Monday, October 17, 2011

How To Make A Potty Training Book

(( Download this tutorial in PDF format here.))

Toddlers love reading books about themselves! This easy project may turn potty training into a fun activity. You can either read your potty book during playtime or keep it by the potty chair to read while your little one is going potty. Reading on the potty helps toddlers to relax, which is essential for helping them to be able to let go and do their business. If your toddler is nervous or overly-excited, they are probably clenching the muscles they need to relax in order to go potty. Reading their own personal potty book may help!



  • Poster Board
  • Writing and Illustrating Utensils/Materials
  • Scissors
  • Stapler and Staples
  • Glue
  • Construction Paper

STEP ONE: Plan out your potty book by page, writing out a rough draft of what will be written on each page. A good idea is to start with a page introducing the toddler, then explaining why getting the diaper changed is a bother. Continue to introduce the potty chair and include important technical aspects like the use of toilet paper, washing hands, wearing underwear, and so on and so forth. If you plan out what you are going to write on each page, you will know how many pages to cut out.

STEP TWO: Cut out the pages of your book from poster board. A good idea is to cut one page the desired size and use it as a template for the rest, to ensure that you cut the pages all the same size.

Poster board is great, you can usually buy it in packs at the store for only a few dollars. It is sturdy enough to handle most toddler roughage and I have found that it is even quite durable for painting on.

ALTERATION: You can cut two pages that are slightly larger than the rest for the front and back covers. It just adds a nice touch!

TIP: Use a board book that you already have as a template for your book pages so that you can get a perfect square and straight lines. Pick one that is the desired size and shape for you and your toddler.

STEP THREE: Label each page on the inside edge. You won't be able to see these labels once the book is put together, but it will help you to keep your pages organized. Keep in mind that when you label, for instance, "Page 1" on the left hand side of one page, you need to make sure you label "Page 2" on the same edge but on the reverse side.

STEP FOUR: First, write out the words for each page as you had planned in Step One. This will ensure that you have enough clear space for the writing without accidentally over-illustrating onto the space you would need for the words.

Once you have each page written out, you may begin to illustrate your book. It doesn't have to be fancy, it's just for your little one's eyes and education, not the museum of art! Be confident in yourself!

ALTERATION: Refuse to feel confident in your artistic ability? That's okay. No one's pressuring you. It's also a great idea to use photographs and just paste them onto the pages. Take the time to photograph your toddler in a way that illustrates what you have written and print them out on your computer or get actual prints from the store. Your toddler may even prefer seeing a photograph and may find it easier to recognize that it is him in the picture.

STEP FIVE: Stack your pages in the correct order when they are finished and dry, making sure that the left hand edges are all neatly lined up. Staple liberally along the left hand edge.

ALTERATION: Japanese stab binding is another very easy book binding method that you may prefer to use, as it is more visually appealing. I will make a tutorial for this in time, but for now here is a link to a decent tutorial:

STEP SIX: Cut a piece of construction paper the height of your book and wide enough that it could cover the staples on each side of the binding. This will make the book look nice and finished and will also eliminate the child "un-friendliness" of the staples.

First, line the strip of paper up on one side of the book and draw a thin line of glue along the edge of the book near the staples (on the side of the staples near the writing as shown in the picture) and apply the paper. Wait for it to dry completely, then fold it over the binding and repeat on the other side. You may want to hold it down beneath an old, heavy book. Allow to dry.

STEP SEVEN: Add any unique embellishments, decorations, or whatever you like to finish the book off. I like to round the corners of the book to make it more child friendly. You can add ribbons, stickers, glitter, anything fun. It's your toddler's own custom made book! So go crazy! But not too crazy. Don't add anything dangerous...

GOOD JOB! You just made a book for your child! You can't imagine the difference it makes!

I highly recommend this book, by the way! It's called "The No-Cry Potty Training Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley. I got it from the library because I took out every single book the library had to offer on potty training, and this one was by far the simplest, most practical, and most helpful in my opinion! Feel free to give it a try!


  1. this is such a great idea and i love your drawings!

  2. Thank you! I didn't spend much time on them at all. I simply drew the lines in with marker and colored them in with some very watered down paint!


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