The Power of the Liquid Timer
If a timer is a parent’s best friend, a liquid timer is a parent’s best friend forever. Or life partner.
I took a trip to Science World in Vancouver with the family today (Telus World of Science I should say – and a great place to go with the kids at that), and made the obligatory gift shop stop. While there, I happily learned that holders of yearly admission passes get a fifteen percent discount on everything in the shop. With this new found knowledge, I couldn’t leave empty handed. Come on, how can you pass up 15% off (even if everything in the store is 25% more expensive than any other store, because of the tourist-attraction-factor)? Lets think of it as an early Christmas present.
We noticed that Smarty Pants was holding a liquid timer, and was totally mesmerized by it. He had been staring intently at it for the past ten minutes, flipping it over and over, hypnotized. “Gotta get it!” was the first thought that popped into my noggin. (Anything that keeps the kids occupied for more than 10 minutes is pretty much a mandatory purchase in my view).
To be brutally honest, we didn’t just buy the liquid timer because Smarty Pants was hypnotized by it. We were thinking of all the cool applications. Here are just some ideas, to help get your creative juices (and timer liquid) flowing:
1) Sharing: Picture this – two kids arguing over a toy (I know, it rarely happens, but just play along with me here), you hop in on the scene, armed with your liquid timer, and hand it to one of the kids. You explain that one of them can watch the timer while the other one plays with the toy… when the timer runs out, they trade toy for timer, flip the timer over, and repeat. The liquid timer is so mesmerizing, that the kids will be more than happy to comply. This is much more fun than watching the hands on a clock, or the digital numbers on a digital timer.
2) Time-outs: Time-outs need not be filled with boredom or screaming any longer. Hand your kid a liquid timer and tell them that when the liquid runs all the way down, the time-out is over. The liquid timer is so interesting, that it will break their pattern (from the screaming, or naughtiness, or whatever they were doing), and make the time-out more bearable, for you and the child. You should also make sure, before the time-out is over, that your child is ready to get back in action again, of course.
3) Brushing Teeth: When your child brushes her teeth, does she do it for about 2.5 seconds before throwing the toothbrush into the sink and declaring victory? Tonight we sat the liquid timer on the counter and said, “Watch the timer… brush your teeth until the timer runs out.” Smarty Pants was more than happy to stand there, brushing his teeth, whilst watching the timer go. It was amazing.
4) Countdowns: Ever find yourself saying, “5 more minutes” or “1 more minute” or “Right Now!!”? Well, a timer is a great way to make this process a bit less subjective. A liquid timer is a way to make it fun to boot. Next time you want the kids to stop playing and come to the table for dinner (or anything of the like), set the timer down, and explain that when the timer runs out, it is time for them to come. They may get so enthralled with the timer that they’ll forget the reason why they didn’t want to come in the first place.
5) Something fun to watch, and a lesson in science: Our kids are just happy to hold the liquid timer, watch it go, play around with it, and experiment with it. It is the ultimate toy that isn’t a toy, and it really holds their attention. I am sure there is some good scientific explanation on the Net about how it works too. Once I look that up, I’ll have a great lesson in science to share with the kids the next time we pull the timer out.
So there you have it. Our liquid timer is really our best friend forever. It provides all the timer functionality we need, and does it in a way that is interesting to the kids. So far we’ve had a lot of success with it, and our bedtime tonight ran really smoothly with it! Looking forward to using it more tomorrow!
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This post was paid for by the International Society for the Promotion of Liquid Timers. Just kidding.
No liquid timers were harmed in the making of this post.
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