Fun & Free Potty Chart!

I remember the days of potty training. It’s messy and there are days when you just want to take a cue from your toddler and have a good old-fashioned whining fit. Like so many childhood phases, it seems so much longer while you’re in the midst of it and soon enough you’ll be wondering where the time went.

For those of you who are in the thick of it, a few bits of goodness & something fun from a seasoned mom…

Some kids seem to just “get it” right off the bat. If they don’t, remember- It’s OK. You’re doing a great job. Breathe. This chart is going to help, or at least make you laugh so hard you’ll feel better just for the attempt.

My 3 kids were born fairly close together and the complexity level of anything increases exponentially when there are multiple small children running/being carried around. This chart worked well for them- (and for me!) not only to see their progress but the visual correlation between the drawing/coloring in the diagram seemed to make it “click” for at least one of my monkeys.

Yes. I'm completely serious.

How it works:

  1. When your little trainer sits on the potty, give them a sticker to put on the tank of the toilet image. Even if nothing happens- it’s for the attempt. Go kid, Go!
  2. If they happen to pee in the potty while they’re sitting there- let them color the bowl in yellow.
  3. I had originally made “poop” stickers to go in the bowl, and actually now that I remember how darn cute & ridiculous  they were, I might just have to get some printed and sell this as a kit on Etsy, but a brown marker works just as well. (plus some kids are amused at drawing the poo shapes, and Poo-casso jokes. hahahah)

I’ve got 3 versions of the chart I am giving to teh internets to share and be used. Print them for your kiddos, your friends etc. Just don’t be a jerk and try to make money off them- k?

Chart 1 – “First Steps”  3 potties/page (let them get used to the idea)

Chart 2 – “Getting There” 10 potties/page (great for, hey if you fill in the whole chart we’ll <insert bribe* here>)

Chart 3 – “All Aboard the Potty Train” A week’s worth of potties (3/day, you could always add another sheet below tucked underneath)

*(A word on bribes- rather than “stuff” like toys or food, try something like special trips/time/projects with Mommy or Daddy. What do you want them to value?)

So please, share with your friends, in the least they’ll get a big kick out of it. My son Wyatt and I wrote an adorable book at the time called “Plip, Plop, Splash!” about the joy & frustration of potty training- and it’s hysterical. I just need to illustrate it. (Maybe now that they’re all “big” I could start doing that…) If I do- you’ll see it here!!

(@yaheesplace – enjoy & good luck!!)

I’m back!

Not like I was doing much while I was gone- let’s see- I moved, spent the fourth of July on the White House Lawn, and just got back from a balloon fashion show in Las Vegas, you know- the usual!  I’ll fill in the details shortly- but in honor of taking out my Singer for the first time in about 6 months, I felt inspired to blog!

Chloe wanted some snuggly dollys for her bed (it’s been awhile since she’s slept the whole night through, and yes, I will stoop to bribery) So I promised her we’d make some dolls for her bed. Now it’s turned into making mermaids for her and her little friend Morgan. I’ve spent most of the late spring/summer in perpetual motion- maybe this is a sign that I’m actually settled in a bit!

I promise I’ll write more about what I’ve been up to and blog more often again, but if you truly can’t wait for some of the recent details- go check out Larry Moss’s blog, over at www.airigami.com. While you’re there you can read about what we’ll be up to in September for Artprize in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

I think diagrams are cool.

I can’t help it, there’s nothing like instantly understandable information. BAM! You learned something and didn’t even mean to, it’s like guerrilla education. Anyhoo- the kids and I made time lines this morning FOR FUN.

So here’s the long story of how we hopped aboard this train of thought. We were doing a giant 50 state floor puzzle, and Wyatt was putting in the Kentucky piece and he says “Hey! That’s where Abe Lincoln was born!?!” I wasn’t so sure, I’d always remembered Lincoln and Illinois ( or at least remembered that was the state he represented in congress.) My trusty iphone made short work of  googling the answer, and Wy got a high-five for showing up his mom.

Then Aves busted out our copy of  Scholastic Encyclopedia Of The Presidents And Their Times. We started looking through the profiles of the different presidents, and since they’re early/emerging readers we spent alot of time looking at the pictures. We saw the changing flags, President’s birthdays/dates of death (god that sounds macabre lol) and used our GIANT CALCULATOR to figure out about how many years old they lived to be.

Source: Library of Congress (cph 3a44236)We  also saw this image of how slaves were packed into the cargo holds of ships which led to a discussion of how sometimes it takes alot of  hard work to change things that are wrong, because they might have been wrong for a long time. We ventured into civil rights, and women’s rights…It was just the sort of discussion I wish I could have more often with the kiddos, the kind where they take the lead.  This lets me be the mommy version of google, getting them the answers they’re looking for, which then lead to more questions and connections… I love that. That’s the mom I want to be.

So Avery was very excited to point out that Susan B. Anthony was one of those people who worked hard for change, and remembered we had just gotten an Easy Reader about her and ran over to the bookshelf to get it. It’s from a great little series of books on different historic American icons. It manages to paint a pretty good picture of her and her times though it didn’t mention anything about her work in the abolitionist movement. But hey it was 10 pages long and meant for first graders… I did like enjoy the list entitled “These were some of the ways life was unfair for women in those days.” The thought that women had to give their money to their husbands blew their minds, which was adorable to watch.

The last page of the book had a time line  about Susan B’s lifetime. She was born in 1820, died in 1906 and women didn’t earn the right to vote until 1920 (which, according to our giant calculator meant that she was 86 when she died, and women were able to vote 100 years after she was born). And then I got the brilliant idea that we could make time lines for things in our lives, so we found a ruler, some paper and a pencil or two and headed to the little table. Chloë’s time line was a span of years, Wyatt chose months- and Avery chose to go play legos. Birthdays seemed to be the most memorable date-related item, so they logged them on their charts.

It was really quite easy, I just showed them how to draw a line and mark off each inch for a unit of time. I think I’ll create and instruction sheet and a new section for projects on here. If I have the section maybe I’ll feel obligated to do fun stuff like that again more often and post more of them. <When it’s done I’ll insert the link here>