Photo by cafemama
It's taken me a little while to figure out that the key to getting toddlers to do something they really don't want to do is to make a game out if. Ever since I made this great discovery, I use the tactic for almost everything.
Such as getting my daughter, who would linger over her chicken and peas for hours if I let her, to finish her dinner.
"Whoever cleans their plate first gets a larger portion of dessert!"
And for picking up toys.
"I'm the quickest and neatest block stacker on the planet. Think you can do it better than me?"
It also works for applying sunscreen. Here are just a few of the little games I invented to get my daughter to sit still and slather up:
First, the Squiggly Snake Game. Take the bottle or spray and make the longest squiggly "snakes" possible up and and down your toddler's arms and legs. This will ensure she is getting enough lotion for adequate coverage.
Then say, "Oh, no! The little snakes are going to start nipping unless we rub them away. Help me rub away those snakes!" (You can call them "worms," or use "kisses" instead of "nips" if it's less scary. )My daughter squeals with delight and rubs the block in no problem.
We also play Count the Dots. This one's pretty self-explanatory -- tell her to close her eyes while you put a few dime-size dollops of sunscreen on her cheek, her arms, legs, neck and any other exposed area. Then ask her to open her eyes and try to count how many she has. After you help her make the dots go bye-bye, you can offer a prize for good counting!
Of course, a Sunscreen Race never fails either. Ready, set, go -- you and your toddler compete to see who can rub all their sunscreen in the quickest!
Does your baby or young toddler allow you to apply sunscreen willingly? What games do you play to make the process fun?