The key to success potty training is of make going potty something fun to look forward to. Here is how to engage your child in clever ways while sitting they sit on the potty.
Sometimes my toddler would get distracted and wonder off the potty other and times he would not sit still long enough to complete the process. I became quite creative in finding ways to keep my munchkin on the spot for just long enough. Now the other side of the coin was that I had trouble guessing when he still needed to stay on the potty and when he was just sitting there because of all the fun we where having.
Try these 13 ideas for things to do when your toddler is on the potty. Some are fun others you might find mundane. Choose the ones to suit your situation best. These potty training ideas for activities that a toddler can play on the potty are really just the beginning. Anything that can be done sitting down is fine. The idea is encouraging success while also having some fun with your child.
1. Books where great from day one to get our munchkin going potty and keeping him there. We always kept 2 or 3 books next to the potty to entice him when it was obvious he needed to go on the potty. There are numerous sturdy books aimed at potty training for children of various ages. Some of these books offer an interactive musical element too. Anything that encourages your child to read enthusiastically is a GOOD thing!
2. Educational toys for toddlers like Shape sorting, Activity cubes, Rollercoaster wires … sorting shapes is an activity we often saved for potty time. We started with simple easy ones and progressed to more complex shapes and activity cubes with shape sorting and roller-coaster wires. Shape matching games, puzzles, stacking blocks or rings on a cone are also excellent for this occasion.
3. Coloring or Sticker Books are perfect for going potty, but you’ll need to craft some sort of tabletop.
4. Going Potty with Songs & Music. Our little one was very musical from the start, we would sing songs together in the bathroom (hey, adults sing in the shower!) and there are some potty songs specifically crafted for the occasion. One of our favorites was “Be My Echo” or you can also get some of your child’s favorite MP3s and play them in the bathroom.
5. Toddler Games for ipad. I admit I have used this one a bunch of times. Especially when taking my child to potty in unfamiliar locations – it served as the perfect distraction in strange new places. My favorite part is that you don’t have to directly participate in the games. Your toddler is busy on the potty while you can take a bit of a break. Our favorites ones included animal and instruments sounds. But the biggest surprise came when our 23 month old began recognizing letters after spending some time playing “Elmo Loves ABC’s” while on the potty. Completely unintentional consequence of potty training with the ipad!
6. I Spy
Remember those long road trips where you’d play I Spy? This is just the same. Now, it’s likely that your bathroom doesn’t change from day to day, so you might want to seed it with unexpected items like a doll peeking out from the shower curtains.
7. Potty Time & Counting Games
There are numerous counting games that you can use when your toddler is going potty. Some can be printed out from online family sites. Others you can just make up based on what’s around your bathroom. For example, if you have a dotted shower curtain your child can count the dots. As a child gets older you can turn this into games of addition or “takeaway”
8. Potty Time & Storytelling
The art of personalized storytelling has somewhat faded, which is a shame. It’s a great way to exercise your child’s imagination and also take the story in a direction that touches on something important in the home – including potty training. Make sure there’s a boy or girl in the story who is the same age as your youngster. Ask them questions as you go along like, “what would you like to name the boy/girl in the story?” Of course, offer a happy ending!
9. Mommy (or Daddy) & Me Talks
Once a child learns how to talk, they love spending time engaging with adults. Ask them what their favorite meal was today, or about their best friend at day care. This kind of light-hearted talking can lead to a lifetime of solid communication with your child because you’re showing interest in life from his or her perspective.
10. Role Playing with Potty Training Dolls
Put a potty chair in the bathroom in a spot easily viewed from the adult toilet. After putting your child on the adult seat, use role playing to get them involved. For example, start by saying “I wonder where your doll should sit when she has to go to the bathroom?” then offer ideas – “should she sit on the floor” (put the doll on the floor and wait for the resounding NO from your toddler). “Should she sit in the tub? (again put the doll in the tub and wait for the big NO). Finally ask your child where the doll SHOULD go – when they answer correctly take the doll to the toilet and have it do just that. Meanwhile your child is still on the adult toilet!
11. Riddle me This
Riddles are fun and also intellectually stimulating for children. You can find dozens on the internet for that will be age-appropriate. If you can find any that have to do with going potty, all the better!
12. Rhyming Time
Pick a bunch of words that relate to toilet training or other behaviors on which you’re working. Then have a game of rhyming with your child. It’s ok if the words get silly – it still serves the purpose.
13. Flash Cards
Pull out that deck of flash cards – be they numbers, letters, animals – whatever. You can make your own flash cards by getting a blank deck and gluing images from magazines on them. Put the “answer” in tidy lettering on the back of the card.
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Do you have some great strategies to keep your munchkin long enough on the potty? Share it! I would love to know.
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