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Fun Timer AppHow do you teach the importance of staying on task and not wasting time to a child who doesn’t understand the passing of time, can’t read a clock, and seeks only immediate gratification? While raising our own children and working with young children for years, we tried natural consequences, peer pressure, praise, token systems, self-management strategies, and behavior contracting. Still, in-the-moment silliness, task avoidance, fear of failure, and dislike for the task at hand seemed to win out too often.

After trying a variety of timers, we decided to design our own timer app to help manage behaviors using a unique approach. The Fun Timer can be used in two different ways with lots customizable options that are calling “Earning” fun and “Losing” fun.

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Tap on the hand that works best in the specific situation.

First, decide if you want your child to earn a reward for completing the specified task OR to lose the promised activity if the job doesn’t get done.



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The word FUN will appear in the center of the clock.


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You can keep the word there or draw, type or import a photo to reflect the reward to be earned.
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Click this image to enlarge.


You can customize the clock to tick faster or slower depending on the length of the task. For example, if you want your child to finish putting his shoes on, you might set the timer for 1 minute. If you want her to put toys away before going to the playground, you might set the timer for 3 minutes.

You can also choose to play or silence the recorded music and record your own encouraging sound, music or words such as “You did it!” if you choose.

Now, press the “START” button to begin the timer. The image will appear in the customized increments of time so your child can concretely see that he is earning his reward.

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This child is earning time on the playground.

If you need to stop the clock to instruct or redirect, simply press “PAUSE” and then “START” again when you are ready to resume.

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This is what your child will see when he completes the task in a timely manner and has earned his reward.

Wow! It feels great to be successful!


We have found the Losing timer to be most effective when we are trying to get through a lesson or task and the kids are wasting time. They simply don’t understand that wasting time now will impact the fun event that will occur later. It’s hard for them to grasp that there is a fixed amount of time in life and we can’t simply turn back the hands of time…

So, to use the Fun Timer in this manner, first press the “LOSING” hand of the timer. The same option to type, draw or import a picture and to customize the settings will be available.

Then press the “START” button to begin the timer. The image or word in the center of the clock will begin to disappear in the customized increments of time.

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This child is losing the time and opportunity to go out for an ice cream cone because she is not staying focused on her homework.


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If she can finish her homework before the timer stops, this is what she’ll see.


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If she doesn’t finish her homework before the timer finishes, this is what she will see.

It is amazing how quickly our little ones have been able to gain better internal awareness of time and learn how to stay on task.

This amazing app is regularly priced at a steal of $2.99.

Search for The Fun Timer App through iTunes or visit

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An "Ism" is our coined term synonymous with a “challenge”. Many children, with or without a diagnostic label, experience various challenges throughout their developmental years which are impacting them in the classroom and at home. At Special-Ism, the Ism is our focus. We do not look at the diagnostic label, instead, we look at the Isms and offer solutions no matter the diagnosis.