Children who are old enough to go to preschool or who have mastered their numbers may be ready to begin using a kids alarm clock. Using an alarm clock can teach kids how to be responsible and independent.
Teaching Alarm Clock Use
To help ease your child into the transition of getting up on his/her own, have him help you choose an alarm clock. This makes the process fun and exciting, instead of scary. It can be a big change for a child to hear a loud alarm instead of Mom or Dad's voice. Helping pick out the alarm clock can alleviate some of those fears.
Get your child used to the alarm noise by having him or her listen to it several times at home. Explain how to turn the alarm off and that he is supposed to get out of bed at that time. Practice the routine you expect your child to do after waking (such as get dressed or use restroom) a few times before putting it into practice in the morning.
The first day or two of alarm clock use, it may be helpful to slightly wake your child a minute or two before the alarm goes off. This semi-alert state can help your kid get used to the alarm sound and not be frightened of the noise.
You may need to check on your child the first couple of weeks, especially if he/she has a hard time getting up in the morning. Make sure he gets plenty of sleep at night; bedtime may need to be earlier for kids who are late sleepers to ensure their good health. Once a routine has been established, most children are excited to be getting up by themselves.
Types of Kids Alarm Clocks
The kind of alarm clock you and your child choose depends on several factors. Age, wakefulness, room décor and type of alarm are all reasons to pick a particular type. Cost, too, should be taken into consideration, as a child who chooses a dinosaur clock will probably want a different one as he eases into the pre-teen years.
Clocks for Toddlers
An alarm clock for a toddler is one that should help them understand numbers, time and when to know they can get out of bed. The Bunny Clock will "wake" by opening its eyes and lifting its ears when children can get out of bed. Currently, it is available for sale in Europe.
United States citizens are not out of luck, however. A new clock called Teach Me Time! from American Innovative has been developed to help children learn to tell time and know when to get up. With color coding that can double as a night light and five different difficulty levels, it was made to grow with your child.
While alarm clocks for toddlers are not necessarily for helping them get up at a designated time, they can help kids learn to stay in bed and sleep through the night.
Novelty and Character Clocks
Kids love clocks that have anything to do with their favorite toys and television characters. Additionally, they also enjoy clocks that have a cool feature, such as projecting the time onto the ceiling. Some popular novelty clocks for kids include:
- Hello Kitty Clock with Night Light
- Dog Sound Talking Alarm Clock
- Shake It Up Disco Ball Alarm Clock
- Spiderman Projection Alarm Clock
- Disney High School Musical iPod Alarm Clock Radio
In addition to the clocks listed above, talking alarm clocks can also be found. A recording of a favorite tune or message can be saved as the alarm, instead of a radio or buzzer option.
Alarm Clocks for Deep Sleepers
As kids get older and move into the pre-teen age, they may have a harder time getting up in the morning. Activities, stress, and staying up too late all contribute to needing a kids alarm clock that will force them to get up in the morning.
The Bouncing Alarm Clock comes shaped like a baseball, basketball, football, soccer ball, and golf ball. To turn the clock off, your child will have to wake up enough to toss it across the room.
Clocky Mobile Alarm Clock will allow for kids to hit the snooze button once-then it "jumps" off their nightstand and starts rolling in circles. Your kid will have to catch it to turn it off!
Alarm Clock Tips
If your child does not know his numbers, has sleep problems, or is simply hard to wake, try these tips:
- Write down the wake-up time on a piece of paper. When the alarm goes off and the numbers on the paper match the clock numbers, your kid can get out of bed.
- Adjust the volume on the alarm.
- Move the clock across the room, so your child has to get out of bed in order to turn it off.
- Try setting two alarm clocks, with five minutes between alarms.
- Set up a sticker behavior chart with a small reward at the end of a successful week to help kids learning to get up on their own.
Learning to use an alarm clock properly not only fosters a child's sense of independence, but will also help youngsters learn numbers and encourage preteens to become responsible for their own actions.