Monday, November 5, 2007

Potty Learning Adventures - Books, DVD's and Dolls

This week we've been busy with potty learning. It's been an adventure - especially since pretending the potty is a hat is the funniest thing ever around here. One would think that since Arielle is my third child, this would be easy. Ha! Elfie was bribed with ruffled underpants and never had an accident because she didn't want to mess them up. Merlin just needed a guy to show him how to pee standing up. But, Arielle... well, she wants to do it her own way.

My biggest mommy challenge has been keeping her on the potty long enough for something to happen. Fortunately, Arielle loves nothing better than a good book, and there are some excellent potty stories out there. While not exactly toys, I think books fall under the scope of this blog and this gives me an excuse to ramble about them.

We started off with rather conventional books like Big Girls Use the Potty! ( or Big Boys Use the Potty!), First Experiences: It's Potty Time (First Experiences), Once Upon a Potty -- Girl ( also available in Once Upon a Potty -- Boy) and A Potty for Me!: A Lift-the-Flap Instruction Manual. These books are useful because they convey the basics of what needs to be done; however, as stories, they are boring. We like storie with a sense of humor - even potty humor. Here are my picks for your bathroom library.

Sam's Potty - ($4.91) This is part of the Sam series by Barbro Lindgren that was originally published in Swedish. My older kids loved the Sam books, but Amazon reviewers claim they aren't very politically correct. Sam's potty isn't very educational. Sam doesn't want to use the potty and tries to get Doggie to use it for him. Doggie doesn't sit on the potty very well, so Sam shows him how it is done. The illustrations are hilarious and Arielle thought Doggie on the potty was just so funny.

Zoo Poo - ($5.95) The main point is that all animals poop, but children can use the potty. It's pretty silly and made Arielle laugh.

Where's the Poop? - ($8.99) This is another book about animal poop. In each illustration, there are three flaps. The parent animal always asks the child if they pooped today, and the reader has to find the poop. The poop is always in the same place, indicating that there is an appropriate place for poop. The final illustration, shows a child using the toilet. Arielle loved the flaps, and seeing the penguin poop made her day.

Everyone Poops - ($4.96) This Japanese book explains that "everyone eats, so everyone poops". The illustrations aren't particularly great, nor is the text especially enlightening, yet all my children loved this book and giggled like crazy at "A one hump camel makes a one hump poop. And a two hump camel makes a two hump poop." Maybe it's just me that doesn't get it.

Time to Pee! - ($7.25) This book I get, and love. Mo Willems is the award-winning author of the wonderful Knufflebunny and Pigeon books and a writer for Sesame Street. It features children going potty accompanied by swarms of mice that carry signs reminding children to flush, wipe and wash hands. It's instructional and plain silly. It also come with reward stickers.

The Story of the Little Mole Who Went in Search of Whodunit - ($10.71) Poor mole! He leaves his hole one morning, and Splat! a poop lands on his head. So he goes in search of Whodunit. It is too funny, although maybe not so polite. If you just get one of these books, this should be the one. Both Arielle and I love it.

I also encourage Arielle to sit on her potty and watch her DVD's. We suggest the following.

Sesame Street - Elmo's Potty Time ($9.99) - Every one's favorite furry red monster explains using the potty, and Curly Bear (Baby Bears younger sister) makes her first poop in the potty. There are also segments about hand washing, growing up, and giant gorillas. Arielle loves Elmo and I love Sesame Street, so this appealed to me. I can't count how many times we've watched this and it is perfectly oriented towards two- and three-year olds.

Once Upon a Potty For Her ( 0r Once Upon a Potty For Him) - ($12.99) This got some poor reviews on Amazon, but both Arielle and Linnea enjoyed it. It's basically the book with a song about going potty. Linnea was bouncing up and down and clapping to the song and Arielle asked to watch it three times in a row. I could see the song driving me batty if we watched it every day, but if it gets my girls on the potty, I'm all for it.

We also received the Once Upon a Potty Doll ($16.99). The doll isn't of great quality and looks better in the picture, but Arielle doesn't care. The doll is somewhat anatomically correct and comes dressed in a removable diaper and t-shirt and with her own mini potty. Arielle has been teaching the doll to use the potty all day. The doll is made in China.

Corolle also makes a potty training doll. Emma ($34.95 or Paul) is a drink and wet doll that comes with a bottle, pacifier, potty, diaper and underpants. This vinyl doll can also be played with in the bathtub and meets European safety standards.

All too soon, it will be Linnea's turn.

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