Teaching Children to Tell the Time 5 Steps to Success
A new stage has arrived, our little ones begin to feel curious to learn the time and to be able to manage time together with adults. This learning process usually starts from 5 or 6 years of age, by which time children should be able to identify at least the numbers from 1 to 60, as well as having the logical reasoning to create a time sequence according to their experiences.
The idea is to make this learning process fun and effective, so that children become interested and can acquire knowledge much more quickly. In the following article we give you the steps and some alternatives with which you can teach your children to tell the time.
The first thing you should do to start this activity successfully is to work together with an educational clock. To practice, you can also use creative materials and colours to create sheets of paper that you can stick on the wall and play games. Let the child play and experiment with the movement of the hands of an educational clock, show him or her that they should always turn to the right, that the smallest hand indicates the hour, the largest the minutes and the thinnest the seconds.
In this article we give you the steps to follow how to teach telling time. Teach children to tell the time by following these simple steps.
Choose the right watch
Consider your child’s age, interest, and ability. While most kids can count to ten, and maybe they can count by fives and tens, what they can’t do is translate those numbers into the actual time. For example, if a child can say the number five in a given situation, but won’t recognize that five minutes have passed, he won’t know when he’s late for dinner.
This is why the earliest ages for learning numbers from a watch are four or five years old. That is a relatively simple stage, as they can count, so you can simplify the technique as necessary.
However, some preschoolers, and even older ones, are not interested in wearing a watch. That’s fine. As long as they have the basics, an analog watch is a great tool to learn the time.
The choice of the time teacher watch should depend on your child's age, interest and ability. There are two alternatives: analogue and digital watches. In the former, the time is shown by the hands. For the latter, the numbers appear on a digital display in 12 or 24-hour format, so it is important that you are familiar with both systems.
One of the main problems when teaching time is that we may assume that our children should understand it because they know the numbers, and indeed, although they can count by fives or tens, it may be difficult for them to translate these numbers into real time, especially when they do not yet have a clear notion of how time passes.
Be an example by wearing a watch
They say that children are a reflection of their parents. You might be a little worried about whether it's worth letting them touch your watch, but I can say without a doubt that it's not only worth it, but it's also fun and educational.
Children are always wanting to learn all the things adults do, that's why we always see them imitating our activities. Take advantage of this factor to carry out actions that motivate them to use the clock and tell the time, for example, take your analogue or digital clock, whichever one you want to start with, and mark the times of the day such as "it's 3:00 pm, time to do homework" or "it's 5:30, it's bath time" show them the clock while you indicate the time, so they can become familiar and enthusiastic about the activity.
Every time you show your child how to wear their watch, you will inspire them to do the same with their watch. You will teach them that watches are not just for adults, but a toy and the world around them.
Show your child the importance of telling time
Many children show interest in learning to tell the time, just as their adults do, but what happens when they don't? Your child may ask many questions about it and be curious about its importance. Informing and answering their questions at all times is key, as well as constantly explaining what a clock is for, why we should know the time, and the disadvantages of not knowing it.
Find a suitable teaching tool
The Kiddus Time Teacher watch has been specially created to learn to tell the time. Each time area is a different color in which the hour hand remains until that time changes, making it visible and easy for children to know what time it is. Next to the hour numbers are the 24-hour format numbers, to help children understand that 2.15 p.m. is the same as 14.15. This watch will make it easy to teach your child to tell the time.
Constructed from high-quality materials, our watch straps feature 8 holes to fit 12-18cm wrists. Our watches also include a long-lasting Japanese battery and a hypoallergenic nickel-free stainless steel back cover. Designed to resist splashing when washing hands or playing in the rain, our watches are waterproof but must be removed before swimming or bathing.
With our wide range of colors and styles, Kiddus watches help your child learn to read and tell time without relying on smartwatches or other electronic devices.
Practice, practice, practice
They say that practice makes perfect. Once your little one has already defined the basic points to understand the time, proceed to give him or her their own watch, let him or her choose it according to his or her tastes, so he or she feels more enthusiastic about using it. Look for an option that is resistant to his or her activities, that is beautiful and that fits comfortably.
Once this has happened, give him or her the responsibility of keeping track of the time for daily activities, such as bathing, eating, homework or bedtime. Ask frequently for the time and congratulate him/her when he/she gets it right and keep encouraging him/her if he/she does not do it very well.
Pick a solid time for your child to wear the watch. (Note: not in the middle of dinner or before bed.) Find a watch that fits well, looks nice, and offers accurate time.
Give your child the watch and give her the task of figuring out the time without looking at the watch.
Practice with her doing this on her own or with you. This is the best way to teaching kids to tell the time.
Now, when you say “ready?”, ask your child what time it is. Ask her to point to the number on the watch. If you’re very lucky, she’ll get it!
If she needs help, you can show her how to look at the watch and then look at the number on the watch to see what time it is.
If she can’t do this, remind her of what she practiced the first time.
Ask her to point to the number on the watch again, and then look at the number on the watch to see what time it is.
Give your child a break
When we are teaching our children something new, we always want them to learn it quickly, so they can move on to the next level and keep expanding their knowledge. Big mistake, putting pressure on the little ones, will only make them lose interest when things don't go as they expect, first, for fear of disappointing you and second, because they feel they are not good enough to do it and we don't want them to feel that way, do we?
Let them gradually process the information you have been showing them, let them practice on their own, and let them look to you when they need your support or have any doubts. It is not necessary that they spend all day practising so that they can learn, we recommend you give them time to rest and internalise what they have learnt.
Take the time to learn to do so. It is very much necessary for your child's healthy development. Do not rush your kids. It is also good to give them a break. This often helps them to internalise what they have learnt.
Seek help if you need it
If you feel that it is not working, and that no matter how hard you try, your child is not learning or taking an interest in telling the time, you can consult a teacher, friends or a family member for new strategies to implement the practice from a different point of view. It is also an alternative to look for tutorials or videos of some games and tips that have this purpose.
Getting our children to tell the time is something that takes time, even when they memorise it with a digital watch and then have to switch to chronological time, as it is a different way of knowing the hours, minutes and seconds.
Finding the right way for your kid to learn is not always easy, but most kids do eventually grow out of their digital habits. Learning the hours, minutes, and seconds in analog has great educational and life-long benefits. Teaching them to use an analogue watch may be a much more time-consuming and demanding activity, but the results are always worth the effort.