time is an important life skill that all children need to master.You
can teach your child to tell the time from a young age by talking about
routines that are carried out at different times of day.
to help their children to tell the time, as the maths
curriculum in school doesn’t allow for enough practise of this essential skill.
Here are some
simple suggestions for teaching your child how to tell the time:
introduce your child to different methods which can be used to
measure the passage of time such as a watch, stop clock, 2 Minute Sand Timer
digital and Analogue Clock
. Set them small challenges to be done within different time frames,
such as completing a jigsaw in three minutes or perhaps counting how
many skips they can do in two minutes.
This will help them to develop an understanding of the passage of
your child about the passage of time during the day, by mentioning
routines such as ‘It’s eight o’clock time to get ready for bed’ or
‘It’s six o’clock time for dinner’. This will help your child to
recognise various o’clock times and develop an understanding of the
position of the minute and hour hand.
the features on a Tell The Time Clock. A Jigsaw Clock
is also useful and fun for your child as it will also
allow them to order the numbers from one to twelve and
explore the movement of the hour and minute hand.
'Tick Tock' Wall Clock
in your child’s bedroom, which has numbers clearly
marked and markers for each minute, so your child understands that
there are five minutes between each number.
explain to your child that the short hand shows the hour and the
long hand shows the minutes.
that there are sixty minutes in an hour- move the minute hand and
count in five’s to sixty. Explain that each time the minute hand
moves around the clock once, an hour has passed, and the hour hand
will then move to the next number.
hour and minute hand so they show twelve o’clock. Turn the minute
hand once around and explain that an hour has passed so it is now one
o’clock. Continue explaining and demonstrating other o’clock
times. If your child grasps this fairly easily, ask them to show you
different o’clock times and talk about what you do at that time
during the day.
on to teaching half past time, by explaining that when the
minute hand has passed half way around the clock it is ‘half past’
the hour. Practise various o’clock and half past times together, and
link these to your child’s daily routine. For example, ‘It’s half
past three, that’s when I collect you from school’. This will make
learning to tell the
time more relevant to your child’s everyday life. The Let's Get Ready For School Tell The Time Book
for linking time and routines.
child is able to tell o’clock and half past time, you may want to
get them their own watch such as a Timex Time Teacher Watch, as recognition of the effort they have
made to learn to tell the time. This will also interest them in
learning to tell the time independently.
child has been introduced to o’clock and half past time, practise
counting in five’s to help your child tell the time at different
five minute intervals. Stop at each quarter hour and emphasis
‘quarter past’ and ‘quarter to’ time.
You may find that your child learn to tell the time in a matter of days
or weeks, but keep reinforcing time during your everyday routines until
they are confident. By ensuring your child has their own watch
in their bedroom they are likely to be able to tell the time fairly
quickly and before long they will be proudly be telling you what
time it is!
Images courtesy of
Health and Development
Whilst every care has been taken in the compilation of the information
provided on this website, Teaching
Your Child will not be held liable or responsible for any loss,
damage or other inconvenience caused as a result of any inaccuracy or
error within the pages of this website.