Sand timers—otherwise known as hourglasses, sandglasses, or sand clocks—are excellent tools to use for time management. Whether it’s for the classroom or at home, sand timers are useful for a variety of activities.
The first sand timer to be depicted in a work of art is in the 1338 fresco in Italy called The Allegory of Good and Bad Government. It is believed that a French monk named Liutprand invented the first hourglass in the 8th century AD, but the earliest evidence of the timer can be found in 14th century European ship inventories.
How Long is the Average Sand Timer?
The average sand timer is a minute long to encourage children or students to practice rapid calculations or free-form writing. However, Thinker Trove offers a wide variety of sand timers to customers across Canada, making it easier for teachers and parents to design different games and activities. Our selection includes:
- 30-second sand timers that come in grey
- 90-second sand timers that come in orange
- 1-minute sand timers that come in red
- 2-minute sand timers that come in blue
- 3-minute sand timers that come in yellow
- 4-minute sand timers that come in pink
- 5-minute sand timers that come in green
- 10-minute sand timers that come in purple
Our small timers measure 1" x 3 1/2", but we also offer larger models that measure 3-1/4” x 6-3/8”. Our range of small timers always come in packs.
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Ways to Use a Sand Timer
Our timers not only make for a great visual display with their bright colours, they are also practical for everyday use.
Kids hate doing chores, but turning it into a timed activity can get them motivated. When siblings need to clean up their toys, flip the timer and see how they work together to beat the clock! It also helps to add a small reward as an incentive.
In the classroom, doing chores and working together can help students get to know each other. It can be particularly helpful at the beginning of the year when everyone’s a bit shy. A simple activity like organizing the play area can be the start of long-lasting friendships.
Over time, kids will become accustomed to cleaning up after themselves and won’t need to be timed.
A little friendly competition is good for anyone, whether it’s young children, teens, or adults! At your next Family Game Night, why not switch things up and add a timer to one of your board games? When a player goes to answer a question, like in Trivial Pursuit, use one of our colourful timers to turn the heat up. Or if you’re playing a mystery game, such as Clue, see who can solve the mystery faster! The game is afoot!
A product like the sand timer can make school work more fun and easier to do. Ever heard of the Pomodoro Technique? It’s a time management system that separates work into 25-minute sessions with short breaks in between. Teachers and parents can use this technique when helping children or teens with schoolwork.
If your little one needs to review their multiplication table, get out those flashcards and flip the timer to start the session. You’re free to change the session from 25 minutes to 10 minutes or less. Maybe as they get used to the technique, you can help them build up to 25-minute sessions.
Breaking work up into smaller chunks is a great way to help them absorb the information, so they aren’t overwhelmed and stressed. It can help to improve their results on tests the more they practice using this technique.
When young children misbehave, they need to be taught that there are consequences. To help parents and teachers keep track of a child’s time-out, these sand timers can do the work while clearly displaying how much time is remaining. When you buy a set, you can also assign the different ranges of time to suit the level of punishment.
Sand timers are a helpful tool for so many types of activities at home and at school. You can also use them for cooking and moderating your child’s TV time. There are endless possibilities for the whole family! Get the complete set to adequately track activities.
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Are you a teacher or a parent in Canada? Thinker Trove offers fun and educational products that have a tremendous impact on children as they grow up. They develop their social skills and discover new passions that can lead towards a bright and promising career.