Counting is difficult for my daughter, and translating minutes or counting by 5’s is a big challenge as well. This makes telling time a real challenge. Together with the amazing math teachers at Seven Gen, however, Amelia has learned to tell time, but it always helps to have a few tricks up your sleeve. Here are my top 5 tips for teaching a child to tell time:
- Buy a foam clock with numbers and movable hands.
This little gem cost me exactly ONE DOLLAR at Target. Worth every penny – and it’s even 2 sided, with the back NOT having the “5s” on it.
- Teach with music.
It turns out that telling time is aided by being able to count by 5’s. Thank God for YouTube and it’s counting songs! Mr. R’s Count by 5’s song is great and one of Zoe’s favorites! She actually plays these on her own time.
Amelia LOVES doing them, so I’m going with it. The school sent home worksheets in a plastic shell. Amelia always has to write underlines for the blanks and the “:” in between first, then she starts to figure out.
- Homemade clock with time reveal.
To craft this, you cut out two circles: one with a regular clock face and a second one with the time by 5’s, lined up in the same places as the regular clock face. Use a clasp to attach the 2 circles in the center. Cut the 1-12 digits so that they fold back to reveal the time underneath, so that when fold back the “1”, you can see “5”. This is slightly better than the foam clock, because the slow reveal teaches the number association in a less confusing way. It also allows kids to craft their own clock. Sadly, ours went through the ringer and back, so it may be time to craft a new one!
- Time Puzzles.
This brilliant idea is from the teachers at our school again. If you have a puzzle-loving child, like I do, this is a great way to get them to tell time. This was the ONE task I pulled out over the summer that Zoe did every time! What I love, too, is that the teachers very creatively upcycled paint chips to create the color-coded pieces! THIS is why I don’t teach and they do.
- Zingo! The Time Telling Game
This time telling game is a blast for kids – and Amelia loved it. If your child loves matching, she’ll love Zingo! There are two sets of cards: Blue for hours and Orange for minutes. Each go in their own column in the Zingo! Zinger, a device players slide back and forth to reveal the next card. Kids LOVE the Zinger the way they love the popper in Trouble or the spinner in The Game of Life.Players need to match one or both of the cards revealed to a card on their playing board – and need to call out the time too! Zingo! has two levels. Green beginner boards, which show the hours and minutes in both digital and analog, and read advanced boards, that only show the analog time. I cut Amelia a break and let her slowly read the time – we’re still building up her comfort level, but with the teaching we’ve done with the clocks, counting and worksheets, Zingo! is the perfect complement to get a child comfortable telling time and learning to enjoy it!
Once she masters this, she’ll be getting her own alarm clock, so we can start working on getting herself up all by herself.
So share, what has helped you getting your child to learn time?
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