Potty Training for Active Families: Resources to Prepare, Survive and Reinforce+Giveaway!

{Fifth and final post in a series on potty training for active families}

We’re active.  Even when we’re not traveling somewhere, we’re off exploring our local area whether that’s just getting exercise through walking, hiking, and biking, getting things done around town, rooting for our favorite home teams, or participating in community events.  We like to get out.  

Because of this lively lifestyle that we love, visions of serious potty training terrified us.  Yes, we wanted so badly to be rid of the diapers.  However, the thought of being homebound for a even a few days or a weekend was paralyzing.  We dreaded it.  Those 3-day potty boot camps (as much as we wanted to be over with quick) just wouldn’t work for us. 

So we took our time and figured out an approach that worked for us and allowed us to continue our adventurous lifestyle with just a few changes.

For this last post in the series, I’m sharing resources galore, plus I’m giving away one of these great resources, so look for that at the end of the post!  From books, to games, to informative posts from my fellow outdoor and traveling bloggers, I hope to equip families with plenty information prepare, survive, and reinforce their potty training efforts.

Potty Training for Active Families: Resources to Prepare, Survive and Reinforce | WildTalesof.com


Based on my teaching, and more specifically literacy, background, it’s should be no surprise that I’m a fan of children’s literature.  I love picture books, but through my course work and hands-on experience in the classroom, I’ve also read enough to be a little picky.  Here are my favorite picks from my informal and unscientific public library research:

Picture Books

Time to Pee by Mo Willems

First off Mo Willems is one of my favorite new(er) children’s book authors, so when I heard that he had a potty training book, I just had to get my hands on it.  He didn’t disappoint me.  Time to Pee has his humor weaved throughout, and it’s message is straight forward, simple, and not too cutesy.  Little mice help him to give step by step instructions in a fun and encouraging way, and those steps are quick and easy to follow making this a book to read again and again. If you buy a copy (as opposed to checking it out of the library) it even comes with a success chart and stickers!

Zoo Poo by Richard Morgan

I love this book because Bergen (2.5 years old) loves this book!  He cracks up every time we read it together.  It tells the story of a little boy exploring the zoo, and noticing that all the animals go to the bathroom in their own special way.  At the end of course it shows how the boy goes #2 in his own special way: On the toilet. While Bergen hasn’t had this issue, I think it would be great for kids who may be reluctant to try #2 on the potty by adding a little humor and lightness to a possibly frightening or intimidating situation.  Tips are also included in the beginning and end.

I Have to Go by Robert Munsch

An oldie, but a definite goodie, possibly even a classic, this Robert Munsch book is hilarious.  I love that unlike so many other potty training stories that all take place at home, Munsch tells the story of a little boy navigating the potty world while out and about: in the car, playing outside in the snow, and visiting relatives.  Andrew always has to go at the “wrong time” after his parents have already asked him countless times (and he refuses).  The ending is sweet, and little ones may even learn a lesson from Andrew that it’s best just to try and go when you have the chance!

Potty Animals by Hope Vestergaard

More geared toward potty trainers who already have the basics down, Potty Animals is a great book for teaching kids bathroom etiquette.  Each little creature in the story has their own hang-up when it comes to pottying.  Examples include being messy, waiting too long, and forgetting to wash hands.  This book and a couple of the other resources have helped me not to feel like such a nag.  Instead of constantly lecturing Bergen, we can read one of these positively told books, and he gets the message. Like I Have to Go, I appreciate that the book shows kids out and about playing on the playground, at school, and on the bus illustrating that we do not need to be confined to the home to become an independent pottier.

Potty Training for Active Families: Resources to Prepare, Survive and Reinforce | WildTalesof.com

Parent Resource Books

Babes in the Woods by Jennifer Aist

Jennifer Aist’s book covers everything you need to know about camping, hiking, and boating with babies and young children.  Babes in the Woods is not only practical, but also encourages parents to continue (or even start) exploring in the outdoors even with the littlest of kids.  She has a great section on diapering and potty training, and offers easy solutions for what to do and how to handle all the “mess”.  I also love that she’s not just speaking from her own experience.  She gathers advice from friends and fellow adventurers to give a more comprehensive resource allowing us parents to choose what would work best for our situation.

Travels with Baby by Shelly Rivoli

Another amazing overall guide offering parents tips, tricks, and how-to’s for all kinds of travel with babies and young children.  Travels with Baby has a section specifically addressing travel with a potty trainer, and she also recommends great products that will help along the way.

[Articles from Fellow Active Families]

Below you’ll find posts from a few of my favorite bloggers.  Heading out on a specific type of adventure? Hopefully their stories and tips will come in handy.

Backpacking: Diapers and Potty Issues for Family Backpackers by Chasqui Mom

Rock Climbing: Potty Time at the Crag by Cragmama

Camping: Tips for Camping with a Potty Trainer by The Kid Project

Travel: Tips and Tricks for Potty Training on the Road by Walking on Travels


Let’s Potty! Potty Training Board Game

We recently received this board game to review on the blog.  I loved the idea of reinforcing Bergen’s potty training progress with a game, but I must admit I had my doubts. A board game? For a 2 year-old? Yes! A board game for a 2 year-old.  First off, it’s a perfect introduction to an activity (playing board games) that I hope our family enjoys for years to come.  Secondly, Bergen is hooked.  We’ve had the game for 4 days now, and each morning he’s wakes up requesting to play.  How can I refuse?

While patience, practice, and perseverance (oh, and waiting until he was really ready) got Bergen out of diapers and into underwear that stays dry all day, the Let’s Potty game has moved him toward independence.  Because of the game and it’s reminders, through the cards that are drawn for each person’s turn, he’s started taking care of all the other business like pulling his pants up and down, washing his hands, and closing the toilet seat.  He had the peeing and pooping down pat, now he’s moving on to more of the finer details.

The Let’s Potty game is simple, as a game for 2 to 4 year-olds should be, and now that Bergen has played about a half a dozen times, he can set it up by himself, and he knows the routine of drawing a card and following the directions accordingly.  Making it to the end of the toilet paper trail and celebrating has only gotten more exciting since the very first time we played!

Potty Training for Active Families: Resources to Prepare, Survive and Reinforce | WildTalesof.com

[Our First 4 posts]

Let’s Potty Giveaway!

  • Interested in winning the Let’s Potty board game for a potty trainer (past or future) in your life? Leave us a comment sharing where you are in the journey or a favorite tip or resource OR you can just say that you’d love to win!  The game is appropriate for ages 2 years+, and remember it’s great for those just introducing pottying, those in the thick of training, and for reinforcing potty behaviors and etiquette.
  • Giveaway (open to U.S. & Canadian residents) closes on Sunday, 8/3/14 at 11:59pm & I’ll announce the winner, chosen at random, on Monday, 8/4/14. Bonus entries for those who “like” Wild Tales of…” on facebook & follow on Instragram & Twitter. Let me know in your comment!

*This post contains affiliate links to our Amazon Store: Wild Tales of…Travel and Adventure Store.  Hop on over to see some of our favorite travel and outdoor gear.

Come join the conversation! We’d love to have you join us on all of our adventures by “liking” our facebook page and following us on twitter! You can also keep up to date with each and every post by subscribing to the blog via email.





17 thoughts on “Potty Training for Active Families: Resources to Prepare, Survive and Reinforce+Giveaway!

  1. Such fun tips! Would love to win the game. Just starting the potty training process but she already loves board games! Hopefully it will be a win-win!

    • Perfect! Good luck, Natasha! Would love to know your board game recommendations–was so surprised that B was so into them–so it would be fun to find a few more. 🙂

  2. We’d like to enter!

    Favorite books so far:

    Even Firefighters Go Potty

    Where’s the Poop?

    I have to track down the Zoo Poo book. You know how much Dylan loves the zoo!

    • Good luck, Alex! Thanks so much for those book recommendations–we will definitely look for those. That’s the 2nd rec I’ve heard for Where’s the Poop, so we’ll be on the look out. Yes, D would love Zoo Poo! 🙂

  3. Hi Kate! I’d love to win the board game (Idk if F will actually likes it but it looks cool)! You know that we’ve been “training” for years now, but one day, I think when F was about 2.5, something “clicks” and he said, “No diaper!” Since then, potty becomes SO much easier! F is almost 100% trained, on a good day 🙂 Most of the days he makes little accident in his training pants but as soon as he does so, he asks to potty/where the bathroom is. Overnight, he also wants to wear his undies so we’ve let him, he has a few accidents as well but we are prepared (we put waterproof bedsheet under his bed). Our fave potty book is “Potty” by Leslie Patricelli. Thanks for the lovely giveaway, I’m off now to read your other tips!

    • Thanks for entering, Mariska. Good Luck! I bet Finn would love it.
      Yup, I think something clicked with Bergen too in terms of being able to “hold it” and not just go whenever. Good for Finn for expressing all that! Hoping B will get to that point too with diapers at night.

  4. Would love to win! Isaac’s been making pretty good progress since Nora’s arrival…must have had something to do with associating diapers with babies and wanting to be a big boy. Or it might just be that he loves his Cars pull-ups! We still have a ways to go (he still often forgets to tell us he needs to poop before it’s too late), but at least he’s making it to the potty *most* of the time.

    • Thanks for entering, Robyn. Good luck! Great news on Isaac’s progress. The big boy underwear was huge for Bergen–loved being able to pick it out & also…”be like daddy” 🙂

  5. What fun this game would be for my children, nieces and nephews! A new approach to potty training.
    I’m going to look for the firefighter book suggested by Alex.

    • Thanks for entering, Martie. Good luck! Yes, before Gina (from Let’s Potty) contacted me, I had no idea there was a game…such a great idea & fun way to practice and talk about potty concepts.

  6. Val is only just becoming interested in potty training. Maybe a game will help him along! We’re in no rush, but I’m guessing it will happen in the next six months or so.

    • Thanks for entering, Jocelyn. Good luck!

      I think the game would be a great way to peak some interest–it’s also just a fun way to talk about all the habits that go along with pottying (pulling down pants, cleaning up, flushing, washing hands, etc.).

  7. We would love to win! Anything to help with this process. Benny was doing good for a bit but has completely lost interest…so we will try anything at this point!

  8. Pingback: Orcas Island’s Turtleback Mountain: Thankful for the Second Chance | Wild Tales of...

  9. Loved seeing these posts Kate :). Boy do I remember those days! Couldn’t leave the house without extra clothes, a plastic bag, and wipes :))
    Fortunately both boys were quick to train!

    • Thank you, Lara! Bet it’s fun to reminisce. Bergen is doing such a great job–happy that those uncertain times & accidents seem to be a thing of the past.

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