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Large and Mini Sand Timers

Sand timers are an ideal resource to provide children with a visual representation of time and to anticipate a sequence of events. They can be used to support transitions and problem solving within the daily routine. Suitable for ages: 3+ (Due to potential small parts, choking hazard)

Large sand timers come with matching coloured, moulded end caps and clear, thick wall surrounds. Size: 160mm x 70mm. 1, 3 or 5 minutes (one supplied).

Mini sand timers come in a set and are colour coded to represent different time periods (Red-30 seconds, Green-1 minute, Yellow-3 minutes, Blue-5 minutes and Orange-10 minutes). Size: 100mm x 25mm.

Key learning this resource may support:

Social and emotional development for example, helping children to understand and manage their own time, supporting children to problem solve with peers, as a tool to support self- regulation or to support a sense of independence within the daily routine.

Language, literacy and communication development for example, children can use the timers to indicate their wishes to adults or other children.

Sand timers can support cognitive development as children may engage in exploration of mathematical concepts such as symmetry, shape and other early geometrical concepts.

Suggested starting points for engagement:

  • A timer can be used to support an individual child during the daily routine who may need a visual representation during transitions or between activities. A minute (or more if appropriate) before tidy up time, the child might be encouraged to use the sand timer.
  • A child with a particular interest, focus or challenge within the daily routine may find the visual representation of time helpful and reduce stress or anxiety.
  • Sand timers can be a useful tool in supporting children to solve problems. A small group discussion with children about sand timers and how they might be used can be a way to introduce the resource. If a conflict arises about turns, the adult might suggest how the sand timer may be of help.