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A fun way to learn to tell the time

For new parents or people with limited communication skills, doing homework with their children or teaching them at home seems like an insurmountable challenge. This is particularly true when it comes to learning to tell the time.

Fortunately, today’s moms and dads are supported by a range of guides and brands that make the task easier. These brands do their utmost to ensure that little ones have fun at the same time. Find out from us the right age to introduce your treasure to this exercise, the tools that will help you in this mission, and the best method for achieving rapid results.

Une petite fille de 7 ans qui se tient debout devant un fond rose. Elle porte un t shirt rose et elle tient un réveil- horloge rouge
Learning to tell the time can quickly become fun

At what age should children be taught to tell the time?

These days, with the rise of technology and the Internet, little ones learn about everything at a very early age. From the age of 3, when babies are beginning to express themselves with words, the time can already slowly creep into their language.

From the ages of 3 and 4, parents can teach them terms and expressions related to the measurement of time. By age 5, they’re beginning to understand the concept of time. It’s always best if they know how to count before they start learning. Children learn more at school, in CE1 and CE2, around age 6.

Tools for learning the time

Showing children something and organizing workshops with them at home, whatever the theme, is always exhilarating. To be effective, don’t skimp on the means. Here’s a list of products that can help you with your time-telling activities.

The dummy clock

The fictitious clock consists in showing the youngest children a time interval through daily activities carried out on their own or with their parents. For example, you could say, “We’re going to do a bit of sport for 15 minutes ” and give them the go-ahead.

Then announce “it’s snack time. We’ve got 10 minutes to eat everything”. Each time, you signal the end of the countdown.

Let them play for an hour, using the same method every time. Over the course of several days, interchange the activities. Eventually, your boy or girl will realize that 10 minutes is less than 15 minutes, and much less than an hour.

It’s also an opportunity to introduce them to new things, such as your world, your passions and interests, and to spend time together as a family. But be careful, it’s very important to respect the time and deadlines in this case, if you want your offspring to remember everything.

Make your own toy watch or clock

This tip calls on parents’ skill and imagination. Many websites offer printable clock designs. All mom and dad have to do is download them, cut them out and stick them on a thick, sturdy surface like cardboard.

To make the activity even more fun, choose models in the shape of faces, kitchen utensils or animals for the dial and numbers. The minute and hour hands should also follow the chosen theme. Don’t hesitate to make several, especially if you have a flair for drawing.

Make the clocks big enough for the little ones to see every detail clearly and learn the time easily. Ask them to color the inside of the numbers, hands and shapes after their lessons. This will help them retain your learning more easily.

After the explanations, call out an hour, a minute and/or a second, and your child will have to place the hands accordingly.

Dice for learning the time

In keeping with the theme of games for learning to tell the time, once your child has acquired the basics, take two dice. Adult and child take it in turns to roll the dice and place the hourhand on the numbers indicated by the dice.

For minutes and seconds, you can cut out small numbers from 0 to 9. Each child fills a basket (one for seconds, the other for minutes) and picks two numbers at each turn. If you pick a 2 and a 0, for example, set the pointer to 20.

Save time with ready-to-use products

The market is full of toys and accessories for teaching children to tell the time, if you don’t have the time to create them yourself. Learning Resources, for example, has combined all the above elements in a single kit:

  • the brightly-colored, clearly-formatted cards,
  • 3 dice,
  • and a clock-shaped slate for practicing a thousand times over.

Ages 5 to 9 have everything they need to spend a lot of time in front of the clock.

Talking methodology

Before implementing the best strategy for teaching yourchild to tell the time, start by sounding out the situation. Observe him at home and talk with him to see how quickly he understands things.

Une mamie qui apprend à lire l'heure à son petit fils sur une tablette ipad. la mamy est blonde avec un gillet gris et un jeans bleu le petit fils a un gilet jaune et bleu et porte un jouet en bois
Accompanying your child on a fun learning experience will help him to tell the time more quickly

Ask yourself whether your boy or girl has any interests, because by including the notion oftime, you’re more likely to maintain his or her curiosity and attention for longer. And since it’s an area they’re already more or less familiar with, they’ll find it easier to learn the basics.

Start slowly: seconds and the notion of time

Specialists recommend that you always start learning about time with the phases of the day: morning, noon and evening. To this you can add dawn, dusk and night. Send your student some cues:

  • the sun rising and setting,
  • the household waking up and getting ready,
  • mom and Dad coming home from work or picking him up from school,
  • when it’s time to go to bed, and many others.

In this way, your child will be able to distinguish in concrete terms these moments that follow one another throughout the day. And because they’re repeated, they’ll have plenty of time to assimilate them. These concepts will come in handy a little later, when they’re ready to read the time on a digital clock.

Questioning, an important stage in children’s learning

Teachers recommend assessing children ‘s knowledge of any subject before talking to them about it, no matter how little. This helps identify the best way to intervene.

You can show them a clock or a watch, and ask them simple questions like “Do you know what this is? Even in a more advanced phase, by asking toddlers about what they’ve learned, you can see whether they’ve understood or not, whether you can continue or whether you need to go back over certain points.

Getting to the heart of the matter: minutes

Young people understand best through stories, so don’t hesitate to invent your own to flesh out your explanations. In these scenarios, parents explain the role of the small needle and the large ones.

Also explain the direction of the hands on a clock, and how fast the seconds turn in relation to the minutes.

Talking about hours

So as not to confuse them, consider working on an analog clock, but also later on an electronic version. Explain to children that seconds and minutes run from 0 to 59 and that hours run from 0 to 23 on the latter, and that the hour is counted from right to left.

This is always a bit complicated. Older children find it hard to understand that 1 on the analogclock reads 13 in the afternoon, 2 “14”, or 12 can also mean 24. Don’t try to go too fast, and multiply the exercises and examples.

Many parents say thatlearning takes weeks. Some children take months to master the concept, so don’t be too hard on yours. Congratulate your pupil on every correct answer. Practice makes perfect when it comes to telling the time.

Using the Web to teach your child

Once your child has understood how the watch works, there’s no room for complacency. Give them regular exercises to do. If parents don’t have the time, they can use the Internet to find printable exercise sheets on telling the time. The toddler can do it on his own, and they can correct it when they get home.

In general, these are drawings of clocks, with the hands indicating a specific time and the words “In the morning”, “In the afternoon” or “At night”. Your child will have to write the exact time underneath.

At the same time, download coloring books, observation games and mind games. This will give your little blonde head something to take his mind off things. And if you’re really struggling, find help on the Internet.

Youtube has countless rhymes to calm and educate our little ones, as well as fun courses on how to teach your child all about time . Experts with their soft, suave voices are happy to produce explicit videos on the subject.

Buy your child a watch

Un bras d'enfant qui porte une montre connectée pour enfant bleu avec une manche de gilet verte
Connected watches are a great way to learn digital time

Our little ones find it more fun to guess the time without their parents constantly behind them to whisper the answer. The best way to do this is to give them a children’s watch. But what use is it to them if they haven’t quite mastered the art of telling the time? Here’s how.

It’s best to choose a model with a stopwatch, because that’s what they’ll need most. Ask the new owner to perform various activities, such as eating, watching a film or playing on a console, while timing himself.

He’ll learn to tell the time from right to left, and that seconds tick faster than minutes, that a minute is made up of 60 seconds, and that an hour is made up of 60 minutes.

So, what are the best ways to help children learn to tell the time?

On the Internet, and in particular in the Kids World games section, you can choose from a multitude of games for children of all ages, boys and girls alike. The manual clock puzzle for kids fits perfectly into our theme. Your toddler will become more familiar with the different clock components and numbers.

In conclusion, there are many accessories that can help older children teach schoolchildren to tell the time. All it takes is a little imagination or a few euros. The important thing is to go step by step, so that both parties enjoy the learning process. And do you have any other tips forteaching children to tell the time? Tell us in the comments.

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