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6 tricks to teaching your kid to tell the time.

By BERN MORLEY

Learning how to tell the time when you’re a kid can be a little daunting. But the process doesn’t have to be a difficult one. There are so many fun and ingenious ways to help making learning to tell the time both fun and exciting.

I’ve recently been teaching my own 7-year-old to not only tell the time but to understand the concept, and I was reminded how cool it is when something just clicks.

It also struck me that now he’s seven, he’s actually the perfect age to learn how to read a clock or watch face. Children aged seven to eight should be starting to learn how to read a clock on the half hour anyway, and although they were learning to do this in class, I realised that there were so many simple things that I could be doing at home to help him.

With that in mind, I didn’t want him to learn the same way that I had to and I wanted it to be fun. It’s like learning to tie your shoelaces – if there is pressure or “work” involved, kids just tune out.

So I came up with some tricks to make learning to tell the time not only easy, but also FUN.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Swatch and Flik Flak. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words. 

1. Make sure your child can count to sixty.

It’s something I didn’t even think about when I first started but with 60 minutes in an hour, it is important that they can work out where each minute fits on a clock face. Practice counting in the car by seeing how far 60 seconds can get you in traffic.

2. Teach your child their times tables.

Especially the five times tables. As a clock is often spaced in intervals of five minutes, if your child can learn, 5, 10, 15, 20 etc off by heart, it will be so much easier to work out how to tell time.

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3. Grab a piece of paper and draw blank boxes in the places that the numbers would be on a clock face.

Grab a 12-sided die and then play bingo. First to roll all of the numbers on the clock wins. This is a great way for them to start remembering where the numbers on a clock will be.

4. Find an old clock at an op shop.

Then take off the front cover. This way you can both sit down and move the big and little hand without fear of breaking anything.

5. Make identifying two digit numbers FUN.

When driving, ask your child to point out any signs with two digits. In a shop, do the same thing. When checking the weather outside, if it is 15 degrees, ask where this number would sit on the clock face that you’ve been using.

6. Put clocks everywhere.

Buy a few. One for their room, one for the main play area and wherever else your child spends time. Make sure they have large print and have all of the numbers on them. And ask them, randomly, what time it is. It doesn’t matter if they get it wrong, at least you can discuss it together. And here’s another bonus tip: show your child this video to reinforce everything they are learning.

The most important thing is to make learning to tell the time fun and not a chore. Kids love to learn, especially when it can be made into a game. So just keep pointing them in the direction of the numbers and your (now) many visible clocks. There is nothing more beautiful than when your child finally gets something they’ve been working so hard to understand and there are simple ways to make the process more of an adventure you can take together.

Did you or your kids struggle to learn how to tell the time?

Have a look through some of these cute watches designed to help your kids get even more excited about learning to tell the time …

Created in 1987, Flik Flak was designed to be more than just a simple children’s watch. It is notably the first ever brand of children’s watch to introduce the concept of teaching the time, allowing this learning experience to be transformed into something amusing for children.

More information can be found at http://www.flikflak.com/en/

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