Ideas for How to Make a Potty Training Chart

by Maggie McCormick

    A potty chart can be an ideal motivator for using the potty, according to the Mayo Clinic. Your child will enjoy putting stickers or stamps on whenever he uses the potty. The chart that you use largely depends on the amount of time you have to create one. You'll find the most success by designing a potty chart that fits your child.

    A simple piece of computer paper can work just fine for the potty chart, particularly if you're going to print one online or use a new one every week. Laminating it can allow you to use it more than one week, though, because you can erase any stamps or remove stickers, so that's a good idea if you want something less wasteful. For something a little more flashy, you could purchase poster board and create your own chart using markers and a ruler to make straight lines.

    The chart should feature your child's name in big letters so she knows it's for her. It can also be motivating to have favorite characters, animals or colors on the chart to make it more personal. Many stick with simple boxes for each reward, and some make note of the day, so that your child can track how many times she uses the potty in a day. Another idea is to make each box another step toward reaching a goal. You might start with a picture of a bunny at the beginning and a picture of a carrot at the end. Your child knows that the bunny wants the carrot and each sticker you place on the chart gets the bunny closer to its goal.

    Potty charts can reward children for simply sitting on the potty, successfully using the potty or both. If you're going to use both, you need a clear visual for your child to understand because most children this age are unable to read. You might show a picture of your child sitting on the potty to reward that. A "success" picture could be an actual picture of the contents of the potty, which children might find fascinating, or a picture of your child cheering, which is less crass.

    You'll need to decide on the way to mark potty usage. Stickers are a popular choice and you can easily -- and cheaply -- purchase a book that has more than 1,000 stickers for him to choose from. Alternatively, you could use a small stamp, which your child might enjoy doing, or draw a star or smiley face in the box. If you're using a reusable chart, use white board markers that will easily wipe off.

    About the Author

    Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.

    Photo Credits

    • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images