Pick of the Week: Timers & Counters

Timers help manage all sorts of transitions, schedules and behaviors. The sky is the limit when it comes to how creative you can be with a simple timer. With Back to School creeping up on the horizon, it may be time again to start thinking about schedules and time management. This week only, you can save 15% on our entire category of timers, hand tally counters, and clocks to help ease you back into the biggest transition: back to school time.

To redeem your savings on any product in our Timers, Counters & Clocks category, simply enter the Promo Code BLOGTCT12 at checkout.

*Offer expires on August 7, 2012 at 11:59 pm EST. Not compatible with any other offer. Be sure there are no spaces after the Promo Code when you enter it at checkout.

Pick of the Week: Timers, Counters & Clocks

The new year offers us a chance to take stock and approach things with a newfound zeal. It’s a time to feel energized and motivated. To help you stay on task, this week’s pick is our full selection of Timers, Counters & Clocks as even the most determined of us could use a bit of a reminding. The MotivAider is a great tool for behavioral modification of any kind, and the Vibralite Watch offers a private reminder to engage in any situation. Whatever your goals and resolutions may be, all of us at Different Roads to Learning wish you a happy and healthy 2012!

To save 15% on all Timers, Counters and Clocks, this week only, enter the Promo Code BLOGTC2012 at checkout.

*Offer expires on January 10, 2012 at 11:59 pm EST. Not compatible with any other offer. Be sure there are no spaces after the Promo Code when you enter it at checkout.

Pick of the Week: Time Tracker Mini

We love this small, easy to program Time Tracker Mini! It’s a simple visual and auditory timer that has 360 degree viewing so it’s great for anywhere, in the classroom or at home. There are two simple dials: one for a total alarm time and one for the amount of warning time you’d like given before time is up. The timer turns green, yellow, then red as it counts down. The total alarm time can be set anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 hours in 5-minute increments.

Save 15% on the Time Tracker Mini this week only by entering the Promo Code BLOGTTM2 at checkout.

*Offer expires on December 6, 2011 at 11:59 pm EST. Not compatible with any other offer. Be sure there are no spaces after the Promo Code when you enter it at checkout.

Pick of the Week: Time Timer

You’re probably all familiar with the excellent Time Timer. These visual timers have been a staple at home and in classrooms for students with special needs for years now. This week, save 15% on all three sizes of the Timer Timer: 3-inch, 8-inch and 12-inch. The Time Timer is ideal for transitions, scheduling, getting ready and so much more.

Save 15% on the Time Timer today through April 5 by entering the promo code BLOGTTR at checkout.

*Offer expires on April 5, 2011 at 11:59 pm EST. Not compatible with any other offer.

Pick of the Week: MotivAider

Save 15% this week only on the invaluable MotivAider. The MotivAider is a simple electronic device that vibrates at timed intervals to provide an individual with a private prompt to engage in a specific behavior. It can be programmed to vibrate on a fixed or variable schedule at different duration and intensity levels. The MotivAider is a fantastic tool that can be used to manage a wide variety of behaviors and scheduling issues for individuals of all ages.

Save 15% on the MotivAider today through March 29 by entering the promo code BLOGMVR at checkout.

*Offer expires on March 29, 2011 at 11:59 pm EST. Not compatible with any other offer.

Back to School Basics

You know it is officially back to school season when the grill in my backyard has been cool to the touch for days and I’ve had my yearly medical exam (PPD titer and all!). I hope it has been smooth sailing for you and your little ones as classes begin. If it hasn’t been, this is what I always try to keep in mind, for all people, big and small:


It is best to join forces with your child and prepare for the year by making sure you cover what I like to call the 3 S’s.


Make sure everything in your child’s work/play space at home is organized and equipped. Play continues to be an important part of learning even when school is in session so take this time to go through toys and arts and crafts supplies and weed out things that are broken or no longer developmentally appropriate for your child. Make sure there is a spacious and uncluttered work space stocked with all of the supplies your child will need to complete homework and school projects. It is also a good idea to keep a space near the work area for a visual schedule to help foster independence during homework time. Lastly, designate a spot near the entrance of your home where your child’s backpack, important papers and your keys can go each afternoon. The last thing you want is to add undue stress to your morning routine and risk missing the beginning of class.


We all know that with this population transitions can be especially difficult.  First, take care of as much as you can the night before. Pack bags, sign paperwork, pack lunches, and pick out clothing.  Also, don’t think that a a parent you are the only one responsible for this prep work. Incorporate as many of these things into your child’s evening routine as you can. Having your child participate will foster independence and build confidence. Again, visual schedules and token economies help facilitate independence and provide motivation respectively.  Structure benefits children so it is good to develop a general school year routine and stick to it as much as possible.  Predictability is helpful when it comes to transitions but also remember to build in components that have some element of change to them so that you can facilitate flexibility.  One part of the schedule that shouldn’t change is the sleep schedule.  Keep it as consistent as possible, even on the weekends.  I suggest building a calming activity into the schedule before bedtime and using a timer to help with the transition to bed.


Sometimes, people find it surprising when I suggest preparation for social interactions but there are a lot of creative ways to help children familiarize themselves with conversational topics, common games and salient information about their peers and teachers.  I encourage all of the families I work with to print photographs of family outings or events that can be used as visual prompts for conversational topics.  Especially good are things that happened over the weekend.  If the picture book is reviewed Sunday evening they will be fully prepared to talk about what they did over the weekend. Additionally, you can find out what schoolyard games are popular with your child’s peer group and practice them at home with siblings or playdates.  If it is an athletic game you might also spend time with your child making a book about the rules that can be reviewed periodically. Lastly, I like to construct a “friend journal” with a child at the beginning of each school year.  You might need to enlist teachers or other parents to help with this but it is such a useful tool that it is worth the extra effort.  Start by obtaining photos of each classmate and pasting them individually into different sections of the journal.  On a daily basis you can help your child fill in something they have learned about their peers.  This could range anywhere from favorite cartoon or tv show to their age or their family members names.

Going back to school can be a fun and exciting time.  With a little preparation and creativity maybe it will be the best school year yet!

The TimeBuddy Clock is here!

We’ve been waiting since February for the TimeBuddy to arrive and it’s finally here!
This wonderful and customizable clock is designed to help young children with daily routines and time management. TimeBuddy is a battery-operated 24-hour activity clock with alarm settings. The alarm can be set for up to three different activities. The clock dial points to visual icons which consist of reusable stickers that are placed at actual times throughout the day by the parent, giving children cues on when to start and stop certain activities. You can also set the clock to literally speak three different phrases in your choice of three languages (English, Spanish, and French). There’s even an option for a user-recorded message of up to 15 seconds to allow parents to record a personalized message and you can insert the child’s name into the pre-programmed messages.