2017 is going to be your year to parent like a pro. To totally know the ins-and-outs of life with Littles. To make it look easy… or at least easier. To get started, try out some of our favorite Seattle parent hacks as part of your resolution repertoire. You got this!

museum-of-flight-kids-flying

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

1. When it comes to free museum days, know them, use them, love them. They’re the perfect way to try out a museum before committing to a membership or plan a PEPS group play date without spending a bundle.

seattle-library-card

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

2. If you can’t make one of the free museum days, you can still score free museum passes using your library card. It takes a bit more planning, but it’s another great way to hit a museum with your cutie pies.

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photo: DieselDemon via flickr

3. Two words: indoor gyms. With all the rain we get in the Emerald City, finding a dry space to play is paramount to staying sane. Lucky for us, Seattle Parks & Recreation’s toddler gyms take the edge off. With one in every ‘hood, they make an awesomely alternative to playing with familiar toys in the family room, yet again. And the best part? As of Jan. 1, most drop-in activities at our area’s community centers (including tot gyms and tot rooms) are free!

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photo: Central Cinema Facebook page

4. When dinner prep isn’t on the menu, drive your crew over to Central Cinema’s Cartoon Happy Hour. This Thursday-only program equals two hours of free cartoons, plus the cinema’s full happy hour menu. Full tummies, good drinks and a little cartoon nostalgia always hits the spot!

kids-on-slide-fall-day

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

5. Keep a spare towel in your car for those post-rain trips to the playground. It’s the easiest way to wipe off rain-soaked slides and swings, so your wee one can get those wiggles out, no matter what Mother Nature has planned.

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photo: PEPS-Program for Early Parent Support Facebook page

6. Find your tribe. Rely on the collective wisdom of seasoned moms and dads to answer your run-of-the-mill and seemingly impossible parenting questions. Find your group in or around the city. It’s “group think” we can totally get behind!

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photo: Austin Kirk via flickr

7. A dash of baby powder on sandy legs after a busy day building sandcastles at Alki Beach or Golden Gardens leaves sand on the beach where it belongs… not in your car, clothes or bathtub.

girl giveaway pile goodwill

photo: Bart Everson via flickr 

8. Easily repurpose your kid gear. There’s no getting around the pile up of “stuff” that accumulates once baby arrives. And the rate at which they outgrow toys and clothes…whew! Gift out your no-longer-needed baby and kid gear to local organizations or on your local Buy Nothing group to keep the clutter at bay. Psst… you can find odds and ends you need for the next stage there too!

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photo: Kristina Moy

9. Always know where to score free food for your tiny foodie to save on some green.

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photo: Rachael Brandon

10. Bypass your daily Sherpa duty, and let your little one carry her own gotta-have gear with an adorbs J-Stich vest instead. Three cheers for fostering independence!

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photo: Stacy Ebstyne

11. Rock morning hot spots with your early riser. Your mornings may not be quiet and calm anymore, but they can be exciting!

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photo: Fort Gear Facebook page

12. Get more life out of your active kiddo’s pants. Don’t trash them, patch them using Seattle-based Fort Gear’s trendy DIY kit ($9). All it takes is 5 minutes and an iron. Easy peasy!

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photo: Alex Garcia via flickr

13. Don’t let unexpected frost on your car slow you down when you’re rushing to drop the kidlet off at day care or school. Because who has time to wait for the defroster? The lid from your leftover morning latte (fess up, we know there’s one in your car) will easily scrape frosty winter windows clear lickety-split!

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photo: Allison Sutcliffe

14. Rain boots go with everything. Whether your sidekick is out tide pooling in the sunshine, splashing through monstrous puddles or sledding down a snowy slope, rain boots will keep his or her toesies dry, which means you can play longer.

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photo: Chelsea Lin

15. Take advantage of free faves. Free or super cheap play spots never go out of style. Get in the know, so you can keep your crew entertained on the cheap!

Do you have a Seattle parenting hack to add? Share your wisdom in the Comments below!

— Allison Sutcliffe