So it has begun. Our LO has begun venturing down the path-de-potty training! Yay to less diapers and all of the money we literally throw “down the toilet”! As many of you know it is a messy process of training, and there are various methods and theories on how best to accomplish it. Many advise to use some type of reward system or chart that ends in reward, to help encourage using the toilet and making it a positive experience for all. (I know, I know. If you take off your parent hat for a second, the idea of being rewarded for a basic human function seems silly, but let’s be real – toddlers are tiny, drunk-like dictators, and require special handling.)
Our approach to potty training is what we have dubbed as “casual potty training.” By that I mean, we encourage our LO to use the potty whenever we go to change her diaper, and then make a big deal of cheering whenever she does. We also try to honor her request to use the potty whenever she asks it. The key is to encourage and not discourage the behavior. Thankfully, her daycare also potty trains so when she returns in the fall we will be giving it a more serious go. We also purchased (as recommended to us by her teacher) the Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once and Do It Right by Jamie Glowacki book, which I must admit I have yet to read and plan to start soon…
With all of that said however, we to use a potty chart. The idea is that she can place a magnet each time she uses the potty in a day, and when she reaches a set date, she will receive a “reward” of a Kinder Egg I found at Target for $1.99 that has a Peppa Pig figurine inside of it.
As a summer afternoon activity, my LO and I created her chart together. Not only did this act as a good fine motor skills exercise, but also allows her to feel more invested in her chart since it is something she had a hand in creating.
What you need:
magnetic dry erase calendar
one piece of card stock
one sheet of stickers
dry erase marker
some type of reward
- To begin, I explained to her what we were doing. Whether or not she understood all of what I was saying wasn’t all that important. Just by explaining it to her before we began set a precedent that this was an activity with a purpose.
- Next, she placed stickers all over a piece of white card stock. Make sure that the stickers have some room between them, so when you go to cut them out it is easier to separate them from one another. Also, the card stock was important to provide a sturdier backdrop for the magnets.
- Once your LO has placed a sufficient amount of stickers on the card stock, cut each of them out individually. Full disclosure – I did this part while she played with her kitchen.
- After all of your pieces are cut out, hold each up to a piece of magnetic strip tape. Cut pieces slightly smaller than the sticker itself so that the edges do not stick out from the front.
- Peel the backing from each place, and press onto the back of each sticker.
That’s it! I didn’t spend a cent on this project, simply using things that I had around the house. If you can, try to adapt this easy DIY to things you already have an no longer are using.
Now she has a cute way of tracking her toilet use AND it is reusable! Minimal waste of paper, and can be used for other types of future charts (ie-charts, good behavior, etc.). What methods have you tried with your own LOs when it came to potty training? What were your successes? What were your difficulties? Would love to hear from you in the comments below!