My two youngest girls are just 4 and 5. I don’t remember how old my older 3 children were when they began to tell time but I am pretty sure it was not in preschool or kindergarten. It is possible that I simply don’t remember, as the older two did attend school for their early years and my 3rd-born was learning all this in the midst of my ‘baby season’ with his two youngest sisters. Maybe I missed it?
Recently, my 4-year-old yelled out, “Mommy, in an hour it will be snack time!” I looked up at our clock, and she was correct. Jaw. Meet. Floor.
So how are these little ones learning how to tell time? Check out my ideas below to find out!
Place a large clock in a very visible spot in your home. My husband built a photo wall clock for our home recently. Though there are no numbers on the clock, we have discussed which number each photo represents. My children see this clock multiple times per day, so they are quickly learning which photo the clock hands are on when it is snack time, lunch time, etc. Find my directions for building the Inspirational Photo Wall Clock. However, feel free to use any clock that works for you. The point is to familiarize your child with telling time. The bonus for us is that, in our home, we have a fun, personalized, and memory-filled clock with which to learn!
Make telling time fun! Since my girls are very aware of where the clock hands are and what that means for them, we talk about the clock and time quit frequently. I will point to the clock and let them know that when the long hand is on Mommy and Daddy, then it will be snack time. Then, when the time rolls around, I will say, “It’s Mommy & Daddy Time!” They love that, and it has helped cement for them that ‘Mommy and Daddy Time’ equals 10:00 a.m., which is when we enjoy our morning snack time.
Ask your child to tell you when it’s lunch time (or dinner time, snack time, etc.). They will watch the clock, and in our home, this has caused my girls to ask questions. They are curious about which number each photo represents, which of the clock hands belongs on the hour and the minutes, and more. In my opinion and experience, curiosity is the best catalyst for learning, and putting my girls ‘in charge’ in this way has helped to facilitate that.
I thought when we first created this photo wall clock for our home, that we may need to temporarily place numbers near each photo so that all the kids would learn more quickly how to tell time with it. It has not been necessary so far, but this is always an option if you want to do something similar. I think this step would be another terrific way to cement their learning!
Do you have any child-tested and mother-approved methods for teaching time to preschoolers, and beyond, in your homeschool? Please share your ideas with us!
Wendy’s heart’s desire is to encourage women, from all walks of life, in their God-given roles as mamas, home educators, and wives. Whatever it is that God has called you to do, He will equip you for the journey. No matter the adversity you may encounter, His plans are good. HE is good. Always.