Buying your child their very first watch is actually a very important step in his/her life. This is the watch that they will learn to tell the time with and an accessory that will make them feel truly grown up. It is therefore essential that you spend time choosing the perfect one and then encourage your child to learn how to use it. Although your child will learn this skill at school, it is also useful to encourage them at home where they are comfortable in their surroundings, plus you can make it fun. Below are some simple steps to help teach your child how to tell the time:
Make it hands-on and fun
It’s important for your kids to get hands-on with telling the time activities. Letting them create their own paper plate clocks with moveable hands and number stickers is a common craft activity, as are games like, ‘What’s the time Mr. Wolf?’ You want to make the process as fun as possible otherwise they will see quickly get bored and lose motivation.
Practice their maths skills
Before you try to teach your child the minutes in an hour, make sure they can comfortably count to 60. It’s also important that they can understand their five times tables. This helps with one of the more trickier parts of telling the time, which is associating the hour ‘number’ with the minutes (e.g. if the little hand is pointing to the number 9, this indicates 45 minutes).
Incorporate daily activities
According to the Huffington Post, a recent study has revealed that more than half of children aged between two and ten feel more confident using a tablet than learning to swim, telling the time and tying their shoe laces. When teaching the time to your kids, refer to their everyday activities to make it more interesting. Help them learn to recognise the time of day that they wake up, when they have breakfast, the time they go to school and when they come home and go to bed. As you explain this, show them where the hours and minutes are, and do this on a regular basis to familiarise them with it.
Add more clocks around the home
Whether they are real clocks or ones your kids have made out of paper, stick them around the home so they can get used to what a clock face looks like. Have a simple wall clock in your child’s bedroom too so they can practice in their own time and recognise time patterns i.e. when they go to bed and wake up.