How to Teach Kids to Tell Time

Telling time is an essential skill that many children start learning around second grade. This skill will help your child learn about independence and acting responsibly; it's also a required component of most elementary math curricula. If you're looking for ideas on how to teach your child to tell time, keep reading.

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Teaching Children to Tell Time

The Importance of Teaching Time

Teaching your child to tell time is not only a fun challenge, but can lead to a greater understanding of important future math topics like fractions, equations, conversions and more. Due to curriculum standards, some teachers feel the allotted period for teaching time can be inadequate. As a result, you may want to have review sessions at home. Telling time is typically a topic addressed in early elementary school and is often best learned with hands-on materials.

Teaching Time in Everyday Life

Around the house, you can incorporate time-specific language into everyday conversations with your child. For example, describe daily activities using phrases such as half past and quarter to. If you're driving somewhere, point out what time it is when you leave and what time it is when you arrive. Although your child may not fully grasp some of these concepts immediately, give them time to sink in and take hold.

Create a chart with your child showing the time it takes to perform daily activities, such as brushing teeth, eating dinner, watching television, doing homework and playing video games. Encourage your child to develop a sense of responsibility and ownership regarding the chart. Also, use visual aids, such as digital and analog clocks, with the chart. Use these tools to play games that require time limits or speed.

Lessons at Home

Start your home lessons by reviewing time with an actual clock. Move the hands to show different times on the clock and ask your child to say the time that's displayed. If he or she doesn't know, have your child repeat after you as you move the hands of the clock around.

You can also purchase student clocks from education stores or download free blank clock faces from numerous websites and then have your child draw times on them. If you want more information about how to teach kids to tell time, you can find lesson plans for reading time to the nearest hours, half hour or five minutes.

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