My favourite things: the kitchen timer!

My favourite things- Digital Kitchen timer

Once a month, I write a blog post about a program, place or product that has been really helpful in my journey as a mum. And today, I am featuring a product that I use practically every day in our house to maintain order: a digital kitchen timer.

A principle I have tried to work with is to ‘pre-warn’ the children something will happen:

“In two minutes you need to stop playing and put on your shoes”

“One more slide and then we are leaving the playground”

“This is the last bite”.

One of the things that has always puzzled me is that my children blame me for the passing of time: whether it’s too fast or too slow. Using a kitchen timer helps to remove some of the blame to an inanimate object… they can get mad at the timer telling them five minutes is over!

Here are some ways I use the timer to maintain a bit of order in our household:

  • Taking turns with a toy they both want to play with
  • Measuring pack up time at the end of the day (we do a ‘ten-minute tidy up’)
  • For quiet reading time in their rooms, or time in a playpen
  • For uninterrupted time for me (letting them know I need ten minutes to focus on something)
  • Measuring technology time
  • Counting down time – for waiting, for time to get dressed, for getting out the door
  • Using the stop-watch for ‘challenges’ of how fast something they can do something
  • Plus, I use it as a motivator for me: if there are jobs I hate doing, sometimes I set the timer for 15 minutes and make myself do the thing!

I think one of the reasons it works is because the children know it is consistent (have you ever said ‘I’ll be there in two minutes’ to your child and taken 30?). It is a prompt for you and your children. And the reason I use a digital kitchen timer rather than my phone or the oven timer is that it is separate, portable and gets dropped a lot!

As I mentioned earlier, using a timer takes away some of the ambiguity of the passage of time: it is consistent, we can trust that we are getting equal amounts of time no matter what circumstance we are using it for. It’s saved a lot of ‘negotiating’ and stretching time in our house, and I hope that it will be helpful for you, too!

Have fun xx

About The Author


Tanya lives in Canberra with her husband and two sons. She is passionate about helping women to live fulfilled, purposeful lives. She enjoys reading, cooking, craft and creating memorable moments for her family.

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