Sometimes the best way to countdown an activity is by not using words at all. Many children are visual learners and have difficulty understanding and responding to verbal directions. An adult’s verbal directions may be misunderstood or easily glossed over by a child who is very focused on an activity. Using a visual timer to set limits on activities, either fun ones or no so fun ones, gives a clear expectation that can set a child up for a smooth transition to the next task.
This visual timer can be used in several ways. First, you can use it as an end of activity countdown – start at four minutes and then every minute add another red piece. You can also use an electronic timer (I like this one) set if for a minute – add another red piece when the timer goes off – then reset timer.
You can also use this for longer periods of time by using the printable without minutes. Say you have an hour activity, you can place a red piece every 15 minutes until time is up.