My toddler is playing with his stool | You can do this!

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Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

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For some parents, it's a real problem, one toddler who always wants to play with his stool.

Always the need to “paint” things with it.

In this article I will discuss how you can best deal with this.

Father is changing baby

For example, if he poops in the diaper and you are going to change the diaper. They aim for whatever they can achieve

  • bed
  • toys
  • curtains etc.

Or they poop and have already figured out how to take off the diaper themselves.

It becomes even more difficult when you start potty training them.

Maybe you've already tried everything and you can't stop it from happening.

It is very frustrating, and above all you are tired of washing and disinfecting all the toys and clothes (sometimes twice a day).

But what can you do?

I know this is incredibly frustrating and unpleasant. However, you will be happy to know that it is also completely normal.

Two-year-olds don't have the disgusting reaction to poop that develops later, so they don't see anything wrong with touching it.

What a great consistency, perfect for spreading! And how proud they feel that they can make clay / finger paint themselves!

So how do you stop it?

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How do you stop a toddler from playing with stool?

I guarantee that punishment will only make things worse. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he's already responding to the fact that you've told him it's naughty.

So instead, here's your three-point plan:

  1. prevent access
  2. keep calm
  3. fulfill his need to make art in a different way

7 tips to stop playing with poo

  1. Always put the diaper on backwards so that they cannot take it off.
  2. Start by always dressing them in rompers so he can't just get to the diaper
  3. Keep a constant eye on him when he's awake.
  4. Before putting it to bed, put pajamas over the onesie, the kind that you zip up, but put them on backwards so they can't reach it. He can't get them open on his own.
  5. If he gets a stool on him, stay completely calm while cleaning and dressing him, don't pretend it's punishment or make it a spectacle or you'll give him incentive to fight you about it. Just make it a fact that you're helping him learn not to play with his poo. Tell him, “Poo goes into the jar. We don't play with shit. We play with clay. ”
  6. Give him plenty of opportunity for messy play. Let him play daily with playdoh and clay, but also with finger paint. He'll probably want to spread the clay around, so give him a piece of paper on a baking sheet with raised sides and let him spread it to his heart's content. This way you keep the mess within limits. Or give him finger paint to play with in the bathtub. Or let him play outside in real mud.
  7. Give him lots of positive reinforcement about how much fun it is so that they can see even more clearly the difference between fun playing with mess that is intended for it and the lack of response when playing with poop that is not intended for it.

This will likely help your son or daughter break the habit because the difference is obvious and yet it still satisfies the need to play this way.

In addition, you have limited access to poo as a play material when you are not there, such as in bed or an inattentive moment without a bodysuit.

Do this as soon as possible.

Stool smearing has a way of undermining the parent-child relationship and can quickly develop into a habit that otherwise takes months to outgrow.

What toys can help with sensory play instead of stool?

Sensory toys are diverse in nature, ranging from tactile items with different textures to auditory pieces with music and sounds. Designed to engage the senses, it helps children improve their motor skills, body awareness and sensory processing so they don't have to do it in other ways.

The best sensory toys based on play value is this Taf Toys Sensory Tissue Box.

Best sensory pull toys
Taf Toys Sensory Tissue Box
Product image
Toy score
Play value
Best for
  • Lots of ways to play with
  • Stimulates sensory play and fine motor skills
Less good
  • They grow out of it pretty quickly

What can you play with your toddler to prevent fecal play?

To prevent toddlers from playing with feces, you can offer sensory activities such as clay, sand tables or sensory play with materials such as rice, beans or water. These activities stimulate the sense of touch and keep toddlers busy in play. Provide varied toys and offer sufficient playtime to prevent boredom.

Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child he came into contact with everything related to games when his mother started the Tinnen Soldaat in Ede. Now he and his team create helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.