Q:

Is there an easy way to teach children about time? - Time Conscious

A:

Telling time is a sophisticated task that is difficult for young children to learn. Start by using an old clock or a toy clock. Put the hands on an even hour, say 2 o'clock and explain why it is 2. Repeat for other times. Then ask your child to set different times on the clock.

Once children know the hour settings, start teaching the minutes. You can ease this task by putting stickers by every number on the face of the clock. For example, you would place a 5 by 1, a 10 by 2 and so on. Then have your child count by fives as she points to the numbers on the clock. Then have the child turn the minute hand and tell the time starting at five after an hour and continuing to the next hour.

To help your young children get the idea of how long seconds and minutes are, use a timer to measure how long it takes them to do certain tasks. They can set the timer and find out how many times they can walk around a table in five seconds or how far they can walk in two minutes.

Beyond teaching children how to tell time and get a sense of time, your older children need to learn about time zones. If you have friends or relatives living in a different zone, discuss with your children what time it is in the other zone when you are making phone calls to them. Also, when you travel between time zones, be sure to point this out to your children.

To help them become responsible for getting themselves up in the morning, be sure to give your children an alarm clock to use as soon as it is appropriate. You will also want them to have wristwatches so they can be responsible for doing things on time.