Monday, August 19, 2013

More Simple Ways to Redirect a Fussy Toddler!

Miss the first ten ways to redirect a fussy toddler?  Check them out here

If you are like me, you can never have enough quick, easy ways to distract a toddler!  It seems we hit a point at least once a day when we just need something new and fresh to distract from being sleepy (but it's not yet nap time), recovering from the disappointment of being told "no", or just needing to survive until Daddy gets home.  

I shared ten of my go-to ways to redirect a fussy toddler last week, but had a few more in my arsenal to share with you this week!

Play with Ice Cubes.  This is one of my favorites for when I'm cooking dinner or needing to accomplish something in the kitchen and just can't do that with a little one in my arms.  I get a large plastic bowl and handful of ice cubes and let her go to town.  Yes, they melt on the floor, and yes, I am definitely going to step on freezing cold water at some point in the process, but it occupies her for a good ten minutes.  And then she wants to clean up the water.  Then she pretty much wants to clean my whole kitchen.   If you give a toddler an ice cube...

Let them stir something.  Sophie loves to stir.  She'll stir her shapes in her shape sorter bucket, counting bears in a cup, nothing in a cup.  If I give her a container and a spoon, I can almost guarantee stirring will occur.  This can be as messy or as clean as you want it to be.  

Build a tower.  This one works great with the "start without them" idea from last week's post.  If she's fussing, I can start building a tower (very excitedly and loudly, of course) and I'll see her peek from wherever she's upset.  I don't know too many toddlers who could resist knocking down a good tower.  But if she does resist, I can have the fun without her!  If she sees me having a grand old time knocking down towers left and right, she's sure to join in the fun soon.

Put them in front of a mirror.  I'll just come out and say it.  My daughter really loves herself.  There are no self-esteem issues with this little one.  Even if she's crying, she'll notice herself in the mirror and start to laugh or smile at that beautiful baby.  We make faces at each other and can fix moods really quickly.

Take silly pictures.  This one is directly related to the last - my little diva loves to look at herself.  We can either play with Photo Booth on my computer or iPad, or just take "selfies" on the camera and show them to her.  She recently decided she likes to "say cheese" and loves getting her picture taken.  Free entertainment with lasting recorded memories.  

Have a snack.  I use this one sparingly, but many times when she's fussy she really is hungry.  I know there are different schools of thought on snacking, but I know for me, if I'm legitimately hungry, I eat something!  It seems wrong for me to hold Sophie to a different standard.  A handful of cheerios may be just the ticket for a happier toddler in this house.

Wash your hands.  "Rub, rub, rub" has become the most exciting thing about finishing a meal around here lately.  Sophie loves washing her hands.  I hold her up to the faucet and squirt a little bit of soap and she's quite content to rub, rub, rub.  Teaching good hygiene and washing away bad attitudes in one fell swoop.  Oh, and the faucet is in front of the mirror.  :)

Find something fun on Youtube.  My daughter is a music girl, so music is the way to her heart, but animal videos or other silly things could work just as well for your little one!  Sophie loves watching music videos with lots of dancing with her Daddy.  "Gangnam Style" is her favorite - don't judge.  But she also really loves kids videos that are all over Youtube.  Her favorite right now is the Just Dance Kids  "Five Little Monkeys".

Go for a walk or ride.  This one requires a little bit more commitment and nice weather, but it's always a sure mood booster for mom and toddler.  A walk in the stroller or a bike ride is a favorite thing for Sophie, and a rare treat in the middle of summer in Florida.  But evenings when it is nice I try to use this one as much as possible!

Check the mailbox.  If I'm not ready to commit for a full-fledged walk or bike ride, a trip the mailbox is always a nice change of scenery.  The mailman is probably on Sophie's top ten list of all-time favorite people.  Sophie loves opening and closing the mailbox and enjoys when I let her put the mail in or get it out.  Even if there is not mail yet, the flag is a great toy and way to teach the idea of up and down.  A few minutes of fresh air and a happy toddler.  Easy. 

Again, these are some of the things that work for us when we need a change of pace.  What do you do to make it until naptime or change a bad mood?

For tons more ideas be sure to visit these sites I'm linking to this week!
Tot School Tuesday at See Vanessa Craft
Tuesday Tots at Rainy Day Mum
Link and Learn at No Time for Flashcards
Show and Share Saturday Link Up at I Can Teach My Child
Trivium Tuesday at Living and Learning at Home
Tender Moments with Toddlers and Preschoolers at The Chaos and the Clutter 
Sunday Showcase at Learn Play Imagine
Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings
TGIF at 123 Homeschool 4 Me


  1. I think you have alot of great ways to distract a fussy toddler. I am definitely going to try the ice cubes. That is a great idea that has never crossed my mind.
    Thank you.

    1. Thanks, Michelle! That one is one of her favorites! :)

  2. I love the playing with ice cubes - what fun activity for them to explore with multiple senses! Thanks for sharing at TGIF! Hope to see you linked up later today,