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For Students With Special Learning Needs, Sensory Timers Can Make All the Difference in Classroom Culture

Posted by Christen Barbercheck on


Sensory Timers can be a wonderful tool for classroom use in many capacities. In classrooms or schools serving children with unique learning and sensory challenges, a sensory timer can be a critical tool in keeping routines running smoothly each day.  


So, what is a sensory timer?  

These timers use creative methods of measuring elapsed time in different ways than a traditional ticking clock timekeeper. Whether at home or school, they may be used for nearly anything a typical timer would be! 

The ticking sound inherent to a traditional timer can create significant stress for children and adults with sensory issues. The same goes for the alarm sound the regular timer makes when a time period is complete. This can be particularly jarring for children with autism or anxiety issues. Individuals who would benefit from sensory timers include people with ADHD, autism, and other developmental or learning differences. Instead of a high-pitched buzz, ring, or chime to signal the end of a time period, sensory timers typically employ other creative methods. 

Not only do special needs students often have sensory and auditory sensitivities, but many may have difficulty understanding what blocks of time represent. While a simple 10-minute reference may feel second nature and understandable to a neurotypical person, it may feel utterly abstract to someone with special needs. Time Timer also can be a smart teaching tool in this way, as well. Want to add a dash of whimsy with your Time Timer? Check out this new tie-dye edition! 

There is a wide range of sensory timers available on the market today. Some use bubbles, sand (like an hourglass), digital animation, or a simple visual concept. Time Timer, the original visual timer, offers a wide range of colorful products perfectly designed for any classroom. It’s designed with an iconic red disk that disappears as a set time period elapses. 


Time Timer’s new Learning Center Classroom Set is perfect for any learning environment 

Available for pre-order is Time Timer’s all-new Learning Center Classroom Set – kids will love these fun timers! Each set includes three Time Timer Original timers each measuring eight square inches. Two set variations are available for order. Choose from primary colors (Red, Yellow, and Blue), or secondary colors (Orange, Green, and Purple). Or, even better, complete your Learning Center Classroom Set with a set of each! 


Time Timer’s new Learning Center Classroom Set is perfect for any learning environment



Another great thing about Time Timer is the option to use a sound-based alarm, if you prefer. There is a simple switch on the back of each Time Timer product allowing you to select chime or silent mode. Children in the classroom quickly will get used to checking Time Timer’s red disc as the primary way to “see” how much time is left! 

There are endless ways to enjoy using Time Timer’s new Learning Center Classroom Set in a school setting. Here are just a few idea starters:  

    • How much time left for reading groups 
    • How long until bathroom break 
    • Maximum time period to complete a test 
    • Time remaining on computer or tablet privilege 
    • Classroom recess time 


Educators are some of the most creative people we know – and the list of ways to use Time Timer in the classroom is likely endless! If you’d like to be one of the first to have the new Learning Center Classroom sets, pre-order on our website now, or e-mail our customer support team at support@timetimer.com 



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