I don’t know about you, but I’m having a hard time teaching the kids to tell the time. Some days I think they’ve got it and then other days they look at the clock like it’s a foreign object they have never seen before and respond to my question of ‘what time is it?’ with looks of complete confusion and affront at the mere idea that you would expect them to know what all those numbers and pointy bits mean.
Although we are slowly making progress I’ve been scouring the internet for ways to help them learn to tell the time.
We have an app on the ipad called Interactive Telling the Time Lite which turns time telling into a game and manages to convince my youngest that he’s not actually learning, he’s playing. The premise is that the app tells you what the time is and you turn the hands on the clock to the correct time.
Correct answers are rewarded with fish to put in your virtual aquarium which you can play with between games to stop it from becoming too much of a chore. The game has several different levels that you can chose from so that you can set it to just o’clocks and half pasts, or include quarters and 5 minute intervals.
2 Using Lego.
One of the most difficult things we found about teaching them to tell the time was introducing the concept of halves and quarters. It just didn’t seem to stick well in the minds. Until we starting using Lego to show them fractions which allowed them use something they are familiar with, and was very hands on and seemed to just help the concept click.
Consistency is the name of the game when you are learning any skill, and being able to tell the time is no different. It’s no good them only having lessons and practices at it once a week or so, it’s something they need to be doing every day for it to really sink it. Which is why watches are such a good idea.
You can get simple watches or ‘teaching’ watches like the one above that came from The Watch Hut that have both the minutes and the hours on and help children continue to decipher the time long after the lesson has stopped.
4. Teaching Clocks
Teaching clocks are a great idea and really cheap to get hold of. I found this one on ebay for under £3. They can be used in games and play as well as more structured lessons to help children master the art of telling the time.
5. Crafts and activities
There are plenty of time telling crafts your kids can engage in to help them set time telling in their brain from colouring sheets, making your own clocks, playing time telling games and loads more. there are some great ideas for time telling games and crafts here.
Although be warned, once they can tell the time those sneaky early bedtimes will be a thing of the past.