Cell phone alarm helps announce transition times

We’re proponents of using the timer to announce transition times. Sara reminds us that we usually have one on us even while we’re out and about:

We all know that having something other than Mom or Dad dictating times and terms can often be helpful ("When the big hand on the clock hits 8 it will be time for your bath…") but what you may not realize is that you probably carry a tool around all the time that can help you set up these scenarios:  your cell phone.  Most cell phones have alarm clocks in them.   So, next time you’re at the playground and your child doesn’t want to go home, tell your child you will set the alarm clock on your cell phone for 5 minutes and then it will be time to go. 

The friend who told me this hack said it worked like a charm the first time, but that subsequents nights there were requests for "no phone, Daddy."  Your milemage may vary.

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  1. Elizabeth says

    This works great for us! Bonus: we all have fun doing a little dance to the tune that the phone plays as an alarm. Can’t get that with an egg timer.

    A similar use when on the go–we use the cell phone timer to help moderate turn taking. When the cell phone rings, one kid cedes the toy or other object of desire to the other kid.

  2. jj says

    i use the alarm on my digital watch for this. of course, i still get barraged with, just two more minutes? pleeeeease? two more?

  3. says

    I’ve been doing this for about two weeks and it really works. Before we go to the park we determine the amount of time we’ll be there. I set the alarm once we actually reach the park. It’s understood that the kids can do two more “things” (trips down the slide, climb the net rope, etc.) and then we’re done. I’ve had no tears with this system. I love it.

  4. HRM says

    I use my cellphone alarm to remind me when to give my daughter her meds. One less thing to have to remember!

  5. Jennifer G says

    I use the timer when I remember and if we are out at the park or playground, I take time to remind my son that if he leaves peacefully and I get to enjoy our entire trip that I will be more likely to take him there again (“if you want to get to do this again next week, let’s go now while Mommy is still having fun and happy”). That *usually* works.