As the temperature rises, it’s important to teach little ones the importance of staying hydrated. As with almost all basic everyday tasks, sometimes it can be a struggle to get your toddler to comply. So, today we’re sharing some of our top tips and tricks to help you get your kids to drink more water without kicking up a fuss.
1. Buy less alternatives
An issue many of us face when choosing to hydrate is that there are yummier drinks available than water. A good place to start is by removing any juices or sodas from your regular shop so when the thirst kicks in, the only option is a good old glass of water! The same goes for eating out – always ask for water for the table and forget about the drinks menu.
2. Make it fruity
There are so many fun ways to infuse your water with fruit – put it straight into your water bottle or jug, freeze fruit and add it in place of ice cubes, or add fresh fruit to your ice cube tray to make a colourful and tasty ice cube. Children will enjoy choosing which colour or fruit to pop out of the cube tray each day. Will it be lemon, raspberry, cucumber or orange?
On a really hot day, consider putting some water and mashed up fresh fruit into an ice lolly mould for a watery treat!
3. Buy “special” cups
Little ones will always appreciate having their own ‘big kid’ essentials, so why not let them choose a new ‘water cup’ to encourage them to want drink more. You could find one with a fun water theme, like this Polar Bear Munchkin Miracle 360 Eco Trainer Cup, which might encourage them to drink water knowing it will keep them ice cool like a polar bear!
4. Mini me reusable bottle
It may be easier to share your reusable water bottle when you’re out and about to save space in the changing bag or buggy, but consider buying matching bottles for you both, or a smaller version for your little one that’s easier to hold and fill up themselves. Don’t forget to keep your water cool while you’re out on a hot day by adding lots of ice or keeping it stored in a cooling bag.
5. Fascinate them with facts
Kids love absorbing information – fill them up on fun facts about water to encourage their curiosity and make them feel proud to drink it. You could start with something like ‘did you know, 70% of your brain is made of water?’, ‘jellyfish are made of 95% water’ or ‘water leaves your stomach just 5 minutes after drinking it’!
6. Rewards for water
As with many children’s chores and tasks, a rewards chart could help get the job done. You could set a number of cups or bottles per day as a goal you’d like your child to reach, and if they complete it they receive a sticker on the chart. At the end of the week, tally up the cups and see if they’ve earned a reward. The goal could be higher in summer or on extra hot days for the chance to gain a bonus sticker for even more excitement.
7. Watch a video together
There are endless educational videos on Youtube that are great for teaching children about different things, including water! Have a browse, and find a ‘why it’s important to drink water’ video that fits your child’s age, watch it together a few times, and remind them of the video whenever they protest to having a drink.
8. Stock up on fun straws
The recyclable paper or reusable kind, of course! Have a variety of colours and special designs on hand to let your little one choose from each time you offer them a drink of water. Don’t forget to pack a few when you’re heading out too!
9. Get the timing right
Children who are just learning to tell the time might be excited about this educational crossover; you could add water symbols next to a clock in the house so they know what times they should have a drink. Alternatively, set an alarm with a fun tune or favourite song, so each time it plays they’re enthused to have a drink of water with you.
10. Make it accessible
Try to always keep a bottle or cup of water close by, and make sure they see you regularly drinking water throughout the day to set a good example. If they are able to reach the tap or fridge, encourage them to do so safely so they can ‘make’ their own drinks.