Friday, April 5, 2013

Help Your Kids "Go" with these Potty Training Incentives

I am a firm believer that if you want someone to do something you need to give them incentive. It doesn't have to be anything big maybe a compliment or a certificate or maybe it is something monetarily valuable. I say it all the time at work. I bet my co-workers are sick of hearing me! 

So it's no surprise that I decided to take this approach when it was time to start thinking about potty training my toddler. To help Dante want to "go" I created a potty chart out of blue poster board. 





































Being artistically challenged but still having the desire to make the chart look sorta fun I cut out Thomas the Train images from the train set he got for Christmas. I had outhouse stickers from a scrap booking set that Dante was more than happy to randomly stick on the board. I added images of some of Dante's favorite things so he could visually see what he was going to get if he "went." It's nothing fancy but it works. 

To help him get the idea of "go potty, get enough stickers to get a prize" I started him off with only having to get two stickers to get a prize. The next one was two stars as well then I upped it to three stars, then five, eight and then ten. I figured months may go by before he got ten stars and the idea of the incentive would be lost that's why I started him off low.

Here are the prizes that I am giving Dante. You have to use what works for your child but here are some suggestions: 


Money in the piggy bank In order for Dante to get the gist of incentive I knew I had to hook with something that he REALLY likes at his first prize. And although he really doesn't understand the concept of what money is all about he truly loves putting the money in his piggy bank. I started out with a $1 bill to really get him excited! He loved it! Because it is a favorite this prize will be repeated throughout the chart but next time he'll get quarters and I will probably up it to $1.50 just so he can have more coins to play with.

Books One of Dante's favorite things are books which I am thrilled over being a reader and a writer. I went out and bought him a gorgeous Curious George book that has eight stories in it. It's a hardback book with beautiful illustrations. It was about  $10. If that's too expensive $1 store books work too. This two is on the chart twice.

Slinky This was a dollar store find. It's plastic so that it won't pinch his fingers (do they even make the metal ones any more?) and it's rainbow colors. He went crazy for it was he earned it. The only thing I didn't like was that he's only 2 1/2 and he wanted to nothing but play on the stairs. Hmm....something to think about before you buy it for your little one.

Toys He'll be getting another fairly large toy fun toy the third time he achieves five stars. I am not sure what he'll be getting yet. I have a gift certificate to Toys 'R Us I am itching to use. Maybe it will be an outdoor toy since nice weather is coming up. TBD.

Huge lollipop I'll be the first to admit that I don't really like to give Dante too much sugar. On a normal day he has enough energy to convince me that he had a pot of coffee when I wasn't looking! But I decided to put that rule aside and let him have a HUGE lollipop in the shape of Mickey Mouse. It had to big to seem exciting because he gets the small Dum-Dum lollipops on a regular basis so it couldn't be the same old same old. It was a success! He sat on the couch for an hour quiet as a mouse.

Day out Being that we are always on the go this one is going to be hard. I have a while to worry about it because it's the last one on the chart and we're only half way there. I am thinking a kid centered amusement park since it will more than likely happen during the summer when the parks are open. Dutch Wonderland, Storybook Land or Sesame Place maybe? Either way, it will be all about Dante and we'll make a day to remember. 

Bonus tips. Here a few additional ideas that aren't on my chart:
  • M&M's after every successful trip to the potty (thanks to my friend Brenda for this one!)
  • Balloons. Take your child to let them pick out a balloon on their own or buy a small pump at WalMart along with a small bag of colorful balloons and do it yourself. The activity of blowing them might be half of the fun for your child. (please big careful with little ones. This could be a choking hazard!)
  • Colorful underwear they pick out themselves. Get their favorite character maybe? Or their favorite design like trains, rainbows or something like that.
  • A basket full of dollar store treasures. Each time they go they get to pick their own prize. I think I may try this after we finish the potty chart if Dante still needs incentive to keep "going."    
Dante's potty training success update: As of today, April 5, Dante has gotten up to the second of four "five stars." His last reward was the big lollipop that I mentioned. He got this on Wednesday and has since earned another star toward his next prize! He's doing really well. And I might add that we are having more success going number "two!" Good job Dante!

What rewards have you used when potty training?






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