Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Why Parents and Teachers Need the Time Timer: A Review

What's Unique about the Time Timer?

The Time Timer is different than other timers I've used. When you set those there is an audible alert -- a ding or a buzz -- when the time is up. The Time Timer has a red disk you set for the time needed. As the time passes, the red disk gets smaller in a clockwise direction. This makes it very easy for a person to see how fast time is passing and how much time is left before time is up. Most models also come with an optional audible alert. 

Why Parents and Teachers Need the Time Timer

Is it Time Now? How Much Longer Do I Have?

How many times do parents and teachers hear these questions every day? Sometimes it can appear to children that time is just standing still. Whether it's a preschooler wanting to know how much longer a time-out will last or a student taking a timed test wanting to know when it will be over, children wonder about the passing of time.

Small children have not yet developed the concept of how long a minute is, let alone three of them, or twenty of them. Children practicing an instrument or taking a scholastic achievement test may not have noted a starting time and just want to see quickly how much time they have left to work.

The Time Timer is a helpful visual aid in all these situations and more. It comes in many sizes. Some are audible as well as visual. There is sure to be one to meet your needs as a parent or a teacher. When a normal clock or timer just doesn't communicate clearly to a child, a Time Timer will help.

How much longer do I have to practice?

Ever heard that question?

Why Parents and Teachers Need the Time Timer
Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

When my children took piano lessons, I heard this question quite often, mostly from Jason, who wasn’t as fond of practicing the piano as Sarah was. It doesn’t matter which instrument it is — violin, tuba, clarinet — most children are resistant to practicing unless they absolutely love their instrument, and even then they sometimes tire of practicing.

Enter the Time Timer. I recommend the eight-inch model for this because you can mount it on the wall or let it stand up nearby. Put it where your child can see it easily during practice time and he will always know exactly how much longer his practice time will last. He may also get an idea of how long it takes to play each piece in proportion to his total practice time.

This timer is also used in many school districts and offices for effective time management. It's useful for all ages and abilities. Whereas it can teach children the concept of time passing, workers can see at a glance how much time they have left to work on a task before their next appointment. For those who want to hear when the set time is up, this timer has an optional ding to notify you.

There is a Time Timer for Every Need

People appreciate the 3-inch timer because it's the most portable Time Timer.

The Time Timer Plus is also portable because of its handy handle. It is available in either gray or white. 

The Time Timer Can Help Children Ease into Bedtime

Do you remember when you were young and you had no concept of how much longer it would be before bedtime, even if you knew that bedtime was at 7:00? You judged time by a sequence of events before you could tell time. First came dinner. Then there might be a TV show or story. Then it was bath time. Shortly after bath time might be bedtime. Or maybe not. Whatever the order of events was at your house, you probably wondered just exactly when you would have to go to bed. Just how much longer did you have to play quietly? How long could you stall?

Math Squid Bedtime t-shirt

Suppose you had had a Time Timer set about an hour before bedtime so that you could get a better idea of how much time you had and could actually see it disappear? How much better would that have been than just getting interested in an activity only to have a parent whisk you off to bed before you could finish it? I think it would have been better, and it would have been equally helpful to know how long until I needed to help set the table or do some other assigned chore. Along with learning the concept of time, seeing time pass helps a child learn to plan what he can do before his free time is gone. It's a step toward teaching a child time management.

There Are So Many Ways to Use the Time Timer

  • Timed tests
  • Practice time
  • Time-outs
  • Independent reading time
  • Free time before a chore needs to be done
  • Time before bedtime
  • Time before a lesson starts
  • Time to leave for an appointment
  • Time to take a medication
  • Time to dress and be ready for breakfast
  • Time to get ready to leave for church

How Will You Use the Time Timer in Your Home, Classroom, or Office?

Why Parents and Teachers Need the Time Timer: A Review
Bedtime Photo Credit: Pixabay

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. What a clever timer, Barbara. To be able to visually see how much time is left before an activity or an event or the completion of an assigned task (like taking a test) would be extremely helpful to kids who do not yet have a concept of time. But, ANY timer is helpful, I've found. I have a morning routine that involves checking each of my online sites while having my morning coffee. I've discovered that I am easily distracted online with unexpected emails, Facebook chats, etc. and have often spent a 3 or 4 hours session online when I needed to be doing other things. A timer to regulate and remind as a way to keep me organized and 'on track' has become essential. Your visual Time Timer looks perfect for my purposes! Thanks for your interesting review.

    1. I really like the visual effect of the red disk. It's easy to see at a glance, without reading a dial, how much time one has left. It's also easy for children who can't yet read numbers to understand that the smaller the red disk, the less time they have.

  2. What a fabulous timer! You are quite right about it being a wonderful visual for children. I instantly thought of my son when he was taking violin. We used a timer for his daily practice. I can also see the benefits of having this timer in my kitchen. I usually work online while I am cooking and all too often the buzzer goes off while I am in the middle of something important. If I, myself, had the visual timer reminder, I wouldn't start a project that I know will require more time than I have remaining to work. I can't see my oven or microwave timer from my computer so it would actually be a great aid for me too.

    1. I have a pill I take in the morning half an hour before I can eat breakfast. I keep a small timer in the bedroom so I can set it the minute I take my pill, which I also keep in the bedroom with a glass of water. Seems that timer always goes off while I'm working on something else. Fortunately, in this case I don't have to eat exactly 30 minutes after taking the pill.

      When I would have found the visual red disk very useful was when I was teaching and monitoring standardized timed tests. Students always wonder how much time they have left before they have to stop writing. Having the largest Time Timer where everyone in the class can see it would make it possible for students to see at a glance how much time they have left. The red disk also would have been great when my kids were practicing the piano or when they had to be ready to go to a meeting or soccer practice at a certain time.

  3. This timer would be perfect for me. I'm such a visual learner, so a glance to check the status of time remaining is my preference. I can imagine many, many uses for this and you've named some I hadn't thought of. What a useful item. Thanks for the review, Barbara!

  4. Honestly I need one of these myself for discipline with time! Especially when I start writing. What a good idea though to get in the habit of using one.


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