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

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!