How to Keep Kids Away From Anything in a Public Toilet

It happened when I was helping my daughter to get into the toilet, and my son was standing behind me. When I turned to face him, I managed to catch the moment when he decided to lick the rail in the bathroom of the sandwich shop. This is the only time I’ve ever thought about actually washing his mouth with soap and water. And then eyes with the same soap.

Curious kids and public toilets are not a good mix . I still flinch when I think of my son’s unexpected look at the sticky wallpaper. As a result of his wandering through the language, I had to find ways to better navigate the walls and floors of the bathrooms that we have visited over the years. There was a time when we had two innings at the Wrigley Field kiosk (not recommended), the entire duration of the Disneyland fireworks display at the end of Pirates of the Caribbean ( highly not recommended) and Porta Potty at the craft festival (surprisingly normal).

I am not saying this to put you in the room where it is happening; but to explain that I had enough time to learn to be creative so that my son avoided touching anything and everything in the public bathroom. I’ve broken this down for you below based on how long you might have to wait or your child’s temperament.

It only takes a minute

No line? Sometimes the simplest option is the best. Have the child keep their hands in their pockets and make a bubble with their mouth (puff out the cheeks with the mouth closed). This protects their hands and distracts their mouths.

If you have a child who needs a more active option or doesn’t have any pockets in their clothes, choose the “Simon Says: Pat yourself on the belly” quick move. Pat yourself on the head. Clap your hands. Try to whistle. All you have to do is make sure that every option you give occupies their hands and mouths.

It’s all lava

Each child played the “Floor is lava” game . If you think your kids haven’t jumped from the couch to the cushions to step on the floor (which is bubbling with imaginary lava), they’re smart enough to wait until you’re out of earshot. It’s time to use all these workouts.

Before entering the bathroom, tell them the rules of the game. The walls are now made of lava. This handrail, as adorable as it may seem, is also made of lava. The floor is – and this is the important point – lava, but they wear heat-resistant shoes. Alas, their hands and clothes do not have this protection, so they cannot touch or sit on the floor.

If they want to win the game, they must avoid the lava.

Welcome to the “Cave of Wonders”

Lava game is great for some kids. But for others, it may be an invitation to jump, as if you are in the middle of a jump house. People queuing for the bathroom usually don’t appreciate a whiny baby.

Another option to play with lava is to choose the complete Aladdin . I realize this is starting to sound like a robbery movie, but you are cheating on your kids, so this is not a bad approach. In the movie, Aladdin must take the lamp from the Cave of Wonders, but must not touch anything else if he wants to escape with the lamp.

The bathroom is now the Cave of Wonders. And what about the lamp? This is the soap dispenser at the sink.

We’re going to be here for awhile

Even the most elaborate plans fall apart when the queue at the toilet is too long and the child becomes bored.

When I think we’ll have to wait a little longer (or hang out for two possibilities in the closet), I tuck the travel bag of wet wipes in my pocket. The key point here is the copious spread of napkins, like throwing out lollipop from a float parade.

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