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Tried and tested dad hacks

Let's face it, when it comes to becoming a good dad, there is no manual. But when it comes to handy dad hacks, we've got your manual right here.

We hope that these hacks will help you with your new role as a dad.

The inflatable play pen

As a new dad, you'll notice that every time you try to do a job around the house, your newborn toddler will be right there, in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Digital designer Eddie Rogers has come up with a novel solution. 'I use an inflatable pool as a playpen. It gives my two-year-old a good space to play in but keeps him from getting into too much trouble. I even take it with me to my indoor rock-climbing gym, set it up in the corner and let him play with his toys while I have my fun climbing. He can always see me and vice versa, so it works well.'

No-mess painting

Every child loves arts and crafts. And every parent hates the mess they have to clean up after arts and crafts.

Teacher Chris Stone has come up with the ideal solution. 'I love to draw – it relaxes me and helps focus my mind,' Chris says. 'My little girl has apparently inherited this love of art so to keep her happy, and not involve long clean-ups for me, I throw three dollops of different coloured paint in a zip-lock bag and let her make fascinating shapes in the paint. She loves it – it's one of her favourite games.'

Daughter Donkey Kong

As an avid gamer, Mike Mika wanted to make his daughter happy when she asked to play Donkey Kong as the princess, and rescue Mario instead of the other way around.

With a background in game design, Mike hacked the game's coding and changed it so that his little girl could play as a princess. Kids are always asking impossible questions, so it's nice to see that one dad could at least answer the 'why can't I play as the girl?' question with, 'you can!'

Mike says the look on his daughter's face and the bonding experience it gave them both made it all worthwhile. Sadly, this hack may be a little beyond those of us without intimate coding knowledge but if you are game to try, you can read more of Mike's genius here.

Texta tatts

As a massive comic nerd, Khaled Ejimai likes to take his four-year-old daughter with him to comic conventions. But she's an explorer and will wander off at the drop of a hat. It's a parent's worst nightmare, and can be quite scary for the youngster too.

Khaled's solution? 'Writing her name, my name and my phone number on her arm in texta, so if she does get lost I'll be easily contactable.' He says that he luckily hasn't had to test the theory but it definitely gives him peace of mind knowing that they can be reunited quickly.

Paper plate ice cream

There's nothing like sharing an ice cream with your kids. Unfortunately, they like sharing their ice creams too. All over their faces, the cupboards, carpet and dog.

Chris Brook, a builder, says 'I love cooking – particularly desserts – and even more particularly, ice cream. He mentions that 'my little boy is always asking me to make him ice cream cones. The problem is that he likes to share them with his entire face. I recently came up with a simple method of preventing this. I cut a hole in a paper plate and wedge the cone in there.' Catching all the melting ice cream in the paper plate rather than on the floor, making for a happy dad and son.


We all love a family day at the beach. So much so that we bring half of the beach home with us. The sand gets everywhere, from the car, the living room and even in the bed. Industrial chemist Heath Jones, a keen beach-goer says 'I surf, I dive and I love living near the water. One problem I've had since having kids is the amount of sand they bring back'.

He mentioned this to his mother-in-law and she imparted some wisdom telling him to try baby powder. Heath excitedly says 'It works! Simply sprinkle some into your hands and use them to brush off the sand from yourself and your children.' Try this hack for a sand free household next time you head for a dip with the kids.

Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs. You should make your own enquiries, consider whether advice is appropriate for you and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Product Information Document before making any decisions about whether to acquire a product