Brand new to Learning Tools! We have 3 Sand Timers – each are 16cm tall and 7cm wide, so can be easily seen from all areas of the classroom, or the home
These Large Sand Timers have moulded end caps as well as thick wall surrounds. The different sand timers are colour coded for different time periods:
- 10 Minutes – Orange
- 15 Minutes – Purple
- 30 Minutes – Black
Sand Timers support the following areas of learning:
- Maths – time
- Personal Development
- Communication & Language – literacy
Time is a very complex concept for our children to understand. Lay firm time concept foundations in their early years through regular use of sand timers in your activities. “How long do you think it will take to….?” encourages estimation skills and understanding of how long things take: the concept of time.
Sand timers provide a strong visual understanding of the concept of time as they watch the sand running down as time passes. Helping children to manage their own time – create a habit of using the sand timer for cleaning up after getting their toys out or messy play. “Turn the timer, let’s see if we can do it faster than 5 minutes, 4 minutes, 3 minutes.” “let’s see if we can clean up before the sand runs out..”
Here are some suggestions and ideas on how to use Sand Timers:
- Use a sand timer to time activities, such as getting dressed, tidying away or finishing breakfast.
- Sand timers will give children an awareness of the passing of time and how long ‘a minute’ feels like. This will help them in their understanding of time.
- Use different ‘times’ to reflect different activities.
- Sand timers can promote independence and the ability to make choices. As in the homework example, children enjoy the responsibility of turning the sand timer on its side for extra ‘thinking time’ or for a break from the activity.
- For older children or when they are used to using a sand timer, children can then set themselves their own targets and times for an activity to be finished.
- Sitting and watching the sand slip through a sand timer is a very calming thing to do. If a child needs to calm down, try this technique and you will probably find that a solution can be reached in a much more positive way.
- Use a sand timer for siblings or when friends come to play. It’s a great way to dissolve disputes over who has had a longer go on a game or toy. Again, for older children, let them decide how long each turn should be. This is a necessary life skill of negotiation and reaching agreements!
- Like anything, overuse will breed familiarity and therefore won’t work. Use the ideas which work and don’t force them! If it isn’t working then try something else!
- Finally, if you run out of ideas, why not ask your child for their suggestions. A question such as, “How can I use this sand timer to get you to eat your breakfast quicker?” opens up many avenues. Child love to ‘be in charge’ and be responsible. So, go on, give them a chance and I promise you that they will amaze you!