For my fellow busy moms: Could time ever be on OUR side?


Money can’t buy you love. Yes, of course we all know that. But to pose a question that is probably more important to a busy mom of young children: Can I buy a little uninterrupted “me time”?

Like many moms, I have spent my fair share of time wandering through Buy, Buy, Baby & Babies ‘R Us feeling tempted by the myriad of items promising to make my life as a mom a little bit easier. Could this product/gadget/miracle-cream actually produce the results promised? Or, was it just a waste of money that would end up being yet another unused item taking up storage space?

Well, I’m happy to report that I have found a great product you need to own: The Time-Timer.

First off, let me admit it. This is kind of a dumb name. But don’t let that stop you from reading on about the newest item to change my life!

Here’s my story:

My 4-year old son is awesome. He’s funny, full of energy, smart, and curious… but… every afternoon he pushes me to my absolute limits with his terrible inability to stay in his room for his afternoon “quiet time”. We introduced the concept of “quiet time” about 6 months ago, when it became clear that the love of my life, the afternoon nap, was a thing of the past. Initially, he did great! He built railroad tracks and lego ships and “read books” to his platoon of green plastic army men (who apparently enjoy a break between battles to catch up on their Llama, Llama tales). But lately everything has changed. The four walls of his room are no longer an inviting respite of quiet, imaginative play. Instead, he has decided they are prison bars and he must make every possible effort to escape.

I soon found myself in a daily routine of witnessing my son popping out of his room every 10 minutes or so sweetly, but annoyingly, wondering aloud, “ Is quiet time over yet? How much longer? This is taking too long!”  As he became less and less compliant with my very clear “quiet time” policy, I realized that I only had two options:

1. Let my frustration take over and lose my tempter (and the entire hour fighting with him)

2. Realize that despite what one may think from seeing the broken, plastic, upside-down Lightning McQueen watch always on his wrist, this 4 year old has no concept of how to tell time. In other words, I needed to figure out a way to help him better understand time. 


Enter, The Time Timer.  This simple, black and white, plastic clock-like device offers your kiddos a way to actually “see the time passing.” It looks a lot like a traditional clock, but it shows only the minutes, not the hours.  There is a small plastic knob at the top, which mom simply pulls around with her finger to the time allotment she wants (anything from 3 or 4 minutes, all the way up to a full hour.) When she pulls the knob, a plastic red disk follows and fills the allotted time in red. As the minutes tick by, the red section begins to disappear, giving your children the chance to actually see that the time is passing. When all the red is finally gone, the clock makes a small beep letting your child know, “Yes! Time is up!” (Don’t worry! The beep is very quiet! It has never once awoken our sleeping baby brother in the room next door!)  SO easy!

While I have used this product mostly to improve “quiet time” at our house, I have already thought of so many other uses… time-outs, taking turns, limiting the time of some special activity. Also, once you get your children hooked on the Time Timer, you can get also get a time-timer app on your iphone or ipad for when you’re on the go  (Do I maybe have a little addiction to this thing?)

Not only is the Time Timer easy and effective, it’s also pretty cheap. I got mine (the 8” model) on Amazon for less than $20!  I have yet to find the Time Timer in any stores locally (if anyone has, please comment below) but it is available all over the web along with lots more great ideas on how to use it.

***Time Timer did not pay me to write this review (although I really think they should, don’t you?) I just love what it’s done for our daily schedule and wanted to share my great find! Oh, and many thanks to my genius mom friend who recommended this fabulous product to me 🙂


  1. Oh Kirsten – we LOVE the Time Timer too! It’s been a total life saver for not just time-outs but to help extend Nora’s afternoon quiet time/nap time.

    Nora oftentimes wakes up “on the wrong side of the bed” after her naps. I quickly realized that if I encourage her to stay in her room and read books for another 10-15 min before engaging with the rest of the world, that her attitude is MUCH better. So every day after she wakes up I go in and say “Quiet time isn’t over yet. You can come out when the timer goes beep.” It works like a charm. Happy mom. Happy Nora.

  2. Love Time Timers!! Be careful about buying stuff on Amazon though… Amazon sells them for less than 50% of the real price which seems awfully suspicious. Get them from the real company ( or some place like School Specialty. Better quality! LOVE the app!


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