For some children, recognizing the time can be difficult.

You are probably wondering which is the easiest way to explain to your children how the clock works. In any case, you should start teaching the child when he is willing to learn.

Today, we will give you some ideas on how to teach your child time.

Getting your child ready to tell time

Before learning how to tell time, the child should master the basic math skills first:

✔️ Child should be able to count to 60 before he can tell time. You should also explain the concept of an hour, minute, and seconds. If you start teaching the clock before the child has mastered these skills, you risk getting him discouraged or confused.
✔️He has to learn to count backward – from the largest to the smallest number.
✔️The child should know which numbers are both even and odd and knows the common multiples of 2 and 5.
✔️The child should not confuse the directions left and right.

There is no concept of time at an early childhood age. Therefore parents have to teach children not only how to recognize the different parts of the day but also to understand terms like “past”, “present”, “future” and “now”.

After the child has mastered these basic skills, you can go directly to explaining clock time following these basic principles:

1) Learning should be fun.
2) You should maintain a balance between study and free time.
3) Practice regularly.

You can teach the child to independently navigate time in terms of things that are pleasant to him: let him determine what time he wakes up, how much time he spends playing games, etc.

Here are the steps on teaching time-telling:

Buy a wall clock with large numbers. It would be better if the clock does not have a plastic cover on the front. This way child could move the clock’s hands with his fingers which would facilitate the process.

Explain to the child that the small arrow indicates what time it is and that it moves slower than the others. You can manually place the hand at 12 o’clock, and then at other positions on the watch. Let the child move the arrow and change its position until he understands the principle of operation. Ask questions such as “If it is 8 o’clock, where should the clock hand be?”.

Once the child understands how the hour hand works, explain the meaning of the minute hand. He will probably find this part much more difficult, so – start with time options such as 12.30 or 6.00 – they should be easier to understand.

Continue with the positions of minutes 15, keeping an accurate interval to 5 minutes at most (for example – 1:30, 4:45, 8:05).

Ask your child what time it is regularly to help them get used to this new skill. You can also reverse the approach by allowing him to ask you what time it is.

Do not forget that there are many toys that would help you teach your child time. You can search for mobile applications that would also be useful in improving this skill in the form of a game.


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