How to Make Toddler Routines Fun

From the moment babies crawl, then walk, then run, they crave independence and control over their own selves.  I really want to offer choices, but worry about the ones they make.  Luckily, there is a way to make toddler routines fun with the limited choice game.  Best of all they each give your toddler a say. 

Bath Time

We once shared an frugal coupon living tip about giving your child options when it’s time to take a bath.  The options were not whether or when to get into the bathtub.  The choice was how to go to the bathtub: skip or walk backwards.  An activity that is boring to your child became a fun game.  This great approach can also work with lots of activities your toddler argues over.  Read on for ideas on how to make toddler routines fun with the limited choice game.

Dressing

Sure, it’s easier to just pick the clothes and put them on your toddler.  Do toddlers even care about choosing their own clothes? Absolutely!  Creating a Manine Montessori dressing area and avoid tearful arguments.  Create a dressing area where the mirror is low enough for your toddler to see themselves.  Add a chair just their size, and a small clothing rack with a few shelves to start. 

Montessori Dressing Area with Limited Choices

Instead of moving their entire wardrobe, put a couple of interchangeable tops and bottoms on the shelves within reach. Your munchkin can choose their outfit from your limited choices so its seasonal appropriate.  Be ready to help at first, but show them how to put on their own clothes.  When they’re ready, congratulate them on how fast they dressed or how well they chose their outfit for the day.  Then congratulate yourself because you’re becoming a superstar on how to make toddler routines fun.

Eating Routines

Cooperation begins with engagement.  Keep your freezer full of options, and then ask your cherub to choose between two of them.  If you plan ahead, they can even “help” to package portions for the week.  When you notice them leaning toward low health food, like mac n cheese supplementing the mac n cheese with veggies on top.  And while your toddler is still learning to eat healthy, don’t forget to include Sammy’s Milk in the diet.  This makes sure their nutritional needs are met, even when they don’t make the healthiest choice.

Napping Toddler Routines

Your toddler may not need as many naps as they did when younger, but sometimes even one daily nap seems to build into a battleground.  Toddlers want to see everything and go everywhere.  No wonder nap time seems like a waste to them.  But knowing they are interested in everything is the first clue to what adjustments to make.  Develop a routine so naptime is at the same general time each day.  Put away distracting toys and decorations in the room where they nap.  Keep the light and noise level low.  If you know your child calms to a certain song, play it softly to help them relax and sleep.  Then add in the limited choice game.  If there is a favorite blanky and stuffed animal, give your child a choice between two blankets and two stuffed animals in bed with them.  Let your child know blanky or stuffed animal is waiting in their bed.

Toilet Training

Making toddler routines fun even toilet training
Making Toilet Training Fun

Your child is interested in wearing “big-kid” underwear and It’s time to begin toilet training.  With that said, are you ready?  Because you will need to prepare the potty area in the bathroom or the area where your child spends the majority of time.  You’ll need to schedule potty breaks into the established routine, and you’ll get to the potty FAST as needed.  But you can still make toddler routines fun even during potty time.  Applaud for potty completion or issue stickers for each on time success. Admire those adorable big kid pants and give a limited choice of unicorn toilet paper or the one with puppies but only when using their potty. 

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