Can your children read the time? Maybe a clock with easy to read numbers and a happy child friendly look can help them learn.
Telling the time doesn’t have to be boring, or something they dread doing. Many of us probably remember the badly photocopied time worksheets from school where we had to fill in the time under the drawn clock, or draw the hands on the clock. Surely there is a better way!
How about a wall clock they can read easily, and turning the whole thing into a game instead. This is a great way for parents or the grandparents to teach them about the time.
Importantly you need a nice big clock, with numbers that are in big bold print. If your child likes a cartoon or storybook character, say Thomas the tank engine, or one of the newer ones like Dora the explorer, it may be worthwhile looking into a children’s clock or a novelty clock. You can find these in many online stores for really affordable prices.
If you can, involve your child as much as possible. let them choose exactly which one they like, so this way they claim some ownership of the exercise before you even start. Let them help put the batteries in and let them help find a good spot to hang it.
Some children seem immediately fascinated and need little encouragement to understand telling time, while others will need some encouragement. How about associating some rewards? A little game I play is “if you come into the kitchen when it’s half-past-five you can have…” whatever is appropriate, you get the idea. Or “If you turn on the TV at six o’clock then your favorite show will be on”.
You will find lots of variations on this theme, and the kids will love it. The trick is to make them feel in control, i.e. they watch the clock until it is a certain time and then they call the shots.
There are plenty of very appealing kids clocks out there, both analogue and digital. It is probably good to start with an analogue clock first, since digital clocks can simply be read out loud (i.e. it’s six-twenty two) with no real cognition of what the numbers mean.
If you can put this into practice it will be a huge advantage when they learn about time in school and will save a lot of grumbling. I learnt to read digital wall clocks by reading the old yellow digital kitchen clock in my parents’ house.