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Article:    Potty Training Videos, DVDs, & Books

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When it's potty time in your household, it definitely helps for young children to learn about "going potty" from a variety of sources. Videos and DVDs can help make the transition from diapers to the potty by showing real-life or animated characters doing the "deed". Similarly, incorporating potty-learning into children's favorite activities--like story time--can be very useful; that's where books about going potty come in handy.

Potty Time Videos and DVDs

Videos based on the classic Once Upon a Potty books by Alona Frankel are available, and they come in two versions (just like the books)--one for "her" and one for "him". These videos follow the stories of Prudence and Joshua, respectively. Although excellent, parents may be disappointed that the portions of the videos aimed at children are quite short. The rest of the videos are dedicated to parents, with suggestions for potty training. While these instructional segments are useful, parents need only see them once. 

Still, the story portion is useful, and the music video featuring the "Potty Song" that closes the animated story is wonderful. Featuring live-action video and a catchy tune, this little extra is special. Note: terminology used in the videos may be confusing to children who are used to different names for their body parts. Urine is referred to as "wee wee", for example. While parents can easily substitute their own terminology when they read their children the books, there's no escaping it in the video versions. 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Once Upon a Potty for Her or Once Upon a Potty for Him videos OR Once Upon a Potty for Him and Once Upon a Potty for Her (DVD)]

A musical and gentle exploration of using the potty can be found with popular characters from Bear in the Big Blue House. Bear in the Big Blue House: Potty Time with Bear features three potty songs (all of which are fun tunes). Parents hoping for an instructional video for their children may be disappointed with this video, however. Potty Time with Bear features a sweet story and is good for reinforcing the concept of potty, but videos like Once Upon a Potty are much more explicit about how kids go about doing it, and what they do once they get there.  

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Bear in the Big Blue House - Potty Time with Bear (VHS) or Bear in the Big Blue House - Potty Time with Bear (DVD)]

 

Potty Power by Thinkeroo is a very upbeat video/DVD that really gets kids thinking. It encourages children to be a "big kid" and use the potty, and explores issues surrounding potty training, such as "wiping your bottom" and "washing your hands" (both musical numbers!). The video literally asks viewers questions and, of course, answers them. This format is surprisingly refreshing, as children work their predictive skills and think about the answers. Potty Power is positive and encouraging, and is most appropriate for children learning to "go potty" ages 3 and up. (Once Upon a Potty, above, is more appropriate for children younger than 3). See our full review here.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Potty Power (VHS) or Potty Power (DVD)]

 

It's Potty Time from the Duke Family Series contains the catchiest potty tune we've ever heard. Live-action video is featured, but be aware that the children depicted using the potty are not toddlers or even two's, and they are using the toilet rather than a potty. This video is best for older kids who need help rather than younger beginners. It's a fun video for reinforcing going to the toilet, and features a real storyline revolving around preparations for a child's birthday party. The potty theme is a scream--a real gem. But the video may disappoint parents looking for a potty-training video for their kids who are actually learning to use a potty rather than the toilet. (Not available on DVD)

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: It's Potty Time video.]

 

Potty Time Books

 

The Potty Book For Girls and The Potty Book for Boys are not quite as concise as others (they may run a little long for young children with short attention spans), but we enthusiastically recommend them. The books star Hannah and Henry, respectively. These are pleasant books that show that "accidents" are bound to occur, but kids should just keep on trying. The stories are told in rhymes, and they follow the process of going potty in a step-by-step manner. The result is a thorough and enjoyable series.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: The Potty Book - For Girls or The Potty Book - For Boys books.]

A companion to the video mentioned above (or the other way around), Once Upon a Potty for Him and Once Upon a Potty for Her by Alona Frankel aims to teach kids not only the concept of going potty, but some of the mechanics (and products!) of the process. These books actually show "poop" in the potty (in illustrated format, that is) and give kids the message that "accidents happen". As noted above, the euphemisms used in these books are not going to appeal to every family. Fortunately, it's easy to substitute your own family's language choices when you're reading the book to your kids.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Once upon a Potty : Girl or Once upon a Potty : Boy books.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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April 2002/Updated October 2004
 

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