How to Make Potty Training Fun
By ERIC, The Children's Bowel & Bladder Charity
Games to make potty training fun for you and your child.
Play is an important way for your child to explore and make sense of the world around them. It also helps to develop their imagination and creativity. When it comes to potty training, using play can help teach your child what you expect of them and is a great way to keep them motivated.
5 fun, simple ways to make potty training playful:
- Get creative: make up a silly poo or wee story or song and dance together. Singing and telling jokes is a brilliant way to help your child relax on the potty.
- Fun with bubbles: Give your child something to blow like bubbles when they are sitting on the potty. It will help your child find the muscles they need to relax and empty their bladder or bowel.
- Magic wee water: Help your child to pour some water into their potty. They can even add a few drops of food colouring. See if they can guess what colour their wee will change the water into. Not only can the sound of their wee hitting the water help them to make more sense of the process, but extra water in the potty also makes cleaning any poo out of the potty a lot easier!
- Poo dough: Young children love playing with play dough, so why not make ‘poo dough’ together! Use it to start a conversation with them about how their body works and normalise a bodily function that can seem a bit scary to toddlers. Show them how poo can come in different shapes and sizes, let the play dough “poo” squeeze through your hands and drop into the potty before cleaning it up together. This sort of play is a great way to address the common fears young children have about losing part of themselves when they poo in the potty.
- Teaching teddy or dolly: Lots of toddlers enjoy being in charge and showing how grown up they are. Role play their favourite toy pretending to use the potty, but they get it all wrong and sit upside down or back to front! Encourage your child to show off their newfound skills and show teddy or dolly how to do it properly.
When it comes to potty training, using play can help teach your child what you expect of them and is a great way to keep them motivated.
Children are naturally curious and willing to learn if things are presented to them in a fun way. Using stories, characters and toys is the best way of explaining to your child what they need to do and learn how to do it for themselves. This will help them to feel more independent and in control, making the potty training process easier and less stressful for you both.
Give your child plenty of encouragement and praise all their efforts. When your child does use the potty or manages to stay dry, even if it's just for a short time, tell them how pleased you are.
Try to give your child the opportunity to do things for themselves as far as possible.
Children are naturally curious and willing to learn if things are presented to them in a fun way. Using toys, characters and stories will help them to feel more independent and in control, making the potty training process easier and less stressful for you both.
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About the contributor
ERIC, The Children’s Bowel & Bladder Charity is dedicated to helping all children and teenagers manage and overcome distressing continence conditions. Whether it is a toilet-training issue, bedwetting, constipation or soiling problem, ERIC provides expert support, information and understanding to children and young people and enables parents, carers and professionals to help them establish good bowel and bladder health.
ERIC’s family support includes a free helpline, parent and family workshops, online resources and information. Helpline: 0808 169 9949 open Monday – Thursday: 10am – 2pm