Life Hacks for Four-year-olds (Boys’ edition)

It’s hard to be a little person in a big world. Here are five tips to make it easier to be you.




Congratulations! You received a plastic suit of armor for your birthday. But it only came with a helmet, a shield, and a plastic sword that your brothers broke within about five minutes. The thing is, you know what really needs protection. You’ve got to make the armor work for you, and not the other way around.

And while you’re at it, just use a stick for the sword. It’s always worked fine before.



Now you’re in time-out for tacking the word “weiner” onto the end of every sentence you say. Want to make the time fly? Just go to sleep.


Take advantage of this short, short window in your life when you can fall asleep anywhere, anytime.



Every job is easier when you have the right tools, and you really cannot underestimate the value of socks and underwear to get a job done.

Hang your bear in his underwear.

Need a mask for your monkey? Use an old sock.



Halloween costumes: it’s not too early to start thinking about them. Again, you’re going to need the right tools, but you cannot go wrong by wrapping yourself in duct-tape or painting yourself green.

Duct Tape mummy suit. Totally free. Totally awesome. Add fake teeth and you’re good to go.

Hulk costume. A little green paint, a whole lot of party.

Should you need to do Hulk on a dime:

Green mud also works.

Bonus feature: mud blasters in case you encounter the enemy.


Maybe you can’t read yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy books.

Who knew all the books on the shelf make a great nest when you throw them on the floor?
You did, actually.

So there you have it. Five ways being four can be made much simpler. If you’ve got a life-hack for the little people, feel free to share in the comments, or leave a link.

“Go On”: Interview with Jack Baumgartner, Part III
Litany of Days
My New Favorite Folk Album: Interview with Jack Baumgartner, Part I
“Hunger”: Interview with Jack Baumgartner, Part IV
About Elizabeth Duffy
  • Lauren

    too funny! :) and it makes me feel like maybe we’re not the only crazy family!

  • Melanie B

    I think he’d get along well with my four year-old boy, who also got sword and shield and armor for his birthday. Though I can see where having older brothers makes a few differences. Mine only has older sisters.

  • TheReluctantWidow

    Oh, I really do miss those days. I know they are hard, but honestly, boys are just so hilarious when they are four. The whole “tacking the word weiner on the end of every sentence.” That really made me laugh. My boys always would do that when they heard a word that was new, and they had the slight understanding that they weren’t supposed to say that word, but they like the sound of it, so they say it over and over again. I actually got the soap out one time. :-)

  • TheodoreSeeber

    My wife runs a daycare. They aren’t allowed to play with toys from my son’s room. I don’t remember why I was home, but it was nap time, and we all fell asleep. I woke up to all four kids under the age of four singing “What’s going to work, TeamWork!” from the WonderPets as they brought out a box of lego trains bigger than any of them from Christopher’s room…..

    • Tiffany Thompson

      A few years ago, I overheard two of my boys getting into something (what? I don’t even remember) and the older one (age 4 at the time) said, “Mom will be so mad at us for getting into this, but she’ll be so proud of us for working together!”