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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Toddler Tricks - 64: Replace an Activity with an Activity

Problem: You want to do something fun with your children, but you know that it will be so fun that they'll pitch a fit leaving. A screaming exit is always embarrassing, and, of course, you want to avoid it at all costs. So, how can you do fun things with your kids without the inevitable breakdown?

Solution: Start a different activity at home first. For me, baking is the foolproof activity that will get the kids back home in one piece. For instance, yesterday, I wanted to take them to the park. I told them we would go to the park, but first I wanted to bake some cookies. They agreed and helped me with the cookies. We popped them into the oven while we found our shoes and coats. Then, right before we left, I took them out of the oven and let the girls see them. Of course, they wanted a cookie right away, but they were burning hot. I told them that we had to let the cookies that they helped to make (making them active participants and invested in the cookies more than they would be in some prepackaged sweet that I would promise in vain hopes of getting them to leave the park.) In this way, the cookies as an object and as a fun activity were stamped into the twins' minds.

When it was time to leave the park, they started to give me trouble. I was able to say, but our cookies at home are cooled now! They remembered that activity with fondness, and they remembered the smell of the cookies and how much they'd wanted the sweets before we left for the park to begin with. They were suddenly eager to get back home, and we left the park with the least amount of trouble I've ever had.

If you like this blog, please vote on Tales of an Unlikely Mother is number 18, just scroll down and click on the thumbs up! Thank you so, so much.


  1. Brilliant... i am speechless...

    you got my vote today for sure :)

  2. Thank you, Lynda! Most of these are just accidents that I try to write down for future purposeful use!



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