We’re always looking for ways to make our lives easier so I’ve put together a list of some great hacks you can use to be prepared, stay clean, and avoid stress.
#1 Bag for essentials
Include a small first aid kit with extra bandages, sharpie, lotion, hand sanitizer, wet wipes, napkins, plastic spoons, pen and pad, safety pins, extra reading glasses, dollar bills for snack bar, sunblock, Benadryl, Advil, tampons, chip clip, kleenex, toothpicks, Lifesavers, and any other items you may need when you’re at the games
#2 Wash baseball pants at the car wash
Baseball pants are really hard to clean so if you have really stubborn stains, take them to the self-serve car wash and hang them on the mat hangers. Use the pressure hose to spray them hard and get out the embedded dirt. A home pressure washer works well, too.
#3 Two gallon zipper bags for cleats
This is a great way to keep your car and your kids’ baseball bag clean. When their cleats are caked with mud after games and practice, just throw them in a 2 gallon zipper bag and seal it up. You’ll save a lot of dirt and sand from getting all over the place. These bags are great and can be used for all kinds of items like large snacks and baseballs.
#4 Keep envelopes in the glove box
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed to turn money in for team tournaments or at school at the last minute. I now keep a few envelopes in the car glove box so when I need to give the coach our dues with my kids’ name on it, I’m ready at the field.
#5 Take a picture of the lineup
If you like to keep score like I do, you’re probably familiar with chasing the coach around trying to get a lineup so you can put it in your iPad or on your scoring book. Take a quick picture of the lineup card with your phone so you can give the coach back the card and go back to your seat and enter it.
#6 Put sunflower seeds in an empty creamer container.
This just makes it easy to dispense the seeds at the game and you won’t have to worry about a package that doesn’t close or dirty hands. Your seeds will also stay fresh longer. This trick can also be used for nuts and Cheerios.
#7 Use dryer sheets for smelly items
Dryer sheets have all sorts of uses, but the best one for sports parents is to get rid of smells. Place them into cleats, hats, or baseball bags to freshen them up.
#8 Make a uniform bag ahead of time
Take stress out of your life by not having to run around looking for pants, belt, socks, jersey, athletic supporter, and cap by making a small bag ahead of time or right after you do the laundry. Then just hang it on the bedroom door and it’s ready to go.
#9 Ice pack sponges
These are a great thing to have ready in the freezer for those bumps and bruises which are sure to happen. Just wet a sponge, ring it out, and place into a zipper bag and freeze. These can also be used as ice packs for lunch boxes or small coolers at practices & games.
#10 Have a portable phone charger at long day tournaments
I can’t tell you how many times my phone has died after the first game on a tournament day, and I was unable to get calls or take pictures. I’ve gotten myself one of these portable chargers and these will charge your phone three or four times before you have to recharge them. A must-have for long days away from an outlet.
#11 Take photos of your kids’ insurance cards and birth certificates or scan them into your phone
Sometimes injuries happen at games and you don’t want to be without your insurance cards. What if you forget them and something happens? I’ve seen kids get taken to the hospital in an ambulance, so freak accidents do happen. You also may need their birth certificate for a team or tournament, and it’s good to have it in your phone. I have my kids’ insurance cards and birth certificates scanned to PDF files, and I emailed them to my iPhone so I could open them in iBooks. That way I can print them or email them if I’m away from home.
#12 Bring bungee cords to attach your umbrella to a fence, chair, or bleachers
In can get windy at the games and I don’t want my umbrella to blow over. I always bring bungee cords so I can hook it to a fence or something else so it stays up.
#13 Have a parent record your kid’s at bats on Facebook Live if you can’t be there.
This is a video that a friend of mine posted when his kid did Allstars this year. He posted all of the games and many of us who couldn’t go to the games watched on his Facebook stream. Another great thing you can do with your phone!
#14 Freeze water bottles to put in your cooler
This one came from a reader’s comment below and what a great idea. Freeze a few water bottles for your ice chest and you will have very cold water for the whole day. They also act as ice packs keeping everything else cold.
#15 Take a photo of tournament brackets so you’ll have easy access to them later
I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner. You can even do this from your phone, or if the bracket is really big, put it on your computer screen and take a photo. It will save you from going back into the website over and over.
I would love to hear any great baseball parent hacks, so please feel free to leave some in the comments below.