How do you use a timer
for kids?

Staying on task for long stretches of time is difficult when you have ADHD.

"Having a large family, my kids don't exactly wait for their turn to get put on time out, being able to have multiple timers saved with the appropriate number of minutes for each child. And being able to count down for more than one child at a time makes time out an actual working discipline solution for a sole parent. This is also good for remembering bans and when they end for each child too. This is a parent's best friend!!"

"This is an excellent app for families. I use it daily to time my kids reading. It works great and is simple to use and edit. Major bonus is the color coding and saved settings."

"I have 3 boys each has 1 hour a day to use electronics for whatever they want. So each one has their own timer that is labeled and color coordinated. Then I have a laundry timer (so I don’t forget to move from washer to dryer) an exercise timer so I get in the amount of exercise that I want. A meal timer so that my kids don’t dawdle while eating. And I love that the circle around the outside of the timer disappears as time goes on so they know how much time is left or what time they have to go. We also have homework and reading timers. This app is awesome!"
AppStore Reviews

Sometimes getting kids to do chores or homework can be a challenge for adults. Timers are a great way to motivate them to complete tasks and follow directions. Research and authoritative resources consistently point to the benefits of using timers with children.

Recommendations for using a timer

Some children find it difficult to work for long periods of time without interruption. They may become frustrated or mentally exhausted. Children start looking around, talking, and playing with objects during extended periods of homework. This often results in the adult telling them to go back to work before they are ready psychologically. Sometimes the child resists and refuses to go back to work.

Other times they make statements such as "I'm too tired," "It's too hard," "I'm bored," or "I'm not interested». If they do return to work, they may work slowly, rush through the task, or not give their best effort.

So how can timers help?

Tell your child that he or she has a certain amount of work to do, and let him or her work until the designated break.

Or agree with your child that he or she has to work for, say, 10 minutes, and then he can take another 10-minute break.

Visual timer for kids | Interval timer settings

Time management board

For example, if your child has 10 math exercises to do for homework, you might say, "Do the first half of the exercises and then take a five-minute break to do something of your own choosing. Then do the next half of the tasks". During the break, set a timer for five minutes; Make sure your child sees it so they know exactly how much time they have left.

Or set the timer at alternating intervals of 15 and 5 minutes so that the child understands that after every 15 minutes of work, he or she gets 5 minutes of rest and distraction.

This is a great method of encouraging completion because children enjoy working on something interesting. Many children also need a mental break and will work more efficiently if they have the opportunity. Using a timer removes the responsibility from the parents. The adult will not arbitrarily tell the child that the break is over. The timer dictates the length of the work or break. This leads to less resistance on the part of the child.

If you are doing an activity, such as learning or practicing a skill, try setting a timer for 15 minutes and saying something like, "We'll practice the set time, then we will take a five-minute break to do something of our choice, and then you will do another 15 minutes." In this case, you'll use a timer so the child knows how long the practice will be and how long the break will be. Some children need motivation in the form of a suggestion about the break, such as when they will have a break if they want to play a game on their smartphone.

You can change the number of minutes, as some children may work longer, some may work less, and some benefit from longer or shorter breaks. Work with your child to figure out what is the best amount of time for him or her.