Friday chat: Have you taught your kids to tell the time?

February 19, 2016

how to teach kids to tell the time

Have you taught your kids to tell the time or are you relying on school to teach them?  I was having this conversation with a friend a few weeks ago when she said ‘oh they can’t read the time yet because they haven’t done it in school’.  This got me thinking that we as parents should teach our kids more life stuff than always relying on school or worse, not doing it at all.  Things like tying shoelaces, telling the time, simple cooking skills, tidying up and all that kind of stuff.  

I am guilty of not teaching enough of this stuff too.  It’s so easy to overlook when we lead such busy lives but it is important to do.  So the last couple of weeks, I have been teaching Anya to tell the time.  Here are some things we’ve been doing that might help if you are planning on teaching your kids to tell the time:

how to teach kids to tell the time

1. Make a clock – this has been the best thing we’ve done in helping to learn the time. We made a really simple clock from some card and printed out numbers as you can see. I say we but really Anya made it. She loves setting the time on her clock and it’s been a great way to practice telling the time.  It’s made the learning fun. 

2. Teach your kids their 5 times table if they don’t already know it.  This as I’m sure you can imagine, makes reading the time so much easier.

3. As you’ll notice from our clock, I decided to stick to 5 minute bursts of time to start with.  Until kids understand how the small hand and big hand work and the basics of reading time, I found it much easier to stick with this rather than introduce all the minutes.

4. I started by teaching 15 minute chunks of time – so 15 minutes past the hour, 30 minutes and 45 minutes and 60. We then graduated to the other minutes but still in 5 minute chunks.  Once they get this then the other minutes come easily. 

5.  We now get the clock out at those times of day that happen everyday like breakfast time and bedtime and I get Anya to set the time on her big yellow clock.  We try and do this everyday at different important times of the day. 

6. I’ve also bought Anya a watch and encourage her to wear it and will randomly ask her the time.  I’ve noticed that she’s especially keen to help when I pretend I have no idea and am relying on her.

Have you taught your kids to tell the time? Do you have any tips that would help teach kids to tell the time?

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