Sunday, January 24, 2010

ReRun: How to Carry a PlayPen in Your Purse

Time to get into this routine again... Bethany needs training in this area, and soon enough Sam will be needing it too!


I have had many, many children over the years. And from the looks of it, I will have a few more before I am done. I have had toddlers in the house for well over a decade. Currently we have two toddlers…and a 4-year-old who is ALL BOY. ‘Nuff said. The three of them can derail any attempt to get anything done in about 3.5 seconds.

Since I also have 6 school-age children, it is important that we have a few moments of peace every once in a while. Especially when doing things like school. We also have the little children with us when on activities, and in places we would have skipped if we didn’t have older children.

Out of desperation we needed to figure out how to keep them under control while not always being able to bring along three pack-n-plays. OK — so I never bring along a pack-n-play to soccer. I do, however, have a playpen in my purse.

I have trained my little children to stay on a blanket. Some people have specific blankets for their children; we just use whatever is available. But that bottom line is that they know they cannot leave the blanket. This is so much easier than chasing after them all over creation.

How do I do it? It’s actually very easy. When they are babies, I just lay them on it, and marvel at what geniuses they are…those little infants never push the boundaries and try to get off.

Then they get a bit older and start to roll, I just put them back in the middle. When they start to crawl, I keep a wooden spoon nearby and smack the floor any time they get near the edge. (I never hit the baby, just make a loud noise on the floor.) The noise scares them and soon they know that if they get too close to the edge, they don’t like the noise.

Before long, they just stay there. I work on it every week, several times a week, and they do well with it. During school hours, I will put out two blankets for the 4- and 2-year olds, and put a specific bin of toys for each of them. They play with these toys for 20 to 30 minutes, then I switch the bins or let them outside to run, whatever.

Be consistent and this can work wonders in your home. You can bring your blanket(s) to church, to meetings, to the library, to soccer, wherever you want them to sit still and be quiet.

Try it! You’ll like it!


  1. We also do blanket training! I love it! Couldn't get school done with my older ones without it now that I have 5 that are 5 and under! I heard about it from Lori Voeller about 7 years ago and have been thankful for it ever since!

  2. I would love to use this in my MOPS group newsletter! Would that be ok?

  3. Yes, you may use any of my writings, just please let me know you are doing it, and give me the credit. :) Cite it with my name, blog address, and e-mail address if you don't mind.

  4. I started blanket training my 5 mo. old and my 2 yr old. We call it "The Play Blanket" and so far I am liking it! Thanks for the tip!