7 Superhero Tricks for the Novice Parent

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Everyone knows kids are adorable, but they’re also notorious for crying, getting their hands sticky, and spilling glitter all over the rug! Here’s how to lifehack past the troublesome bits, so you can concentrate on the cute.

1. Make an Ink Stain Disappear

Kids are such great artists that can turn anything into a canvas. Including your skin. But if Lil’ Picasso gets pen ink all over your hands before a big meeting, don’t fret. Instead, take a deep breath and make yourself a hot cup of tea. And while the delicious beverage can be soothing, it’s really the tea bag you want here: rub the wet, room temperature bag against the ink stain, and it should work like a magic eraser on your skin.

2. Beach Bums

While the beach can make for a great field trip, spending 20 minutes trying to rub sand off a crying kid’s legs before you leave can make you wonder why you came in the first place. But baby powder can save the day. By pouring a little powder onto the skin, then brushing it off with your hand, the friction-reducing substance not only takes the sand off without any pain, but it has the added benefit of leaving your kid’s skin feeling silky smooth.

3. Make a Baby Stop Crying

Fussy newborns are tricky to soothe. The next time you’re seated next to a tiny tyrant, use this Japanese lifehack: take a sip of beverage (any beverage will do!), put your face close to the baby’s ear, then swish the drink around your mouth vigorously like you’re using mouthwash. The sound of the churning liquid nearly matches the decibel level in the womb, invoking memories that should lull the infant into sleep mode.

4. Create a Drip-free Popsicle

Give an icy treat to a kid and they inevitably end up with “popsicle hands”-- the horrible condition where all the melted drippings turn regular fingers bright and sticky. But there’s an easy parenting hack to prevent the syndrome. Just take a cupcake holder and slide the popsicle stick through. Instead of slimy hands, the little cup will catch all of the melty bits, leaving your kid’s paws miraculously drip-free.

5. Get Rid of Glitter

Everyone knows that princesses love the shimmer of glitter. And unicorns frolic in magical rainbows made of the stuff. But any parent who’s tried to get glitter bits off a kitchen table knows how frustrating the material can be. The stragglers from a glitter party are like house guests who refuse to take the hint: You can ask them to leave politely-- with a broom, or a wet cloth, or a dustbuster even, and yet they continue to linger! Luckily, there’s an easy trick for escorting the glitter away: lint rollers. Simply roll a roller across the offensive surface, and you’ll return it to glitter-free glory in no time.

6. Inflate an Army of Inflatable Toys

Pool parties can be great for the family, but hard on your lungs-- especially if the kids want 100 beachballs inflated “RIGHT NOW!” So, how do you service their demands while continuing to breathe easy? With a garbage bag and a straw, of course! Insert the straw into the beachball hole, and wave your garbage bag into the wind to collect air. Then put the lip of the bag around the the straw, and squeeze the air out of the garbage bag until it transfers to the beachball. Voila! Now just repeat the process 99 more times, or until your kids want to go home.

7. Own the Theme Park

One genius secret employed by big amusement parks is how they control crowds. Often a park will orchestrate a parade as a way to draw people away from congested areas of the park. That means, if you want to cut down your wait time for a popular ride, grab your kids and head towards it as soon as you see a parade coming your way. But there’s another little trick that might give you an edge as well. Research shows that when there are two lines, people tend to choose to the right lane. If you’re trying to get onto a ride faster, just go left!

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