It’s not always easy getting a toddler to cooperate in the morning. If you regularly hear your little one say, “No!” when you’re getting him ready for the day, you’re not alone. Toddlers are all about testing limits. That’s why it’s a good idea to turn your tot’s morning routine into a series of games if you want to stay on schedule.
One way to get your kiddo to agree to get dressed rather than run away from you is to propose a speed-dressing contest. You might say, “Let’s see how fast we can get you into your clothes!”– and set an egg timer to see if you can beat a certain time. Another idea is to work with your child’s urges to run around rather than against them by coming up with some games that involve jumping and running. As HealthyChildren.org points out, running and jumping will help strengthen his body and help his coordination. So help your kiddo put on his shirt, and then tell him to jump up and down until you say stop. Next, get on those pants — and tell him to run in a circle until you give him the word. Do the same with his socks, shoes and sweater.
Most likely your kiddo would rather race his car around the kitchen floor than sit down for breakfast. That’s why you might need to go the extra mile to make his first meal fun. Create a funny face on his waffle with fresh fruit. Then challenge him to first eat only blueberry halves, and then just strawberries slices, and then the banana slices, and so on. Or try involving his favorite toy by saying, “Let’s feed Mr. Bear, too.” After your tyke takes a bite, offer one to his fluffy friend. The AskDrSears website suggests using cookie cutters to make fun, pancake shapes. Try quizzing your cutie by saying, “Can you eat the star-shaped pancake first?”
It’s important for toddlers to brush their teeth twice daily, according to KidsHealth.org. So even if your kiddo resists this part of the morning routine, insist that he clean his chompers properly. One way to make dental care fun is to orchestrate a game of “freeze brushing.” Sing your tot’s favorite song while he brushes, whether it’s “You Are My Sunshine” or “Ten in a Bed.” Explain that when you stop singing, he should freeze his brush on those mini pearly whites. Continue this until you’re convinced he’s brushed thoroughly.
If you’re in the midst of potty training your little one, she might resist having to sit on the potty in the morning. If so, try making it fun. Take turns coming up with silly potty songs using the melodies of your kiddo’s favorite nursery rhymes while she sits on the potty. Don’t worry; no one else is listening! Another idea is to offer your tot a sticker if she tries to use the potty. Finally, why not hold a funny face contest with your cutie while she tries to go?