Screen-Free Activities to Keep Your Kid Busy While Potty Training

child sitting on a toilet with toilet paper in hand
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Once you know that your child is ready to potty train, one of the most important parts of potty training is making it worth it to “go” with activities for potty training.

This means not just rewards (which are useful, too), but also finding fun activities to keep your kid busy while they sit on the potty.

While a little extra screen time can be a fabulous motivator for your potty training toddler, it won’t work in every home or for every child. If you’re looking for screen-free activities to keep your toddler entertained and occupied on the toilet, look no further.

Here are ten easy and entertaining screen-free activities to keep your kid busy while potty training.

  1. Dry Erase Markers
    Hear me out. Make sure that the back and lid of the toilet is disinfected, and then let your child sit backwards. Give them a set of colorful dry erase markers and let them draw and color directly on the toilet itself. It will be extra exciting to your child because, obviously, we don’t typically get to draw on anything except paper. For potty training, some rules can fly out the window. Unleash their imagination and keep them occupied long enough to successfully “go!”
  2. Bubbles
    bubble wands in a rainbow of colorsThis one has double the bang for your buck. Bubbles are fun for every child of course, but did you know that blowing bubbles can help relax the pelvic floor? It’s true! If your child has anxiety around potty training, bubbles may just be the trick you need.
  3. Basketball in the Trash Can
    You can make this a fun potty training activity with multiple benefits. Of course, it will engage your potty trainee in a fun game while they sit, but you can also have them practice unrolling an appropriate amount of toilet paper to use when they eventually learn to wipe themselves clean. Repeating the process of getting the right amount of TP over and over will help cement the habit for later.
  4. Play Doh/Sensory Play
    Get a small, lap-sized tray for your child to use for any number of sensory activities while they sit on the potty. They can use modeling clay, kinetic sand, slime, or any of their favorite sensory games.
  5. Potty Only Books and Games
    This one is a no-brainer, but as far as screen-free activities for your potty trainee, it’s also a classic. Grab some new-to-you books, games, or toys that are reserved exclusively for sitting on the toilet. You can raid the dollar store toy aisle, the thrift store, or Amazon, but don’t feel like you need to spend a million dollars on activities. Find them on the cheap and as long as they are new for your child, they’ll exciting and fresh motivation for your child.
  6. Eye Spy
    Engage your toddler in a game of Eye Spy. Take turns “spying” things in and around the bathroom or practice identifying and labeling colors, all while keeping your potty trainee distracted and relaxed on the toilet.
  7. Food Coloring Science
    What kid doesn’t love a science experiment? Drop a couple of drops of blue or red food coloring into the toilet water. Your child’s job is to provide the yellow to blend the colors to make something new. I can’t think of better motivation to “go” than science!
  8. Shower Curtain Puppet Show
    When your child is really hard to entertain and you need to level up your potty training game, you and your child can make sock puppets together and use them to put on a puppet show with the shower curtain as your stage. Hand and finger puppets are great, but your toddler will be dazzled and amused to see their very own puppet come to life during a show as they sit on the potty.
  9. Splash in a Water Bin
    Fill up a small bin with lukewarm water; if you’re feeling extra fun, you can put some color in the water or bubbles. Let your child kick around and splash in the water at their feet (be prepared to wipe up any spills. It’s just water!). Anecdotal evidence supports the old sleepover prank of dunking hands or feet in water to cause you to urinate. There is no hard data to back up the anecdotes, but it’s fun, harmless, and just might help your little one “go.”
  10. Target Practice
    Nerf targetFor those moms who are a little wild and crazy, you can set up target practice for your child in the bathroom. There are a few ways to go about it, but my favorite is to use a little chalk or dry erase marker (depending on the materials available in your bathroom for drawing on), and give your child either a small water pistol or a Nerf gun to targets on the walls. You can keep it purely entertaining and draw small monsters or bugs, or make it educational and draw letters and numbers. Then, let your little one have at it! Just wipe away the targets when you’re done!

Do you have creative activities to keep your child busy while potty training? Share them with other moms! We’d love to see more fun screen-free activities to keep your kids busy while potty training in the comments.

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Mary Vaughn
Mary is an Army wife of 7 years, mother to three wild boys, and owner of a small business helping other moms as a sleep consultant and potty training coach (yes- it is a thing!) called Mother Together. She is originally from Gettysburg, PA, has an undergraduate degree in education from American University in Washington, DC, and taught middle school before following love into the adventure that is a military marriage. Mary proudly considers herself the millennial everymom: rocks the side part, overuses the laugh crying emoji, looks forward to a daily glass of wine, and will probably be buried in skinny jeans. Her hobbies and interests include exploring local businesses and restaurants, camping when the weather is just right, knitting, coffee, and casual amounts of moderate exercise to create balance to her love of cooking. Mary is perpetually seeking new binge-worthy shows and audiobooks, so feel free to connect and share your interests!