Things to do when you’re potty training a toddler


Bored of waiting for ‘the signs’ we bit the bullet this week and introduced Poppy to big girl pants. The fact that she took them off and with a giggle declared, “look mummy, it’s a hat” suggests it may be a long journey. 

I’m expecting mess, of the most icky variety, as we sacrifice the safety net of nappies for the potty. Luckily, the weather is good so we’ll be getting out in the garden this week. A LOT.

And this has given us the perfect opportunity to use the lovely little gardening kit the kind people at Elm House Tree Services sent for Poppy and I to get green fingered with. Now the closest I’ve got to gardening with Poppy (scrap that, make that gardening full stop) is putting Mr Bloom on the telly box, so I wasn’t quite sure how this activity would work for us. Especially as it feels like Poppy is saying, “what’s this Mummy?” and “why mummy?” on repeat at the moment. Two questions I’m unlikely to know the answers to when connected to planting. 

With the potty placed conveniently close by and dressed in appropriately floral attire (naturally), we headed into the garden armed with our planting kit, a pot of compost and a trowel. Poppy greeted the idea of planting with enthusiasm. “Wow, I lurrrrve plants,” she beamed as we unpacked the pots and packets of seeds. Good start. This was, however, followed by, “I’m going to eat all of them.”  Hmmmm. Better keep her away from the sunflowers… and feed her a snack pronto! 

As a diligent parent I wanted to make the activity educational, embedding in her some solid gardening skills. I was keen to show her how to use a trowel and carefully plant the seeds as per the instructions. Of course this never happened. Instead, Little Miss Independent announced, “I can do it all by myself” (another favourite phrase at the moment), took the trowel from me and started shovelling compost into pots with accuracy that could see her mistaken for a secret lovechild of Monty Don (she’s not). A natural gardener, who would’ve thought it?  

However, like a true gardener Poppy soon abandoned the equipment and got her hands dirty as she bedded in the seeds. 


With sweet basil, sunflowers and Tom Thumb seeds planted, all that was left to do was add a little water and say a little prayer to the gardening gods. If only I could find the watering can. Luckily, being the innovative gardeners we are, we had a genius idea…


And what about Milly you ask? Well never has she looked so much like my daughter than during the gardening activity. A very happy spectator! 


So overall our planting project was a huge success (except for one spillage which could mean we’ll have basil sprouting from our lawn in a week or so – oops). Unfortunately potty training was less of a triumph (I’ll spare you the details but thank goodness for jelly shoes!) Looks like we’ll be doing lots of gardening  for the next few weeks!

Thank you to Elm House Tree Services for sending us our little green fingers gardening kit. We’ve got high hopes for some fabulous blooms!

If there is still time to enter your competition, I think it sounds perfect for Oh So Amelia and A Family Chatter


2 responses to “Things to do when you’re potty training a toddler

  1. That’s so fun – my daughter is currently having lots of fun watering the flowers with me (including one unnamed plant she planted at nursery, which now has a new home in one of our pots). I have the opposite of green fingers but I’m sure we could venture something a little more complicated. And I had such cabin fever staying inside when we were doing potty training, any fresh air is a huge bonus.

    • We really enjoyed it and it definitely distracted us from the cabin fever. However, I’m not quite sure what I’ll do if the seeds don’t amount to anything. Fingers crossed!

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