Executive Function

Why We LOVE The Time Timer: 5 Ways to Support Kids with ADHD

November 16, 2023

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We created The Childhood Collective blog to bring you simple, science-backed strategies to help you and your child with ADHD thrive!


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Have you ever asked your child to do something simple and gotten the immediate response: “But it’s going to take FOREVER!”

Super frustrating, right?

But the truth is, many of our kids with ADHD have time blindness. It can be challenging for them to sense the passage of time or predict how long something will take. This can lead to them being resistant to things like:

  • Starting a task (to them, it may seem like the task will literally go on forever!)
  • Switching to a different activity, especially if it’s not interesting to them
  • Anticipating and preparing for what is coming next

One of our favorite tools that can transform the daily lives of kids with ADHD is the Time Timer. This is a wonderful tool to help your child stay on track, manage their time, and regain a sense of control over their world.


Let’s talk about five ways the Time Timer can be so helpful for children with ADHD.


1. The Time Timer Helps Kids Visualize Time. 

One of the primary struggles for kids with ADHD is grasping the concept of time. They often find it challenging to understand the abstract concept of minutes and hours. Enter the Time Timer! This amazing device visualizes time through a clear, easy-to-read display.

Teach your child to set the Time Timer for tasks and activities. Watching the red disk shrink as time passes will help them understand the passage of time better. For example, if your child needs to complete a 15-minute homework assignment, set the timer to 15 minutes. As the red disk disappears, they can see exactly how much time they have left, making it easier to stay focused and on track.


2. Allows Them to Create Time Blocks.

Kids with ADHD often benefit from breaking their day into manageable time blocks. The Time Timer can be an invaluable tool for this. Encourage your child to create a schedule using the Time Timer. For instance, you can help them allocate 30 minutes for homework, 20 minutes for playtime, and 10 minutes for a snack.

By visually segmenting their day, your child can learn to prioritize tasks and transitions more effectively. This not only reduces the stress associated with managing time but also helps them accomplish more during the day (and see that their favorite activity is coming soon!)


Girl with time timer doing homework


3. Makes Transitions Smoother.

Transitioning from one activity to another can be particularly challenging for children with ADHD. The Time Timer can be a game-changer in these situations. In our own homes, we love to use it as a countdown timer to signal upcoming transitions. For example, if it’s time to finish playing and start homework, set the timer for 10 minutes. When the timer goes off, your child will know that it’s time to wrap up and move on to the next task.

This visual cue helps reduce resistance and frustration, making transitions smoother for both you and your child. It also reduces power struggles, because the clock said it was time to transition (instead of parents giving thousands of reminders and getting frustrated). Over time, your child can become more independent in managing their own transitions.


4. Helps Your Child Beat Procrastination.

Because of the way their brain works (not because of “bad behavior”), procrastination is a common hurdle for kids with ADHD. The Time Timer can be a powerful weapon in the fight against procrastination. Here’s how: when your child has a daunting task ahead, like cleaning their room, they can learn to break it down into smaller, more manageable chunks.

Set the Time Timer for 15 minutes and challenge your child to work on the task for that duration. After the timer goes off, they can take a short break. This gives momentum and allows your child to get started, which is often the hardest part of the task! The visual reminder of the timer helps them stay engaged and motivated, making tasks seem less overwhelming.


5. Builds Time Management Skills.

Time management is a skill that will benefit your child throughout their life. With the Time Timer, you can turn time management into an engaging game. Start by setting a timer for various activities, such as brushing teeth, getting dressed, or reading a book. Encourage your child to beat the timer and complete the task before time runs out.

This not only makes daily routines more fun but also reinforces the concept of efficient time management. As your child gets better at these time-based challenges, they’ll develop valuable time management skills that will serve them well as they grow.


Get Your Own Time Timer

The Time Timer is a truly magical tool for supporting kids with ADHD. By visualizing time, creating time blocks, mastering transitions, beating procrastination, and building time management skills, you can empower your child to thrive in a world that often seems challenging for them. The Time Timer will not only help your child, but it will also reduce stress and frustration in your daily life, making for a more peaceful and harmonious home.


Be sure to use the code “TCC” at checkout to get a discount!

Have a beautiful week,

Lori, Katie, and Mallory

Lori, Katie and Mallory

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We are Lori, Katie, & Mallory.

We are two child psychologists and a speech language pathologist. But most importantly, we are mamas, just like you.

We created The Childhood Collective to bring you simple, science-backed strategies to help you and your child with ADHD thrive at home and school!

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