Have a kitchen timer lying around? Here are some uses that don't involve hard and soft boiling.

By Elizabeth Schatz Passarella
Updated June 21, 2007
Kitchen timer
Credit: Keate

1. Establish good habits.

Use the timer in the bathroom to teach children how long they should be brushing their teeth (at least 2 minutes).

2. Keep games fair.

Replace the sand timer in a board game. (Sand doesn't ding to let you know that time is up.)

3. Time exercises.

Who can look at a watch while holding a yoga pose?

4. Save your voice.

Set it when you first call the family to dinner. When the timer rings, they must stop checking e-mail and come to the table, pronto!