ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Teach Young Children to Tell Time

Updated on February 3, 2020

Teach Time In Few Minutes A Day

With young children, telling time is a skill that can be learned incrementally in a few minutes a day and with nothing more than your regular schedule, two inexpensive analog clocks and batteries to run one of them.

Source

Start With Patience

Learning to read a clock will not happen in one sitting. It may take a combination of several different methods to help your little one learn how to tell time. So, as with so many other things involving kids, take a breath and mentally prepare yourself to have patience with your child.

Can They Recognize Numbers?

If your child can't yet recognize the numbers on the clock face, you can still teach them the basics of the hands pointing straight up at 12 (or o'clock), :15 (quarter after), :30 (half past), :45 (quarter to), but you'll have to wait on the rest of the numbers until your child can read them.

The clock face does present an excellent way to help your child strengthen their number recognition.

Pop off the clock face and write the numbers beside the ticks for the smaller time fragments like :05, :10 etc.

Source

The Order To Teach Time In

Your child may recognize you saying, it’s “6:30, time for your bath!” but reading 6:30 on a clock is an entirely different story.

Start with the easiest time to tell: o’clock, when the big hand is pointing up at 12.

Next move on to half-hours (:30), then quarter-after (:15) and finally quarter-to (:45).

When they’ve mastered these principles, then introduce the smaller numbers around the clock that are often marked with only a small line. Counting these lines may be the most difficult. If you can, pop off the clock face and write the numbers in.

The Two Clocks Method

The power behind this method is to buy two identical clocks. They don't have to be expensive. As long as they have a simple face with easy to read numbers.

TIP: It won’t make a lot of impact if the clocks have a seconds hand or not since you will be focusing on teaching hours and minutes at first.

Put batteries in one clock and hang it on the wall or in an easy to see place. Keep the other one battery free and at eye level to your child, for example, on a lower bookshelf.

Choose an important event that will occur during the day. It could be the time you go to the park, pick up siblings from school, are allowed to watch TV or have a treat. Choosing an exciting event helps make the clock interesting to your child and more likely to pay attention to it. For example, if you know your child can have one treat a day, like a lollipop, choose a time they can have it.

Collect both clocks and sit with your child. Try doing this in the early morning, for example, during or after breakfast, so you have the opportunity to give a reminder or two about the time as the day progresses.

Explain you will go to the park at 2 o’clock, then set the time on the non-working clock to 2pm. Explain the principle of “o’clock” that the hour is changing as the day gets older. Show (or remind) them the long hand and how it points to the 12. Point out the short hand pointing to the 2.

On the clock with batteries, ask your child to find the 2 and 12. Ask them where the long and short hands are pointing right now. Ask: Is it time to go to the park? Explain you will go to the park when the working clock matches the other. Use your finger to point out the long hand at the 12 and where that is on the working clock, and the short hand pointing at the 2 and the same on the working clock.

Remember they won’t be able to tell you what time it is in the beginning. The focus is just on matching the clock faces.

Once or twice during the day, point out the clocks and ask your child if they match yet.

When 2pm arrives, take down the clocks, point out the matching times, then go to the park.

It’s important to follow through on whatever you have linked to the time-telling exercise. If you don’t, your child may create negative associations to learning to tell time. So, be prepared to give them a treat if that’s what you promised.

Using a specially designed teaching clock is useful when you move onto teaching the minutes because they also often have the words ‘half past’, ‘quarter after’ and ‘quarter to’ written directly on the clock, so every time you go over it with your child, these concepts get reinforced easily. You can buy two teaching clocks, or just match it with the simple clock you’ve already been using.

How Young Or Old Should My Child Be For This Method?

I started using this method with my first child when he was 2 1/2. We used different time tags including: being able to watch TV for a half hour at 4pm, going to the park, having a lollipop or ice lolly, helping bake or cook (kids love to make homemade pizza!) Within a year, after doing this once a day, 3-5 times a week, he was able to tell the time.

We then bought a teaching clock and by the time he was 4, he was able to use the smaller time units of :05 etc.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Amanda Hare

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 

      13 months ago from USA

      Thanks for this helpful hub with detailed explanations and good advice.

    • bhattuc profile image

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      13 months ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Interesting article. Well explained.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)