We searched for a perfect system, reading online on how to teach kids how to tell time, and honestly none of that shit works. Not really. Not unless you put your kid into 5 minute horse stance timeouts enough times, that they can guestimate when you say "don't wake up for another 3 horse stances" Well, that only sort of works. The Gro Clock has a countdown timer in the form of sunrays or moonrays, that gives the timings some visual context.
We started out first kid on the Gro Clock when she got into a toddler bed which coincided with her new-found ability to get in and out of bed on her own. Sleep training with this clock enabled her to gain increasing responsibilities and freedoms while decreasing her dependence on us. If she wakes up before the screen turns to wakeup (orange) and the audible beeps, its her responsibility to stay in bed or in her room until it does turn to orange and beeps.
The Gro-Clock really fit with what we were looking for, which were:
- Visual representation of sleep (indiglo blue) and wakeup (yellowish orangey)
- Intuitive Countdown timer
- Dual wakeup times (one for nap and one for night)
- Silent and/or audible tone
- Double as a nightlight
- Adjustable backlighting
- Child lock out
- Sleek and sexy
The product itself has a built in battery that "freezes" all the settings, including the main time; therefore if the power is off/on a few minutes it shouldn't be off by much. However after 3 or 4 hours, the battery drains. It also uses an LED backlighting, so power consumption is quite low, in fact it also has a built-in energy saving mode, the clock will turn off the LED after wakeup. There are two sleep modes, using different icons. One is a sun, the other a moon - perfect for daytime nap and night time sleep. We liked this clock so much that we picked up another for our 2-year old - who just transitioned from crib to toddler bed.
Here are the rest of the features from the product website:
- Glowing screen shows images of stars and sun to communicate 'sleep' and 'wake-up' time
- Includes fun bedtime story book
- Stars go out one-by-one during the night to show the passing of time
- Key-lock option
- Option to set two separate wake-up times (weekday/weekend or night-time/day-time nap)
- Adjustable screen brightness
- Silent operation
- Optional audible alarm feature
- Mains powered (adapter included)
- Suitable from age 2+ years
- Conforms to highest applicable British and European Standards
- Educational option of showing digital clock during the ‘stars to sun’ countdown
- "Mr Star" night time graphic
- Beautifully illustrated bedtime storybook
We bought the clock from Toys R Us Canada for $50 CDN.