Thank you Mum of 5 Staying Sane for the great review, it makes us so happy to be helping so many families
We were recently sent some Time Tokens to review and I have to say they are a fabulous product.
Invented by a Mum who was unable to find a product to help end the battles and guilt of keeping track of how much screen-time her son was using she invented Time Tokens - a solution that worked for both her and her son with incredible results.
Time Tokens is packaged in a fun orange wallet with 7 hours of Time Tokens vouchers, a Golden Ticket, orange timer with clip and magnet, a parent-child Promise Contract, simple short instructions and lots of fun and inspiration from a gang of friends called The Frazzles.
We were sent a set of Time Tokens for Thing 3 and 4, aged 6 and 9 years. Thing 3 aged 9 was excited to receive hers. She does spend quite a bit of time on her PC, Kindle and iPod and so I thought Time Tokens would be perfect to try out and she agreed. As soon as they arrived we read through the instructions and the Promise Contract together and she had a good look at all of the different values of each Time Token.
There are 7 hours of Time Tokens vouchers split between different time values from 5 minutes up to 1 hour. Each Time Token also features a different Frazzle character on the reverse with a list of ING things that like to do to give you ideas of activities that you would like to do after screen time.
Thing 3 started straight away. She handed me over a 1 hour token and we set the timer on the table where she was sat. She even finished her session with 18 minutes to spare! Usually she wouldn't take any notice of how much time she was spending on the PC but this really helped. She kept checking the timer so she could see how much time she had left and having only used her 1 hour token she thought she would pause the timer and have a few minutes spare for later on, she could have used her whole hour and used another token if she had wanted to.
It's also great for number work if they want to use a certain amount of time or use Time Tokens as it's encouraging them to add up and find the correct amounts to make a specific time frame that they want too so it works on values of tokens and how they can be used wisely throughout the week.
Thing 4 took a little more time to explain everything to and understand it all. He spends a lot of time playing his games on the Playstation so again it meant that we could control his time on there and gave him a visual aid to help too. He needed a little more help with his Time Tokens but the timer worked really well as again it gave him something to look at as he played so he knew when his time would be up. So much easier than just saying to him 'You've got half an hour' which really didn't mean anything to him at all but when he can see half an hour counting down on his timer and then letting him know when his time is up is great.
It's easy for me as a parent to say 'Only half an hour' then go off and do something or see to one of the other children and you've completely lost track of time too!
We have met a bit of defiance from them both as the first week went on. As there tokens slowly dwindled there was a bit of panic from Thing 3 as to whether she would get to the end of the week with enough Time Tokens to get her there but this meant she would learn to manage them better for the next week.
Both of them loved having the Golden Ticket which meant once they had followed the rules and used their Time Tokens correctly that they earned a treat.
Children can also be rewarded every week with a special GOLDEN TICKET which allows them to choose an ING activity to do with friends or family. Maybe making dinner together, bike riding, playing a family board game - the possibilities are endless!
I have to say that our first week ended in success. Both children were very much more aware of the time that they were spending on screen time and maybe we did have a bit of a grump when the timer went off but overall they shut down screen time with no problems. It is certainly a huge learning curve for the children and for us as parents and they do like to then go and find something else to do and having their Golden Ticket to exchange for something to do at the end of the week. I am hoping that Time Tokens just become part of our everyday as the weeks progress, I am expecting a few more hiccups over the next few weeks but overall they are a BIG thumbs up from all of us here at the Staying Sane house!