35 Best Non-Food Rewards for Potty Training: Plus FREE printable

Non-food rewards for potty training: As your child starts potty training (which can be a tough new skill to master!), you may be wondering how on earth to get started and keep the motivation going – don’t worry, we’ve got you!!

What you’ll find in this article are realistic potty training tips, tricks and non-food rewards that really work. We’ve also included a FREE downloadable potty training reward chart and links to all of our fantastic potty training resources! These tips are taken from my own experience with Freddie and Delilah, as well as health professional help given to myself & other mum (mom) friends.

Dive in – and don’t forget to comment with any of your own tips & tricks at the bottom of this article! 

Table of Contents

Why NOT To Use Food As A Reward For Potty Training:

I have never encountered a child who does not enjoy sweets, particularly candy. While they can act as positive reinforcement for a child to perform a desired positive behavior, such as urinating in the potty, they can also have long-term detrimental effects for their general relationship with food.

One of the main reasons why sweet food and potty training should be kept separate is to protect a child’s intuitive feeding ability. When sweets are used as a reward, it instils in a child the belief that these food treats must be earned through certain activities.

boy on potty, mum helping

35 Non-Food Rewards for Potty Training:

1. Simple Praise

Children respond to simple things, so keep your praise as straightforward as possible. There’s no need to put money into their college fund every time they use the restroom; applauding, dancing, or squealing with excitement would suffice.

2. Sticker Chart

Nothing excites a small child more than selecting a sticker and putting it on their chart – this is my favourite type of potty training reward – it’s cheap and so simple. Seeing those stickers add up over time is a terrific visual reminder of how well they’re doing!

3. Training Pants With Fun Prints

Kids are more likely to wear training pants/nappies/diapers because of the colourful designs. I reassure my son by telling him that we want Elsa and Anna to stay dry!

4. The Happiness Jar

Place some of your child’s favourite activities written on a scrap of paper in a jar, such as a successful trip to the zoo or finger painting in the garage. Allow your child to choose from the jar when they use the potty and reward them with whatever activity they choose.

5. Money

Put coins in a jar or a piggy bank. Keep a little supply on hand and give one to your kid every time they go potty.

6. Stamp It!

Each time your child potties (is that a word? It is now!) successfully, she/he will receive a super-cool stamp! A mess-free option to reward with stamps is to use markers with stamps on one end. Because toddlers’ long-term memories aren’t very good…;0) this rapid reward is ideal for them.

BONUS: If your child remembers to wash his hands without being reminded by his parents, he will receive TWO stamps!

7. Books

The use of books in the bathroom is beneficial for a variety of reasons. For starters, reading on the toilet keeps your child occupied – Hansel and Gretel are more entertaining than looking at the wall. Books can also help kids get used to the idea of going to the restroom. Keep a stack of potty books on hand and only use them when it’s time to go (kind of like bedtime books, keep them for that certain time only)

8. Potty Prizes

babybjorn seat

If candy isn’t your thing, make a toilet prize box with things from the dollar store. Your toddler receives a new (small, inexpensive) toy to play with every time he pees or poops on the potty.

Alternatively, as an incentive for earning stickers on their sticker chart, give larger rewards. If they use the potty all week, kids could get to pick out a small toy in the store on the weekend.

9. Change The Colour Of The Water

Allow your toddler to sprinkle a few drops of food colouring into the toilet water to “magically” change the colour. Obviously, this reward should be supervised by an adult.

10. Potty Doll

The purpose of potty dolls is for them to demonstrate the actions of drinking and weeing – they’re quite fun. Purchasing one for your child will help them understand the idea of urine. Encourage your toddler to teach their doll how to use the toilet; they will learn by doing

11. Blow Some Bubbles

What kid doesn’t love bubbles? It’s a fun and simple activity you can do inside OR outside the house. Choose bubble containers with your child’s favorite characters — make it a fun celebration!

12. Celebrate In The Evenings

Each day your child stays dry, use the evening to celebrate their success. You might take them to the park or out for a swim. Make sure they understand why they’re being rewarded.

13. Add Personal Decorations

Using rewards for potty training

Allow your youngster to personalise his “potty zone” at the end of a good potty training day. You can use stickers on the potty seat, removable stickers on walls, bluetack pictures to walls etc. In any case, let your child know that as he progresses with toilet training, he will be able to assist in the creation of a “personal potty environment” that will make future potty visits even more enjoyable!

14. Start With Water Pistols!

Keep squirt guns in the bathroom for your toddler to squirt coloured water into the toilet if he or she is still hesitant about starting the potty training experience. You may even include some fruit rings cereal (or something cereal) to use as squirt gun targets! Little boys can even try and hit the targets with their own wee!

15. Bring A Friend

If your child has a special connection to a toy, a doll, or a blanket, get it to assist you. This extra acquaintance provides some children with the security they require. So, it’s time for teddy to join your toddler in the bathroom!

16. Big Kid Undies

potty training day 1

Allowing your toddler to choose their own underwear is a terrific motivator, even if they aren’t entirely potty trained and ready to wear big child underwear on a daily basis.

When it’s time to start toilet training, take your toddler to the store and let them pick out a few new pairs of underwear with their favourite characters or colours.

They can even begin their potty training journey by putting their underwear over their diaper to encourage them to start. Then, as they toilet train, let them choose which pair they’ll wear each day.

17. Screen Time

While excessive screen time is harmful to toddlers, utilising a small amount of screen time as a reward is a great way to keep your potty trainee motivated.

Allow them to view one of their favourite videos or play a little instructive game after they’ve used the restroom. Set a timer for the amount of screen time they have accumulated. Place the device away until your toddler uses the potty again after their awarded time has expired.

They’ll be able to have a few minutes of fun on your phone or tablet without having to spend too much time in front of the screen during the day.

18. Polish Nails

Why not polish your toddler’s nails as a reward for going potty if they’re old enough?

You may not want to do this all of the time, but it’s a terrific incentive for things that are more difficult to achieve, such as remaining dry all day or rewarding a child who is afraid to use the bathroom.

19. Dance Party

potty training rewards

Keep in mind what we said earlier: keep things basic.

A dance party may seem simple to us parents, but it can be a surprisingly enjoyable and gratifying experience for your kid. Play your toddler’s favourite music and let them dance and laugh their hearts out!

20. New Crayons & Coloring In Books

Some children are particularly fond of drawing and colouring. It’s a simple, straightforward approach to praise your toddler for a job well done in the restroom if t

21. Playdate

It’s always fun to go play with other people! Let your toddler know that once they’ve used the potty, a fun trip to a friend’s house is on the way.

This is a good incentive for them successfully toilet training for a full day or week.

22. Potty Party

best potty seat for boys

To commemorate their achievement, decorate the bathroom with balloons and streamers and bake cupcakes. You could also invite immediate family members to the party, such as your child’s grandparents.

Just make sure your child understands that the party is one-time only so that they don’t expect a party every time they use the potty.

23. Special Time with Parent

Children (until they reach the age of adolescence) like being the centre of attention. It’s a good idea to give your youngster additional gentle loving care as he or she adjusts to the potty. Reward them with special mommy or daddy time after each successful day.

24. Use Marbles

Bring out the marbles if your youngster is a visual learner. Allow your youngster to fill a jar with marbles each time they go to the restroom (let them add more for going number 2). Decide what they’ll get as a reward when the container is full. Making it something significant, such as a new bike, will aid them in their progress.

25. Or Lego

To reinforce the concept of potty time, use bricks. This, like the marble notion before it, gives a visual representation. The best thing about Legos is that they stick together. Allow your child to add a Lego to the tower for each successful potty trip, then reward them with a prise after the tower reaches a certain height.

Some children will be focused on the prise, while others will be enthralled by the prospect of witnessing the tower grow as a result of their achievements.

26. Potty Tickets

best potty seat for boys

Your child can use these tickets as punch cards. The card is marked each time they leave. They get a surprise when it’s filled. If they reject, they will be given a one-way ticket to Grandma’s house.

27. Consequences vs Incentives

The idea behind this is simple: grab a jar and, for every dry diaper, give them something to put in the jar (a ping pong ball, for instance). Once the jar is full, they earn a gift. But, for every soiled or wet diaper, make them take a ball out. They’ll probably struggle with this concept, but they may as well learn now: if you crap in your diaper, life craps on you.

28. Treasure Hunt

Putting a treasure chest on top of the toilet is an excellent technique to encourage your youngster to use it. Allow them to choose a prise blindly once they’ve done so. If they don’t like that award, they can always come back after a glass of prune juice for more.

29. Healthy Snacks

I know we said non-food rewards, BUT…..If you’re going to give a food incentive, stay away from candy. Alternatives include whole-wheat pretzels, crackers, raisins, or even nuts (if your child is not allergic to nuts). Make sure your youngster can securely eat what you’re offering without choking; nuts and raisins are considered choking hazards in children under the age of three.

30. Hand Stamps

Stamp your toddler’s hand with a cute stamp every time they use the potty for an immediate visual reward. At the conclusion of the day, have them add up their stamps, and then give them a huge embrace to express how impressed you are.

31. Extra Time Tickets

Make easy tickets that entitle your child to more bath time, a longer bedtime story, or an additional five minutes of screen time. Allow them to choose a ticket as a gift for a successful potty training week or as a reward for a dry day.

32. Big Kid Things

For your toddler on the verge of becoming a big child, using the potty is a major deal. Allow your youngster to try on some additional big kid things as a potty training reward. They may pick out an outfit, have lunch on a big kid bowl or plate, paint their fingernails, or assist with big kid chores around the house, such as putting away the laundry. (And, while they’re at it, help you get some tasks done!)

33. Report Their Success

Encourage your toddler throughout the toilet training process by letting loved ones know how well he or she is doing. Allow your child to make a special call to Grandma or assist you in texting your co-parent to let them know about their accomplishments after they have successfully used the potty. Your toddler will be ecstatic to learn that the people they care about are proud of them.

34. Potty Hero Story

Allow your child to play the hero in their own potty adventure. Keep a scrapbook or notepad on available where you and your child can create a tale about yourself by adding drawings and phrases. Add a page about your little potty hero’s wonderful experiences every day they’ve done well with potty training.

35. Choose a Big Kid Transition Seat

Allow your child to play the hero in their own potty adventure. Keep a scrapbook or notepad on available where you and your child can create a tale about yourself by adding drawings and phrases. Add a page about your little potty hero’s wonderful experiences every day they’ve done well with potty training.

Our Potty Training Resources

11 Incredible Tips to Overcome Potty Training Resistance

Potty Training Resistance: Tips from Real Parents to avoid & overcome potty and toilet training issues for 1-4 year olds.

Potty Training 1 Year Old: A Simple Step-by-Step Process

Potty Training 1 Year Old – 6 Steps To Success inc. Elimination Communication and Toilet Training Readiness Signs

Potty Training Stubborn Boy: 6 Easy Steps to Success

Potty Training Stubborn Boy: Click Here for 6 Steps to Success, as tested by REAL parents. Sit down or Stand to pee – these answers + MORE.

Best Potty For Toilet Training: 2021 Buyers Guide

Best Potty for Toilet Training – 2021 Buyer’s Guide, as reviewed by REAL parents. Includes potty’s and toilet training seats.

Toilet Training Steps + Free Toilet Training Chart

Toilet training steps to get your child toilet trained quickly & easily, by REAL parents. Includes FREE printable toilet training chart.

FREE Printable Sticker Chart

free printable potty training sticker chart

Click HERE to download

Why trust My Toddler Life?

My Toddler Life is run by mum’s, for mum’s. All information provided on our site is thoroughly researched and takes in to consideration our lived experiences and the opinions of industry professionals. How are we different from other sites doing the same thing? We have fun while doing it (often with a glass of wine in hand) and don’t take ourselves too seriously!

Non Food Rewards for Potty Training: To wrap it all up…

Hopefully the above information gives you a great starting place, if not to help guide you the whole way through your potty training journey.

Remember – there is no hard or fast rule that says how to go about potty training your toddler – and you know your child best!! So take your time, take a deep breath, have a glass of wine and dive in ! GOOD LUCK!!


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