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Genius idea or another toy to be thrashed?

You would think from all the searches on the Internet that I did today looking for timers for preschoolers, that I am the only one with a dawdling preschooler.

I know this isn't the case. I know it.

(Looking for an area ripe for invention? Look no further. Patent a good one, I will buy it.)

One of my friends recently bought a big timer that looks something like a kitchen timer with a black band that disappears as the timer counts down. She tells me it helps her as much as her daughter. I was *this* close to buying one as well.

Then, I kept getting stuck... stuck on the fact that I had bought a little orange timer for $1 from Ikea. And the disappearing time concept still wasn't penetrating my son's head. I was skeptical that adding a big black disappearing line would really make that much difference.

I found a great (in theory) programmable timer with lights -- green, yellow and red. But as the case with many things, I got hung up in the mixed reviews. Seems it works well if you always need the same length of time and can leave it programmed. Not so well if you don't. And I hate to admit we fall in the later category.

I was nearing wits end when it hit me.

Sand timers.

I bought a nice (and inexpensive) five-minute sand timer. I also bought a dozen (yes, a dozen, my house eats things) two-minute egg timers in a variety of colors for $6. My thought being that if I give my son the cheap two-minute timers to play with then the nice new sand timer might not be such a novelty worthy of staring at for five minutes while Cheerios are (or are not as the most likely scenario) consumed.

This will either work or I will have wished I put my $20 including shipping towards the big, bold, disappearing black line kitchen timer.