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How to Use the Time Timer with Children at Home

Posted by Christen Barbercheck on



A note from the Time Timer team: in light of recent events and the renewed conversation on racism and racial justice, we want to let you know that we are listening and educating ourselves as individuals and as a company, and we are committed to learning and growing with you.  

You can read our recent blog post, including resources to start or continue conversations with your children here.  

While we are resuming our regular content on parenting, education, business, and learning differences, we will also continue to share anti-racism resources with our community along the way. If you have resources you’d like to share, or BIPOC voices you think we should amplify (especially parents and educators!), please let us know. 



Time is an abstract concept, and Time Timer visual timers provide a concrete representation of that concept. For both adults and children, seeing time elapse makes it easier to focus and anticipate transitions, allowing everyone to conquer time.  

The original Time Timer was created to help children better understand time. Every detail is driven towards that goal, from the clockwise disk movement (to facilitate learning time telling), the quiet operation, and the optional alert.  


With many parents continuing to work from home while also caring for young children, here are seven tips to help during this time:  

  1. Playtime: 

    Time Timer is a great tool for setting beginning and endpoints to different activities, whether it’s to encourage your child to try something they may be unsure of for a certain period of time, or to provide a helpful transition point, i.e. “when the timer is up, it’s time to move on to the next activity!” 

  2. Sharing: 

    For parents of multiple kids, the Time Timer can be a lifesaver in facilitating taking turns for popular activities where children are learning to share, whether it’s a favorite game, toy, or shared screen time. Kids who set the Time Timer themselves feel more empowered with their time.  

  3. Mealtime: 

    For children who eat slowly, the Time Timer can help kids see how much time is left to eat all of their food, and when it’s time to help clean up.   

  4. Naptime: 

    Time Timer runs so quietly, it will not disturb napping children. Young children in cribs can see how much longer they need to rest before they can get up, without having to call out to you! All Time Timer models have the option to turn off the beep at the end, so you can have a silent end to timing so the children can be woken up gently, or if you have kids who nap shorter or longer durations.  

  5. Bedtime.

    After story time and snuggles set the Time Timer for 15 minutes of independent reading or picture books. You can turn the volume down to a low setting for the beep at the end so there’s an audible alert that it is time to turn off the light without a jarring alarm.  

  6. Waketime:

    For those parents who are trying to work very early in the morning but their child keeps getting out of bed too soon, we have the Time Timer MAX. This is eight timers in one – you can adjust the countdown time anywhere from 5 minutes up to 24 hours. You can hang the MAX on the wall and have it count down the 9 or 10 hours that your child should be sleeping – even if they can’t tell time, they will know that they need to stay in bed until the red is gone.  The beep at the end of timing is optional, so if your little one needs to sleep in, they won’t be woken up by an alarm.  

  7. Uninterrupted time for YOU! 

    Parents can also use the Time Timer to create uninterrupted time to work, take care of other responsibilities, or to relax! You can set a Time Timer for 15 minutes, a half-hour, or whatever duration is age-appropriate so that children know that they can’t talk to their parent until the red is gone – unless it is a true emergency, of course! Parents know how long they have to concentrate, and kids know how long until their parent is available, even if they can’t tell time yet. 


We hope these tips are helpful. Join our private Facebook group for parents and educators and let us know if you have any questions or share your own tips! 




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