Teaching Your Kids To Tell The Time

Learning to tell the time isn’t always a simple  concept to pass on to young kids.

We would say that at around the age of 4 or 5,  depending on your child, you might want to buy your  child his first clock.  Make sure it is a sturdy  and durable one though as your child will probably  still think of it as a toy.  Of course, he will be  thrilled to have an adult thing to look after.

Putting a wall clock in your child’s bedroom is a  great way of getting your child acquainted with the  concept of time (you can get many themed kids wall clocks).

For toddlers, it is too early to begin to teach them the concept of learning to tell the time. However, if you are having problems getting your toddlers to stay in bed during the night, instead of coming over to your bed, you might want to look at something like My Tot Clock which teaches very young children when it is time to sleep and when it is time to wake up.

What Clock Is Best To Use – Analog or Digital?

Depending on what they will teach your children at  school, regarding the time, you might want to teach  your child by using a kids analog clock or teach  them the time using kids digital clocks.

We believe it is easier to start with the basic and  most often used clock face which is the analog  clock.

To begin with, you can start by telling your child  about the main times in your household which might  be something like:

7 o’clock – time to wake up
8 o’clock- time to go to school
12 o’clock – time for lunch
3 o’clock – time for a fruit snack

and so on.

Spend a long time just teaching the basic  fundamentals of what specific times mean to your  family.

The Hour Hand & Minute Hand

At the next stage you might want to introduce the  hour and minute hands to your child. Explain how  the long hand means different things depending on  which number it is on:

When the hour hand is on 12 it means it is  something o’clock.

When the hour hand is on 6 it means it is half past  something.

And so on.

Once your child has grasped the quarter past and  quarter to, you can then start to explain the 5  minute intervals. So that when the big hand is on  2, it means it is 10 past.  Hopefully this makes  sense.

Learning To Tell The Time Is a Process

We recommend you start teaching your child how to  tell the time in a sequence of steps as we have  outlined above.  Otherwise if you introduce  everything too soon, the basics will become  overwhelming and your child won’t really absorb or  make sense of it all.  Little concepts, explained a  little at a time work best.

Once your child has become used to the analog  clock, you can start to introduce the digital  clockface, which many children find easier, having  learned all about the analog times beforehand.

It is usually around 7 or 8 years of age that your  child will most likely become very good at telling  the time and if you have started explaining the  basics at the age of 5, then he will be in a good  position to understand the complexities of time by  the time he is 8 years old.

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