I have been using a free timer program that I wanted to tell you guys about. My son used it in class last year and he was so excited by it that we had to put it on our computer at home.
It's called Cool Timer. It's easy to set, and can be used as a countdown timer, a stopwatch, or an alarm clock. The coolest part is that it lets you choose from a bunch of different noises that signal the end of the time - many of which make the kids crackup. You can also use your own sound files as the end of time signal. It's so much more fun than the kitchen timer!
We use it a lot since my kids give little bits of time to the things they are learning - times tables, reading, typing. And for school they sometimes have to do a timed practice for math or reading. Sometimes I also give them a certain time limit for cleaning up the living room. (Cookies for every one if we can beat the timer on the cleanup!) Or we sometimes use it to make sure they know that they get equal time on the computer or a video game or to limit the amount of time they spend online.
If you want to check it out, it's a free program by Harmony Software and you can find a download link at: http://www.harmonyhollow.net/cool_timer.shtml%20
This is not a sponsored post.