Five Ways To Get A Group Of Unruly Toddlers Under Control
Got a group of energetic kids on your hands? There are ways to keep things under control without losing your temper or pulling out all your hair. Try some of these tactics that are often seen in action at a preschool or daycare service, which may help to keep stress down while tending the toddlers.
Capture their interest with something experiential.
Toddlers do well with hands-on activities. Spread out and let them help you paint a huge mural or participate in planting a garden. These are things that will let them get their hands dirty and that may capture their interest for a while.
Foster solidarity with a common mission.
Get the group on the same page with a common initiative, such as preparing a meal or creating a story together. Keep instructions minimal, and allow them to use their imaginations and individuality during the process.
Break the group down into smaller groups.
Depending on the size of your group, you may want to break into smaller groups to keep everyone happy. For example, have a helper take a few kids outside to play while a few more choose to work on an inside project. This may give kids a break from one another while everyone does something that they enjoy.
Give a tangible reward for good behavior.
While you shouldn't reward bad behavior, there is nothing wrong with giving kids something tactile to reinforce good behavior. This doesn't have to be anything pricey; things like stickers or stars on a chart hung in your space work very well. Seeing the rewards, such as on a chart, may help to reinforce the behavior in order to achieve another milestone and second reward.
Engage them in something new.
Kids have a thirst to learn new things, so try to provide activities that teach them something. With the garden idea mentioned above, you could teach them about seeds and plants; another idea is to share information about nature when taking them on a walk. Give the kids a bit of new insight and information during outings, but present it in an understandable, age-appropriate way.
Before you begin calling parents and losing your patience, try some of these techniques to regain control of your group of toddlers. Distracting kids can be easy, though it may be challenging to maintain their attention for any length of time, so choose activities that are new and fun. Enlist helpers to work in smaller groups if possible, and reward good behaviors with small mementos that will help kids increase their self-confidence, too!