Learning to tell the time is momentous for a child. It opens up so many doors and most of us probably don’t even remember learning to tell the time as it is just so natural to us. It can be very confusing and takes a lot of dedication from a child in order to develop that skill.
Time is everywhere
Learning to tell the time is a very important skill which we use multiple times a day. Everything we do focuses on what the time is;
- Bed time
- Tea time
- Swimming lessons
- Meet ups
- What time daddy finishes work
Everything revolves around time. The earlier that children are exposed to the concept of time, the easier they will find it when they begin reading the time on a clock.
Tips on teaching children to tell the time
Teaching your child is not as simple as just teaching them to read a clock; they have to be able to understand the concept of time. You wouldn’t expect a child to be able to read without learning to talk, same principles apply.
By introducing vocabulary relating to time such as, past, present and future, etc; it allows children to put their lives into a logical order. They can find sense in things that are happening around them. For children with Autism and ADHD especially, time management and routine can be crucial to how that child will react in everyday scenarios and situations.
- Draw attention to the time – mention the time multiple points throughout the day e.g. “it’s 12pm, it’s time for baby to nap”, “it’s 6pm, it’s time to brush your teeth”.
- Do activities that include measuring time. For example, we do a lot of baking so Leo is used to using time as a form of measurement. “In 30 minutes the cupcakes will be ready to get out of the oven”.
- Putting a clock in the child’s bedroom will also help with recognition, especially if they have a designated time that they have to stay in bed till.
- Confidence when counting up to 60 makes it a lot easier to teach children how to tell the time. Practising the 5 times table also helps but it isn’t as necessary as learning numbers up to 60.
- Give your child the responsibility of reminding you when it’s a certain time. “Can you tell me when it is 5pm please so I can make tea?” “Remind me to take the cake out of the oven in 30 minutes.”
- Introduce time vocabulary; past, present and future. Today, tomorrow, yesterday. Now, next, afterwards, before.
- From an early age you can introduce the concept of time by singing nursery rhymes such as “Hickory Dickory Dock”. “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” can be sung at night time to help with the logic of stars coming out at night time.
- Dont forget about the art of expression; children learn best through play. By creating their own clock and being able to move the hands to specific times can encourage self-esteem and awareness of the basic structures of time.
- Lets not forget games! You all remember “What time is it Mr wolf?”
- Land don’t be scared of apps on iPads, there are some absolutely fab resources in children’s apps these days. They aren’t to be snubbed at, technology is advancing and there’s nothing wrong with a bit of iPad time.
There are hundreds and hundreds of resources online and it can be tricky to find something that works for your child. Each child is unique and they all have their own way of learning.
Personally, I think these resources are fab, but there is one item in particular that has worked wonders with Leo. Leo instantly ‘got it’ and it almost became second nature to him within 30 minutes of using it.
We have the Easy Read Time Teacher wall clock and it is one of the best and most simple educational resources that I have come across. I can’t believe that I’ve not had this already but now we have one, I will definitely be using it with each of my children when the time comes.
This clock retails at £24.95 which I think is reasonable considering how easy it makes learning to tell the time. There are two different colours to our clock, the red side and the blue side. The blue side is the minutes past and the red side is minutes to. First you read where the big hand points to, then you look at whether it is minutes to, or minutes past. The next step is reading where the small hand is pointing; and that’s it! Once your child remembers the sequence in which to read the clock, they can then tell the time!
Easy Read Time Teacher do lots of styles and colours in the wall clocks, they also have;
- Alarm clocks
- Products for the classroom
- Products for the home
- Waterproof products
- Past and to products
- 24 hour products
What do you use to teach the time to your little ones?
We were sent this product in order to write this review. All images and opinions are that of my own.
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