Learning & Activities


Fun Games to Help You Teach Telling Time

what is the time

Fun Games to Help You Teach Telling Time

Telling time is important for our everyday lives. While we all have smart phones now that tell us the time, that doesn't mean we shouldn't learn how to read an analog clock. Teaching our children how to tell time is imperative now and for the future. Although children mostly rely on their parents to transport them to their soccer practices, piano lessons, or sleepovers, this will not be done forever. 

As children get older, their class schedules will become more and more difficult each and every year.  They will need to learn how to plan and estimate how much time it takes getting from point A to point B.

What are the best methods to teach kids about telling time? The following are suggestions that will make it both fun and easy.

The Daily Time Line

Start off by sitting down with your child and talking about what he or she does every day.  This can include waking up, eating breakfast, going to school, going to school, and getting ready for bed.  Although time management is a concept that may be too difficult for young children to grasp, it is possible to make this lesson easy.

Grab a big piece of white construction paper and draw lines to create 24 different squares.  Each square will represent each hour of the day. Next, grab some magazine images or print some images off of the Internet that show people doing different activities. Images of people sleeping, eating, playing sports, or being with friends are just examples to paste or tape into the little squares. Your child will see what a regular day can look like as divided by the hours in a day. This will serve as a great introduction to how time works.

Draw a Clock

Take a blank sheet of white paper and draw a huge circle. Next, draw the numbers of the clock. Explain to your child that the clock hands operate in a clockwise fashion. If your child already knows how to count and identify numbers, this will be somewhat easy to understand. However, the fact that analog clocks only go to the number 12 may be confusing. By explaining that the second half of the day starts at noon, you can run through this concept with your child a few times to see if he or she can catch on. It will take a little time, but at least your child will be able to see how the clock works.

Minute Challenge Game

This is a fun little game to teach kids how long a minute is.  Have your child lie down on the bed and close their eyes. Using a stopwatch or the second hand on a clock, wait for a minute. Let your child guess when a minute has passed by raising their hand. If it hasn’t been a minute yet, set their hand back down.  Once a minute has passed, clap your hands. You can change it to two minutes, five minutes, and so on as you like.

This challenge will help your child understand the passage of time. They make think that a minute is a lot longer or shorter than it actually is! By making your child more aware of time passing by, they'll be able to understand clocks more easily. They'll also be able to understand how to pace themselves to ensure they're ready for something on time.

Writing Time Down

Using a blank sheet of paper and a pen, draw out pictures of analog clocks with the hands indicating different times. See if your child can write down the correct times. If they can, point to one of the clocks and ask what time it would be if ten minutes passed.

This is also a great way to introduce phrases like “quarter to” and “half past”. Once your child is able to accurately read a clock, start working on these phrases. Draw a clock that is set to half past the hour, and tell your child the time as such. Once you've introduced this concept to your child, draw a series of clocks set to the hour, quarter after, and quarter to.

See if your child can use the right phrases for each time. For example, if you've written down a clock that reads 5:15, see if your child can tell you that the time is quarter past five. Learning different ways to tell time will help your child become a time-telling pro!

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