Teaching Time To Children

Written by Sierra Rein
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One of the greatest gifts a teacher or parent can give to a child is the ability to tell time. It is one of the most fundamental basics that today's society is built on. Kids who understand how to gauge time and read it from a watch or clock are more likely to become independent and less reliant on their parents to get ready for school and meet important deadlines. They are also more likely to respect other people's schedules and be on time for essential daily events.

The first step to teach time to your child is to tell him about the second hand, and how it travels around the watch face in 60 seconds every one minute. To help him embody the understanding of a "minute," a good idea is to find out how many daily tasks can be accomplished within this specific amount of time, such as tying a shoelace, brushing one's teeth, or watching a few commercials. Once he grasps this concept, you can move on to the minute hand and discuss how it moves to the next space once the second hand completes one revolution.

After a week, teach them about the hour hand, and how the minute hand moves through 60 spaces while the hour hand only moves from one number to the next. The child can then learn how long it takes to drive to school in the morning, how long it takes to pop popcorn in the microwave, and how long his favorite television show lasts. Once these measurements are understood, the child may be ready to learn about quarter and half hour increments, how there are 24 hours in a day, and how to look at the clock face and know how to recognize when 6:30 or 2:15 rolls around.

Special Watches to Teach Time to Children

A few unique companies have taken it upon themselves to develop special tools for parents and teachers to teach children how to tell time. Some of these tools take the form of wristwatches designed with color-coded second, hour and minute hands. For example, the blue minute hand may correspond to the blue minute notches painted on the face of the watch, while the red hour hand matches perfectly with the large hour numbers. Many of these teaching watches can be purchased along with instruction and activity booklets to help a child take the concept of time and apply it even further to his or her own life!


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