Long before your child may be ready for potty training there are some important concepts that they should learn! These concepts include learning the difference between wet and dry, dirty and clean, front and back.
Teaching your child to count can be a useful way to measure time for your young child (eg. let's wash our hands until we count to 5). It is also helpful when encouraging your child to learn to sit down and you can slowly increase the number that you count to (slowly increasing their attention). When your child is ready to use toilet paper on their own, counting is helpful so they know the number of squares they can use (and to avoid whole rolls of toilet paper in the toilet)!
It is also really important to teach your child about their own bodies...naming each body part correctly and finding where it is on themselves. This body schema helps with gross, fine and visual spatial awareness as well as body safety. They can learn about "private parts" that they don't show other people and be aware that others do not touch their private parts (and they don't touch others). This does not need to be in a fearful way but should be taught naturally and may be built on as your child matures. There are lots of great books that teach older children about body safety including "Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept".
TEACHING WET AND DRY through everyday opportunities and play situations.
TEACHING DIRTY AND CLEAN through everyday opportunities and play situations.
TEACHING FRONT AND BACK through everyday opportunities and play situations.
Teaching front and back is important when it is time to teach your child to wipe their bottoms independently.
Use various items you have around your home to teach front and back, such as stuffed toys, books, toy planes and cars, CDs and even tins of food! (see photo)
TEACHING TO COUNT through everyday opportunities and play situations.
It is best to use physical objects or actions when teaching young children to count.
TEACHING BODY AWARENESS through everyday opportunities and play situations.
This article is part of “Functional Skills for Kids: 12 month series by Paediatric Occupational and Physical Therapists”. You can read all of the childhood functionsHERE. Read all Your Kids OT’s monthly posts HERE.
Find more information about “Potty training”, stop by to see what other Occupational and Physical Therapists participating in the “Functional Skills for Kids series” have written:
Potty Training Readiness: 10 Signs It’s Time to Ditch the Diapers | Mama OT
Potty Training, Toileting and Fine Motor Considerations | The Inspired Treehouse
Gross Motor Skills and Toilet Training | Your Therapy Source
Toileting and Sensory Processing | Miss Jaime OT
Potty Training with Attention and Behavior Problems | Sugar Aunts
Modifications For Potty Training | Therapy Fun Zone
Preparing Your Child & Environment for Potty Training | Growing Hands-On Kids
Potty Training Instruction Tips |Kids Play Space
Teaching Concepts for Potty Training Through Play |Your Kids OT
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Hi, I'm Cindy and I am an Occupational Therapist. I enjoy working creatively with children to see them reach their potential. Read more about me here.
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Disclaimer: The information on this site is general in nature and should be used for educational and entertainment purposes. The activities are safe for most children, however, you should consult an Occupational Therapist or health professional to address specific movement, sensory or other medical conditions. This blog does not replace formal therapeutic professional advice given by a health professional or medical practitioner. Reviews and endorsements of products will only be made based on my expertise and personal opinion; and deemed worthy of such endorsement. The opinions shared in sponsored content will always be my own and not that of the advertising company or brand. Content, advertising space or posts will be clearly identified if paid, affiliated or sponsored. Affiliate links may be found throughout this website in advertising. This means that if you follow through with a purchase from these links, Your Kids OT will receive a percentage of the sale. Your Kids OT undertakes to meet the requirements of the "Social Media Policy" as published by Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Further information about this policy can be found here.
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