Daylight Savings is upon us already! What will you do in your extra hour?
The concept of “telling time” can be tricky for kids to comprehend—but that doesn’t mean they can’t have fun while learning! And what better way to explore these concepts than during Daylight Savings? If you’re looking for some easy, fun ways to help your child explore time, grab a clock (real or pretend) and choose from the six activities listed below. That extra hour will fly by before you know it!
1) The Fundamentals: What IS a Clock, Anyway?
Before your child begins to understand the concepts of “telling time,” talk about what the different parts of a clock are, and how they all come together. For example: count the number of hands and compare their length; talk about how many hours are represented on the clock, and how many minutes; or show the child how the hands move in a clockwise direction.
2) Matching Numbers with Hours: One Step at a Time
Point both hands toward the 12. Using your pretend clock (or a real one that is flexible enough to be manually changed), ask the child to move the minute hand around the clock one time. Explain that when the minute hand goes all the way around on a real clock, it means an hour has passed. Ask the child to move the hour hand to the 1 to show that one hour has passed. Repeat the activity, letting the child move the hour hand to the next number with each minute-hand rotation.
3) Making Sense of “Minutes”
Has your child ever said, “It feels like I’ve been waiting for 1,000 minutes!” Help your child understand what a “minute” or “hour” really is by discussing the concepts of duration and lengths of time. For instance, you might tell the child how many minutes he or she brushes teeth, or how long it takes to drive to a grandparent’s house.
4) Tell a “Time Story”
To help your child understand the concept of time passage, you might want to discuss a trip to the playground this way: “We go to the playground in the morning. It’s 10:00 when we get to the playground. We play for one hour. It’s 11:00 when we leave. It takes us five minutes to walk back to the car. It takes us ten minutes to drive home. When we get home, it’s lunchtime.” Discuss various different story scenarios with your child that relate to daily activities.
5) Draw Your Day
Color in this clock-face printable with the things your family does at different times of day, placing the different activities next to their correct times. Then complete the clock: Cut a plastic straw into two unequal pieces (the hour hand and minute hand). Have an adult press a straight pin through the ends of both straw pieces, and then through the center of the paper clock. Secure with a pencil eraser. Spin the hands to talk about your day! (Download the full-size printable here.)
6) What Time Is It? (Who Cares?)
With all the structure kids have in their lives (playdates, school, classes, mealtimes, etc.) why not use today as an opportunity to “throw time away” and just play? Ask your child what they would do if time wasn’t an option, or hide all the clocks in your house for an afternoon. (You might find this to be as much fun as your child does!) (Thank you to Instagram fan @Sofiasideas for the inspiration behind Activity #6 in the photo below, which features our Wooden Shape Sorting Clock!)
How do you explore the concept of time with your child? Share your ideas and activities in the comments below, or on Facebook!