real stopwatch

One of the things I love the most about kids is their ability to believe they are AWESOME. My 5-year-old will gladly tell you all the things she is a Super Star of…cartwheels, drawing birds, whistling, and having curly hair, just to name a few. Luckily for her and all the other awesome kids out there, this kind of innocent bravado is cute. I’m not quite sure at what age it loses its cuteness, but I do know if you’re 30 and spontaneously boasting to me about your tongue curling skills, I’m probably gonna look at you a little weirdly.

Not only do kids believe they are awesome, they also believe they can improve on their awesomeness. They might be the Best Bubble Blower In The World, but surely there’s a bigger bubble out there waiting to be blown. They might be the only one in known history to have ever done 5 somersaults in a row, but without a doubt they could do 6. It’s this desire and strive to do better that is at the root of Time Me!

How To Play

To play Time Me!, you will need

  1. An eager child, preferably one who has not just eaten
  2. Your iPad’s Stopwatch (within the Clock)
    clock icon
  3. A task to complete

When it comes to the task component, my kids love silly obstacle course-like challenges. One example would be: Run around the tree, touch the car, and then hop back to the iPad. When the child is ready to begin, she starts the iPad timer, does the task, and then stops the timer when she’s done. It then becomes a game of either repeating the task and trying to get a better time or seeing whether her sister (or mom) can do it in more or less time.

There are a couple things to consider. Depending on the environment and age of your child, you might want to be in control of the timer. My 5-year-old believes I can do nothing right, so it’s less complicated for me if I just allow her to be in control! Obviously, you will also want to make sure the iPad is located in a safe place. Depending on the task, your child may have a lot of momentum behind their finger as they come in to stop the timer; we don’t need this expensive stopwatch falling to the ground or something worse.

Time Me! can also be used as chore motivator. “Clean your room!” does nothing to motivate my children to pick up their toys. However, if I ask them “How long do you think it would take you to clean your room?” and they say “Five minutes!,” suddenly they find they have something to prove when I get out the iPad and start the timer.

If you try Time Me! with your children, please share your experience with us in the comments section. While, as adults, we lose touch with our own awesomeness, as parents, that void is filled with how awesome we think our children are 🙂

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