Turning Toilet Time into Playtime: A Fun Strategy for Overcoming Toilet Training Regression

Turning Toilet Time into Playtime: A Fun Strategy for Overcoming Toilet Training Regression

August 25, 2023
Posted by Rose Mengler

Toilet training is a significant milestone in a child’s development, marking their transition from diapers to using the toilet independently. However, setbacks can occur, and some children might experience regression even after successfully being toilet trained. One common challenge parents face is when a child develops a fear of doing a poo, leading to discomfort and anxiety during toilet time. In this blog, we’ll explore a creative and playful strategy to help children understand the process of using their muscles to pass stool, all while making toilet time enjoyable and fear-free.

*Understanding Toilet Regression*

Toilet regression can be frustrating for both parents and children. It’s essential to remember that regressive behaviours are a normal part of development and often arise due to various factors such as stress, changes in routine, or even a negative experience related to using the toilet. In cases where a child develops a fear of passing stool, it’s crucial to address the issue with patience and empathy.

*The Power of Playful Learning*

Children learn best when they are engaged in playful activities that capture their imagination. When facing toilet/potty regression, one effective approach is to transform toilet time into a fun and educational experience. By using simple props like bubbles and balloons, parents can help their children understand how their muscles work and make the process of passing stool less intimidating.

*Bubble Fun: Understanding Muscles*

Bubbles are a delightful way to introduce the concept of using muscles to accomplish tasks. Start by explaining to your child that our bodies have different muscles that help us do various things, just like how we use our leg muscles to run and jump. Blowing bubbles requires the muscles in our mouths to create air and blow it out. Relate this to the muscles in their tummy that help push out poop.

**Bubble Play**: During toilet time, bring along a bottle of bubbles. Before your child sits on the toilet, have them blow bubbles with you. As they blow, talk about the muscles they’re using and how it’s similar to the muscles they need to use to pass stool. This helps them associate a positive and familiar activity with the process.

*Balloon Adventure: Learning Pushing*

Balloons can be a fantastic visual aid to help children understand the concept of pushing. Explain to your child that when we want to blow up a balloon, we have to use our muscles to push air into it. This relates to how their tummy muscles need to work to push out poop.

**Balloon Play**: Keep a few balloons in the bathroom. After they finish their business, have them sit comfortably and blow up a balloon with you. Encourage them to use their tummy muscles to push the air into the balloon. This interactive activity not only makes toilet time enjoyable but also helps them feel more in control of their bodily functions.

*Positive Reinforcement and Patience*

As you implement this playful strategy, it’s important to offer lots of praise and positive reinforcement. Celebrate even the smallest efforts and accomplishments. Be patient and understanding if progress is slow; every step towards overcoming the fear of using the toilet is a victory.

*Rewards and Celebrations: Encouraging Progress*

In the journey to overcome toilet regression, the power of positive reinforcement cannot be overstated. Implement a reward system that celebrates your child’s efforts and achievements, both big and small. Offer praise, high-fives, and words of encouragement when they engage in the bubble-blowing and balloon-pushing activities during toilet time. Additionally, consider introducing a sticker chart or a small rewards box filled with their favourite stickers, small toys, or treats. For each successful toilet visit, let them choose a sticker to place on the chart or select a surprise from the rewards box. This creates an exciting incentive that not only reinforces their positive behaviour but also builds anticipation for toilet time. As your child conquers their fear and successfully completes a poo, make sure to have an extra-special reward in store. This could be a favourite activity, a playdate with friends, or a trip to the park. These rewards not only celebrate their achievement but also make them associate a sense of accomplishment and pride with using the toilet confidently.


Toilet regression is a common challenge that many parents face, but with creativity and patience, it can be successfully navigated. Transforming toilet time into a fun and educational experience using bubbles and balloons can help your child better understand the process of using muscles to pass stool. By making this process enjoyable and fear-free, you’ll be helping your child regain their confidence and independence in using the toilet. Remember, every child is different, so tailor this strategy to suit your child’s personality and preferences.

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