When Big Sister E was a baby, we had friends who would tease my husband and I about how much we worked to keep her on a schedule. She napped at the same time every day and went to bed at the same time every night, so even if we were out having a good time, when the clock started creeping close to those times, we would pack up and head home anyway.
Needless to say, it was worth putting up with the good-natured ribbing because Big Sister E was (and still is) an excellent sleeper and does a pretty darn good job of transitioning from one part of our day to the next. That's not to say that every day has to be exactly the same or that the world would come to an end if bedtime was pushed back, but in general having a schedule has worked wonders for us for both kids.
However, I'll admit that time management is just a hard thing for children to grasp. The concept of why they have to stop doing something fun or how come it's bedtime already is something that most all parents have to deal with... and wish we didn't. Fortunately, the creative people over at GoLearn Toys have come up with a visual solution to helping teach kids the lifelong skills they need in order to organize and schedule their day with TimeBuddy.
Designed for kids between the ages of 3 and 7, TimeBuddy is a battery-operated activity clock that, as the dial moves through the 24 hours in a day, points to visual icons for cues as to when to start and stop certain activities. As it is completely customizable with 150+ reusable stickers depicting pretty much everything you can think of, you and your child can personalize your TimeBuddy until it works perfectly for your lives.
As an added feature to reinforce the visual cues, TimeBuddy also has an alarm that can be set for three different times during the day. Whether your child needs help waking up or a reminder that it is time to clean up at the end of the day, you simply use the LCD clock and set the alarm for the time(s) you would like it to alert your child.
And when it is time for the alarm to go off, TimeBuddy has multiple options of what it can say (as well as your choice of speaking in English, Spanish or French). The factory-programmed messages are cute and cheery and you can even record your child's name so that it is included right along with the words. Or, for even more personalization, TimeBuddy has a user-recorded message function that allows parents or grandparents to record their own 15 seconds of speaking.
Even before knowing all of that information about what TimeBuddy is or does, Big Sister E was still overly excited to get it out of the box and see all that it could do.
Right away she and I were impressed by the large number of stickers that were included and got right to work on customizing our TimeBuddy with the times and activities that occur during our typical days.
Beginning with the rim color (no surprise that Big Sister E chose blue, that has been her long-standing favorite), I moved on to adding the night designation sticker while Big Sister E browsed the activity symbols. I have to admit that, being used to a traditional analog clock, my brain had a hard time grasping the concept of TimeBuddy showing 24 hours... which resulted in me placing some stickers on and then having to go back and move them around later.
That aside, setting up TimeBuddy with Big Sister E was fun and easy. "Which one means breakfast to you?" I'd ask, waiting while she pondered over the various food stickers. "What do you do before bed?" I'd prompt her, waiting until she excitedly pointed out the image of a showerhead. No matter what tasks you are working on, from getting dressed to playing outside to practicing the piano, I liked the way that TimeBuddy can work for any child.
Now, instead of hearing, "Is it dinnertime, yet?" or "When's Daddy getting home?" Big Sister E just has to look at TimeBuddy to know how much longer she has to wait. I love that the stickers can easily be moved or swapped out as your child gets older, as I can really see how useful this will be in the future for designating homework time, playtime and more.
Fun, easy to use and completely customizable, TimeBuddy even comes with a cute activity book and four markers to add to the educational aspect of this product. Instead of dealing with whining, complaining or frustration over transitions, this is a great solution and teaching aid for children to learn about daily routines and build a foundation for good time management skills.
As an added bonus, coming soon to TimeBuddy's Twitter and Facebook pages parents will be able to get advice on children, time management and how to best use TimeBuddy (and have the opportunity to ask questions) with Penny Bernath, a Child Psychologist for PBS Channel 2 in Miami. What a great way to make an innovative product even more useful!
All that's left is to head over and buy an award-winning TimeBuddy for the child in your life... but, wait. Shopping is better with a discount, right? From now until October 31, 2010, enter the coupon code tmc140blog and receive free shipping when you order TimeBuddy directly from their website! Plus, thanks to the generosity of GoLearn Toys, one person will have a way to put their child on the path to lifelong time management, because...
One lucky person will win a TimeBuddy of their own! ARV $34.99!
To enter to win: Visit TimeBuddy and tell me something that you learned as well as why this would be a helpful item at your house.
Extra Entries (available after the mandatory entry above is completed; please leave a separate comment for each entry in order for them to be counted).
1 Extra Entry (per method) if you follow TimeBuddy on Twitter and/or Like them on Facebook. 1 more Extra Entry if you leave this message on their wall: TimeBuddy is the unique and innovative way to teach time management to kids! I just entered to win one at Thanks, Mail Carrier! http://bit.ly/9UiHao
1 Extra Entry (per giveaway entered) - Enter any (or all) of the giveaways running on Thanks, Mail Carrier for the duration of this giveaway.
1 Extra Entry if you follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway by copying and pasting the tweet below and leaving me the link. Tweet daily for an extra entry every day!
#WIN TimeBuddy (ARV $35) the innovative way to teach kids time management from @GoLearnToys! @thxmailcarrier http://bit.ly/9UiHao #giveaway
2 Extra Entries (per follow method) if you follow me publicly with Google Friend Connect, subscribe to my RSS feed, subscribe to Thanks, Mail Carrier by email or become a fan on Facebook.
3 Extra Entries if you put my cute button up on your blog. Please leave an address where it can be found.
3 Extra Entries if you blog about this giveaway linking back to Thanks, Mail Carrier and TimeBuddy.
Giveaway will end on October 29th at 11:59pm CST. Do me the favor of leaving an email address or making absolutely sure it is visible in your profile, I have to have a way to contact the winner. The winner will be chosen by random.org and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to contact me or respond to notification or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.
A big thank you to GoLearn Toys for providing a TimeBuddy for me to review as well as for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.