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How to Do Potty Time / Bathroom Breaks in Preschool

Updated on February 9, 2014

What to do about Squirmy Kids

First of all, let me say that kids should be allowed to be squirmy; I am not saying that I am suppressing the wiggles.

However, transitions can be controlled and turned into teachable moments so no time is wasted. I want to show you how I do potty time / bathroom breaks in my daycare preschool class.

I think that my way is better than having kids just stand in line waiting. I don't think many people would argue with that, but I bet some of you might like some ideas. This Hub is for you! :)

Look How Studious!

The Answer Is...

Sit-Ons and Books!

Spread Sit-Ons around the room and make sure they have enough space between them that the kids can read independently.

What is a Sit-On?? I use foam animal faces that are just the right size for a 3-year-old's bottom, but you could use anything really. Here are some suggestions: pillows, carpet squares, small stools, mats... even masking tape spots would work.

[Before starting this initiative, you have to explain the procedure to the kids and even have them rehearse it. See my Tattle Monster hub for more information about procedures and a fun tattling solution. I needed to emphasize not moving the sit-ons once I put them on the floor.]

If you can differentiate your Sit-Ons in some way (color, different animal, different letters, etc), that would be ideal. I use three different groups of them: 4 Green Frogs, 4 Purple Flowers, and 3 Pink Butterflies. Numbers are obviously different every day, as I have a different number of students every day since it's a daycare. I put all the Green Frogs together, Flowers together, etc...

After they're all on the floor, I call on students to choose a book from the shelf and then sit on a _______ [Green Frog, Purple Flower, Pink Butterfly]. When I tell my kids which one to sit on, I do so very intentionally, seating the chattiest in separate groups.

Then while they're all reading quietly, I call 2 at a time to use the bathroom. In this way, I can sit by the bathroom and help those who need help (since some of them are still potty training) while everyone else is busy. I even have a checklist so I can make sure everyone has gone.

When we're all done, I have kids put their own Sit-Ons and books away and they love doing this. Next, I read a story to the group while we wait for lunch to come in.

I think it works out quite nicely. Give it a shot! :)


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