Sounds ideal doesn’t it? Well we thought we would share one of our magic motivator tricks we use at school to get things done….. Sand timers!!
We use sand timers all the time at school and I recently invested in some for home (for my 3 year old) and I have to tell you they work wonders. I bought a set of 6, ranging from 30 seconds to 10 minutes, and I use them in a variety of situations such as….
“ let’s see if we can put all the toys away and before the timer finishes… let’s go” (with really young children you may need to join in the tidy up process to model how it’s done!)
Getting dressed/ready for bed
“ Quick, let’s see if you can get dressed in 5 minutes and beat the timer”
“ Okay, let’s see if you can watch the timer and clean your teeth for the whole time the sand in running” Two minutes is the ideal time for this.
Setting time limits on screen time “You can have 10 more minutes of television/ i pad then we need to turn it off”. That way your child can visually see how long 10 minutes actually is and be prepared for the telly/i pad to be turned off.
Sharing with siblings/friends
“I can see that you would both like to use this toy so we will set the timer and you can each use it for 5 minutes. When the timer finishes you swap the toy,” (after doing this a few times children will often suggest doing this in future sharing ‘debates!’).
Time is such a hard concept for young children to grasp and yet we make reference to it all the time and often with them having absolutely no idea what 5 minutes is! Having a visual aid to show ‘how long’ 2, 5, or 10 minutes actually is, can make a huge difference.
Give it a try and let us know what you think.
Lauren Thornton – Head of Early Years