The following hints have been sent in by readers and subscribers with young–and maybe not so young children and made sense (cents) to me.


Save A Sweater

Most children over the age of 4 have a piece or two of very ‘special‘ clothing, and when they outgrow it, you would think the world had come to an end. My son had a ‘very favoritest’ sweater given to him by his grandfather when he was 6.  He wore it for two years and then hit a growing streak so it no longer fit.

My grandmother cut off the sleeves off the sweater, which were way too short, and turned it into a vest. That lasted another year before it had to be retired until the boy's little brother could grow into ‘grampy’s' sweater. Though he was sad when it didn’t fit him anymore, he felt better when he saw his little brother wearing one of his ‘very favoritest things’

(tip submitted by JS, MT)

(I have seen 'sweater jackets' made by splitting the sweater down the front, reinforcing the edges and installing one of those big plastic zippers down the full length of the sweater.)


Color The Kid!

A friend told me about a hint shared with her by a neighbor who told her to be sure to dress the little ones in the brightest, boldest colors she can find because it makes it easier to find the kids in the mall or anywhere else there are large numbers of people. They are truly ‘standouts’!

(tip submitted by MW, WA)

(This makes sense to me; When my youngest was a toddler he absolutely hated to be carried and didn’t want to hang on to my hand when we went someplace. So, my solution was to use a harness and tether. Some people made fun of me because I had the kid ‘tied up like a dog’, but I knew he was safe with the tether attached to my belt loop, and knew nobody was gonna take him–a big worry for him at the time!)


Baby Powder Stretcher

We all know how expensive baby powder is and how quickly the container runs out, especially when the budget is on ZERO. Next time you purchase baby powder, buy a box of plain cornstarch at the same time. Dump both of them into a big bowl along with one cup of baking soda and mix together thoroughly. Both of these extra ingredients are perfectly safe for baby, and will really stretch those ‘baby dollars’.

(tip submitted by CJP, MN)

(This has been circulated around for many, but sometimes we all need a ‘refresher’ and this is so very simple and easy to do. This hint is even good for grown up folks that use baby powder in their shoes. Next time you buy powder, check the label. You just might have been buying scented cornstarch all along!)


Mess-Free Painting

My son is in our local 4-H program, and one of his projects included home furnishings. We had an old wood and wicker step stool that had belonged to my grandmother.  It’s been up in the garage rafters for a good 30 years or so–dusty, dried out and pretty well forgotten, until he spotted the thing and wanted to restore and paint it. A friend of ours instructed him to clean it up good, sand off any rough spots and then paint it with spray paint, which works great for wicker. He told my son to get a big box from an appliance store and to paint the stool ‘inside the box’.  Put the stool in the box and paint one side with the spray paint gun, let it dry and then paint the next side. All the overspray from the paint gun is confined to the box and NOT all over the driveway! This worked out very well and he’s looking forward to displaying his hard work at the 4-H fair.

(tip submitted by MJB, NE)


Bug Free Summer Driving Hint

Summer really isn't that far away, along with all the bugs warm weather brings us. A reader said if you spray WD-40 on a rag and wipe down the hood, grill and front bumpers of your vehicles after a good spring-cleaning, you can easily wipe away any bugs with a cloth. The WD-40 prevents the dead bugs from sticking like glue to the finish of the vehicle.

(tip submitted by MD, IA)


by Paula Vogelgesang

Do you have any tips or ideas you would like to share? Email them to Paula at [email protected]  

Please be sure to mention the "Farm And Livestock Directory" when you respond.

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