Our boy is officially potty-trained! He did it! And here is what helped.
We went through weeks of Noah standing and watching as he peed through his underwear onto the carpet and ran behind closed doors to poop in his pants. He was perfectly capable of going on the toilet and had no fears about it. Then, it occurred to me, no one ever told him, "Noah, when you need to go to the potty, TELL someone."
I assumed this was understood, but maybe not! I explained that when he feels like he needs to go, he has to open his mouth and communicate it to Mommy & Daddy.
I also printed off this handy-dandy sticker chart with a train and train tracks. His very first reward chart. The trick was that every time he said he needed to use the potty, he got a sticker. (And, of course, actually went.) Noah is totally obsessed with trains...still. So a reward of a train ride was perfect for him. I taped a picture of him riding the train at the end so he could keep his eye on the prize, so to speak.
Worked like a charm! And here we are (at the train in the mall, since it was mid-week, close by, and I had to get him there right away). To make it even more effective, we took the chart with us and talked about why he had earned a train ride with his buddy, Parker, on this particular day.
Then we took a carousel ride, just for giggles. Love these faces!
We still have the occasional accident, but Noah is doing great! So proud of him! Also thankful for Parker, who joined us to celebrate, who also decided to get potty-trained just ahead of Noah and give him a little incentive to work harder. :)