We are taking a break from addition and subtraction and working on telling time. To start us off on this week long unit, we made a clock to practice telling time.
I learned a few things while getting this activity ready to share. For starters, make sure the supplies you are going to use will actually work for your purposes. I thought we would use our number stickers and a paper plate. I should have put a few numbers on the plate, then I would have realized that the numbers were way too big for the plate. It looked like one big number going around the plate.
Next, if you are planning on sharing how to make something, it’s kinda helpful if you take pictures of the process. Otherwise, the reader doesn’t get to see the picture of the failed clock and laugh with you. Ah well. This activity is simple enough that you can look at the end product and know how to make it.
You will need:
Something for the hands of the clock (we used sparkly foam)
Something for the numbers (we used foam stickers)
I did this activity with my 5 and 6 year olds. They were both able to follow my instructions. I think my 3 year old might have been able to do it if she wasn’t napping.
Start by putting dots were you want the numbers of the clock.
My two students then put their choice of stickers, one on each dot. I used a sharpie to label each sticker, you could have your child do this part.
I cut out a minute hand and an hour hand (again, your child could do this), then I stuck them through the middle of the plate with the brass fastener.
This is Ben’s finished product. He wanted bugs. So boy-like of him.
Here is Grace’s finished clock. She added a flower sticker to the hour hand before I put them on the plate.
Although we used a spring theme for this clock, it is very versatile. Change the stickers and the colors and you can match any theme you are working with.
What to do with it:
- Show them the numbers going around, making sure they can read all of the numbers.
- Show how the hands move as they go around the clock. Stop and highlight some of the times. If you are just starting out, highlight all of the hours. I have casually been teaching time for a while, so I highlighted the time to the hour and half hour.
- Pick a time you think your child knows, “Can you show me 1:00?” Switch roles. Kids love being the teacher. My children randomly brought me their clocks throughout the week, “Mommy, what time is it now?”
- When it’s a time you want your child to know (say lunch time), point to the clock (by clock, I mean a real clock-not digital), “Can you make that time on your clock? Do you know what time that is? It’s 12:00, lunch time!”
- As they get better at telling time, you can point to a digital clock and have them make that time on their clock.
- When they ask, “When are we going to eat snack?” Set their clock for snack time, “When the clock looks like this.”
- When you’re trying to keep them busy while cooking dinner, “Can you put the hour hand on 1? Can you put the hour hand on 6?”
There are so many ways to use these simple clocks to help children practice telling time. Can you think of any more? Add them to the comments!