Ten Uses For A Kitchen Timer

One of my most frequently used tools!

One of my most frequently used tools!

I love having a kitchen timer or two around the house! OK, if I count the one on the oven I actually have three and have been known to use them all simultaneously! Here are a few of the ways we use them.

  • Setting deadlines for myself for internet activities. For example: I do my pinning two to three times a week for no more than 30 minutes at a time. Otherwise I “fall into the web” and have trouble coming back out again.
  • Setting deadlines for the children. “You have X number of minutes to complete this job or school assignment.
  • Managing transitions. “I’m setting the timer for X minutes, when it rings it will be time for ___.
  • Setting limits for sitting in a chair. You must sit quietly until the timer rings (usually no more than five minutes)
  • Taking turns: “When the timer rings it will be Buggle’s turn to have X” I actually only use this if I can’t get them to negotiate their own taking of turns. I really don’t think I should be policing their play that much and am much more likely to just take away the toy in question until I get some evidence that they are ready to think of others.
  • Keeping track of things in the oven or on the stove: I know that seems obvious but many things have gotten burned around here because the cook got distracted!
  • Improving my focus when I write. I set the timer for thirty minutes and write the whole time, without stopping to check social media, make a cup of tea etc. It’s amazing how the words can flow when I force myself to concentrate only on them!
  • Watering the garden. The system of sprinkler and soaker hose I use requires some adjustments to get the whole garden, so I set the timer, then turn off the water and move the hose as needed. I’ve been known to flood part of the yard without an annoying beep to remind me to turn off the hose!
  • Making myself do housework I don’t enjoy. Set the timer for ten-fifteen minutes and make myself work on a certain task (folding laundry?) the whole time. Often I find a job I’ve been putting off is much more time consuming in my mind than in actuality. Telling myself I only have to do it for ten minutes makes it not seem so big.
  • Ten minute tidies. We’ve just started doing these and I’m working on getting everyone to do them several times a day. We all have a bad habit of dropping things when we move on to a new activity which quickly results in a messy house. I’m working on teaching everyone (including myself) to pick up as we go, but in the meantime several short stints of everyone picking up and putting away what they see really helps keep the mess manageable
  • I’m sure there are many more uses of the timer that I will discover. What do you like to do with yours?

    Oh, and a big thank you to Bright Ideas Press (I’ve just joined their affiliate program and this post contains an affiliate link) for the one they gave away at 2to1! We all find its ring much more pleasant than the insistent beeping of the other two timers in the house!

    This entry was posted in homeschooling, Housekeeping, Life, preschooler chores, Schedule, Top Ten Tuesday, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

    7 Responses to Ten Uses For A Kitchen Timer

    1. Heather says:

      Great ideas. My kids always work better when I get the timer out.

    2. Jimmie says:

      I love the idea about transitions. It’s hard for young children to shift from one activity to another. Warning them and using a timer makes that so much easier. And I learned about five years ago that there is no shame in setting a timer when cooking. It results in far fewer disasters. 🙂

    3. Becky Marie says:

      The transition idea is a good one! I also like your 10 minute tidies, I try to do that every day after lunch but it usually takes us a bit longer (I try to wipe down at least one room then also).

    4. Lynna says:

      Thanks, K! This is a fantastic post! Here are some of the ways we use our timers (we have many scattered throughout the house!):

      Shower or bath. Let kids know when they need to turn off the water and/or get out.

      Reading in bed. Let kids know when it’s time to turn off their lantern and go to sleep. (Has only sporadic usefulness since other people share a room with the late-readers.)

      Potty training. When I have someone who is able to self-potty but tends not to go “in time” I have them set the timer and go when it rings and then re-set the timer. Start at every 30 minutes, then stretch it out as they are able.

      Keeping Mommy from micromanaging. Since I have a tendency to over-pick on how the kids choose to clean up, sometimes it is helpful to everyone’s sanity if they clean-up job is monitored by a timer instead of an over-critical Mommy. I can walk away and check on the end results instead of each detail of progress.

      Timing in reverse. Like you said, jobs often seems much more time consuming in our heads than they are in actuality. This is true for little people too. Sometimes I have them use a timer (we actually have a count-up function to our timers, but you could do it with a count-down timer and a little math practice) to time how long it takes to do an activity or job. Then you can say (to yourself or to a kid) “Remember, it will only take you about 7 minutes. Don’t fret!”

      Keeping track of the washing machine. When I’m trying to get in several back-to-back loads of laundry, the dryer buzz will let me know when to move things along. But for the very first load (only items in the washer, nothing in the dryer yet) the timer helps me remember to come back and move clothes to the dryer.

      Bread rising. My bread generally needs to rise for 1 hour. I set the timer for 50 minutes. When it beeps, I turn on the oven to pre-heat and then set it for another 10 to remind me to come back and pop the loaves in. Then (of course) I set it for the baking!

    5. Lorraine says:

      We use timer to limit our childrens’ time in the shower to conserve water. Saves water and cash all for the cost of a little timer!

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