11 March 2021 (updated)

How to Teach Kids to Tell Time - 7 Easy Tips

A digital world doesn’t mean your kids shouldn’t be able to tell time from analog clocks. Learning their numbers and reading a clock is an important part of understanding minutes and hours! Check our tips on how to teach time to your kids!

When you start to teach your kids telling time, it’s important to start your child off slow and provide the resources they need to succeed. Once they’ve developed a sense of time, they’ll be ready to begin learning how the minutes and hourswork. Share your ideas for tell time exercises with other parents on your favorite family app!

How Do You Teach Time to Preschoolers?

If your kids are ready to tell time for kindergarten, it’s important to be patient. This will ensure that they can learn at their own pace and will absorb the information you’re providing.  A big part of children understanding the concept of time is knowing the words and numbers that represent it. While they should know their numbers first, you can start them off by pointing out short periods of time.

If you’re leaving for the park or baking cookies, tell them 5 or 10 minutes to give them a sense of time. Identify things that take up similar times to help them determine what a quarter or half-hour is. It’s also important to use an analog clock with any learning they do. This will help your child to visually understand the passage of time when they watch the minute hand and hour hand move.

How Do You Teach a Child to Tell the Time?

Teaching your kids about the hours in a day and the passage of time might seem like a complicated thing to explain. Fortunately, there are plenty of tell time activities that can make it fun! Once your children know their numbers from zero to sixty, they’ll be ready for some games.

1. Match the Easter Eggs to Tell Time

Play this game by purchasing some plastic Easter eggs. Write the digital time on the top half of the egg and text like "quarter past eight" on the bottom half. This will help children understand how to talk about time so they can go from there! Share your matching game ideas with other parents on FamilyApp!

2. Get Out the Playdough to Practice

Kids love playing with playdough, so this game will be a surefire winner when it comes to learning fun! Draw a clock face and have your kids get acquainted with the hour hand and minute hand. Give them the times and have them move the playdough hands alongside them. Your kids might even love playing this game with sidewalk chalk tell time clock!

3. Learn Reading Clocks with Mountains, Hills & Rocks

It might sound like a funny name for a game, but this will teach your kids all about elapsed time. In this game, a mountain is one hour, a hill is a half-hour and rocks are one minute. This game is good for breaking time into unitsand showing your little one that telling time is easy. There are plenty of great games for teaching time-telling to share with other parents on your favorite family app!

4. Try a Time App!

Technology can be a great resource when it comes to learning and studying for kids of all ages. Fortunately, it can also be great when it comes to teaching time! If your children have a tablet, they can move the clock hands and do quizzes using a tell time app. While Time Teacher is a great choice, Interactive Telling Time will help your children learn how minutes work.

5. Discover Different Kinds of Clocks

Talking about different ways of time measuring will put some extra fun into teaching and learning. Smaller children love hourglasses, for example when brushing teeth. A kitchen timer or an alarm clock helps them get the idea of time elapsing. A sundial, on the other hand, is a little harder to catch on to, but older children might be fascinated by the concept.

6. Go On Clock Discovery Tour

Sometimes it's hard to impart the importance of telling time to your children. To encourage your kids, add some extra fun on your next stroll. Let them discover all the different clocks in town. You can also take pictures and recollect your path and the passing-by of the minutes and hours.

7. Use Printable Time Worksheets to Tell Time

Sometimes the oldest method is the easiest method, and it’s no different when it comes to learning time! The best practice is repetition, and printable time worksheets that help to learn will give your children just that. By the time they get to the second page of their tell time worksheets, they’ll be an analog pro! Ask a teacher you're on friendly terms with about a template or check some online resources to download clock worksheets.

Learning numbers is a part of the process of getting older and understanding more about the world. And, even in this digital age, telling time and understanding clocks is an important part of knowing how things work. Do you have more tips for teaching your kids to tell time? Share them with other parents in our comments. There’s a different solution for every kid, but knowing the numbers is the best place to begin!



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