Monday, July 21, 2014

How I Use a Sand Timer to Train

Have you seen the idea on Pinterest to make a Sensory Calming Bottle from glue, water, and glitter?  It was a huge hit several months ago as it went viral on a multitude on mommy blog sites.  I even had a few friends send links to the idea because they thought it might be helpful for Little Man. 

If you are not familiar with the concept, the falling glitter inside a water bottle can have a calming effect on children.  It can also serve as a visual timer as it [supposedly] takes a couple of minutes for the glitter to fully settle.

So, I gathered my supplies and gave it a try. 

Massive flop!  Bomb.   

I should have read the plethora of comments because I learned that many have trouble correctly making the glitter float to the bottom.  The glue tends to clump and the glitter takes seconds to settle instead of the promised two minutes.  I was bummed because I thought the idea had a lot of potential. Sadly, the home recipe didn't work for me!

Actually the calming, glitter-falling bottle isn't a new concept.  My mom used the idea 30+ years ago with my siblings and me.  Whenever our judgment lacked wisdom [aka we did something stupid], we had to sit on the stairs watching the Boggle timer leak the sand from one side to the other.

There are so many pluses to using a sand timer.  Watching the sand is memorizing and the ability to read numbers is not required.  It also requires control because moving the timer halts or reverses the sand's progress. 

But unlike the Boggle time that my mom used, I needed something that lasted more than the typical one or two minutes.  So, to Amazon I went.  I was delighted to find a set of Sand Timers in 3, 5, and 7 minute intervals. 

We now use these sand timers for timeouts, cleaning, computer time...whatever activities in which I need our kids to keep track of time.

Just yesterday Little Man was struggling to make a good choice.  He was asked to leave the playing area and sit by me for 10 minutes.  I gave him the 3 and 7 minute timers.  He flipped the one.  Watched.  He flipped the second.  Watched.  As soon as the last sand particle fell to the bottom, Little Man said, "All done.  Can I go play now?". 

And my heart did a little flip!

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The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.