There are some questions is life that every child must ask and one that ranks right at the top is "How much longer?" For young ones still dealing with concrete matters, the concept of a few minutes or an hour are difficult to grasp. That's what prompted Jan Rogers to develop the Time Timer. The time to be measured is set by pushing a clear button around the dial for up to 60 minutes. As it's pushed a wedge of red plastic appears, growing in size until it forms a complete circle at the one hour mark. As the timer counts down the wedge grows smaller and ultimately disappears when the timer chirps time's up.
If you've been browsing the Homeschool Crew's reviews on the Time Timer, you're probably familiar with how this device helps young or special needs children "see" the passage of time by the diminishing size of the red disc. I have a different take on it's use. My Schnickelfritz has always been fascinated by time--in fact, I've come to the conclusion that someday he will be in charge of the U.S. Naval Observatory clock. He once woke me up at midnight so I could share his thrill of seeing his watch register 0:00 (he often likes to use military time). He studies maps of time zones and can explain Daylight Savings to my husband who grew up in Indiana and still hates the idea of having to change all the clocks twice a year. He could challenge Phineas Fogg (Around the World in Eighty Days) on precision for when events should begin or end. If I can't find my kitchen timer I know to head towards Fritz's bedroom.
Fritz doesn't need the timer to understand the passage of time, but it has several advantages to my digital timer as far as measuring the passage of time. Fritz would often get mesmerized watching the "count down" on our digital timer, so much so that he forgets to work on whatever task we had set the time limit for in the first place. This red disk moves imperceptibly and there's no sound to distract him either. Now he can glance at the Time Timer, gauge how much time is remaining and return to his work quickly. The timer only makes two little chirps when it's done so if Fritz doesn't hear it because he's engrossed in a story, he'll keep on with his independant reading until he actually looks at the time again--not really a selling point but I'll take any trick that keeps his nose in a book longer. On the other hand, it means that you wouldn't want to use this timer to keep track of the cake in the oven lest you miss the chirp that it's done.
The timer is available in three sizes. The smallest is 3 inches wide and retails for $30. The medium is 8 inches across and costs $35. The large has a 12 inch face and sells for $40. Technology fans can also buy software or timer apps.
You can read what other Homeschool Crew members thought of the Time Timer by clicking here.