitcase.


Image Source: Lil Mop Top

16. Use a hairdryer to remove stickers your toddler stuck on your floors or furniture. 


Image Source: Real Simple

17. Make sweeping into a fun game.


Image Source: Buzzfeed

18. Hang a 'lost sock' board next to your washing machine.


Image Source: Scraps of Life

19. Bring band aids on your next trip to use as travel baby proofing for outlets.


Image Source: Parent Hacks

20. Use your sunglasses for an iPhone stand.


Image Source: Imgur

21. My only original hack: Use an absorbant puppy pee pad as a toddler painting workspace instead of newspaper. Who gets the newspaper anymore, anyway?

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Anybody have any acts of parental brilliance they'd like to share?


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