How to get your toddler back inside after an afternoon at the park?

Sam - posted on 05/07/2011 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My 2 1/2-year-old son LOVES our routine trips to the park. Since the weather's improved, we go 3-4 times a week. We usually spend at least a good hour, and frequently even 2 playing at the park near our house. No matter how much time we spend, it's never enough. I always end up nearly dragging him home, and the second we walk in the door, he throws himself on the floor and starts bawling.

Anyone have any good transitioning tips to getting your kids inside WITHOUT the fit?

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Karen - posted on 05/08/2011

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I agree with Jayce - forewarning will can make a big difference. Also, make a game of getting to the house (do you want to run, hop, pretend to be a bear, play follow the leader ... etc). Maybe, before you go to the park, talk to him about something fun you are going to do when you get home. Then remind him about that fun thing a few times while you're at the park.
You may still have an unhappy boy. In that case, make sure you reflect his feelings back to him ("you were having so much fun, you don't feel ready to leave yet, you really want to stay, you're sad that we have to go home now ... etc) so he knows you understand what he's feeling and then just be with him while he works through those big feelings that are totally overwhelming for a 2 year old.

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Amanda - posted on 05/08/2011

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My son loves it outside no matter what....I always fight him of coming inside...All I do is just pick him and bring him inside if we go to the park he's in a stroller...He fights me all the time coming inside & Also throws a really bad tantrum

Jayce - posted on 05/07/2011

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Have you tried giving him some forewarning. With my son, who also loves the park, I give some kind of warning before it's time to go (eg. one more time on the swings or 2 more trips down the slide). I try to stay away from 5 mins until we have to leave because he doesn't understand time yet. Sometimes he gets whiney but I tell him no it's time to go we'll come back again. Once home I try to immediately distract him with another activity (eg. 30 mins of TV or we do a craft). Something to transition him from being outside to inside.

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