Many kids enjoy playing when they sit on their potty and if done right, it can be a useful distraction as well as making potty time enjoyable and relaxing for your child. But not all toys are equal! Find out here our top potty toy recommendations and which to avoid.
Some kids need a distraction to help them sit for long enough to do a wee or a poo, and others benefit from toys to help them relax on the potty. But keep in mind the reason that your child is sat on the potty is because they need to do a wee or a poo, so it’s important not to choose a toy which is too distracting or too stimulating which can take your child’s focus away from the body in unhelpful ways.
By the way, if you’re reading this and realising that you have been offering the potty to your child based on guesswork rather than because you have a true knowledge (learning their signals or timing) of when your child needs to go – check this out.
The two most common reasons children get straight back off the potty is because:
1. they haven’t learned what it’s for yet
2. it wasn’t the right time to go
So being confident it’s the right time to offer the potty is more valuable to their learning process than coercing them to “just try” with a toy.
Toys to avoid
Screens – of any kind. They are way too stimulating for the brain. Whether it’s a cartoon about going to the toilet, a youtube video they find amusing, or simply your iPhone to ‘play’ with, these are toys that will not help the potty learning process.
Toys that make a noise, light up etc. These sorts of toys are also too stimulating for your child to be able to focus on what their body is doing, which is an essential part of their learning process.
Complicated toys like the sort of thing that has to go on a table. This might be a puzzle, a large toy that they can’t easily hold on their lap, or a toy that moves etc. Complicated toys will engage your child in moving away from sitting on the potty or if they are too complex, they will sit on the potty without using it and the potty will become a seat rather than a toilet.
smarter toy choices
Fidget toys. Probably one of the best inventions for potty time! These are small and uncomplicated but engage the child in a quiet focus when on the potty. Fidget toys can include things like a piece of blue-tac (as long as not a choke hazard), Play-Doh, putty, or ‘stress’ balls that can be squidged and manipulated with little fingers.
A book. A picture book or one you read together can be great. You’ll even find some great stories for using the potty like this one on the ERIC bookshop.
A glitter jar or snow globe. You can make your own (it’s just a jar filled with water and glitter, and possibly some other small things that look interesting, with a lid screwed on tightly) or buy one. They are engaging without being over-stimulating and can also work like a timer to help your child learn to sit for a few minutes until the glitter has sunk down.
A favourite friend. A doll, small soft toy etc can be a great potty-time companion. Check these out if you want something potty-related.
Creating your potty area
Once you have chosen a suitable toy or book, you can create a designated potty area for your child and keep them there. We recommend putting together a basket with everything your child will need – a box of tissues or toilet roll, spare underpants, and the book/toy. A potty area like this provides privacy which many children crave.
What does your potty area look like? Send us a picture by sharing it on social media and tagging us
have you seen our other potty hacks?
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