The Children’s Clock

What time is it? How to teach children to learn the hours?

One of the key learnings throughout childhood and into adulthood is knowing how to read a clock. Teaching a child requires dedication and commitment, taking it step by step.

Telling time is a fundamental skill for a child’s daily life. Knowing how to do it helps them orient themselves temporally and establish schedules and routines to more effectively complete school tasks.

Second-grade children are taught that the clock is the instrument used to measure time.

Generally, boys and girls learn to tell time around 6 or 7 years old, as that is when they begin to understand what time means and how it is measured.

At this age, they already have fairly clear notions of how much time elapses between one hour and another.

In this course, we start with the analog clock, which shows the time on a numbered dial. They learn about two hands: the smaller one indicates the hour, and the larger one indicates the minutes.

They learn that 1 hour equals 60 minutes and ½ hour equals 30 minutes.

A day has 24 hours.

Children must understand that the two hands coincide at twelve, three, six, and nine.

Start teaching children about the hour hand, trying to keep it fixed and only moving the minute hand. Explain to the child the meaning of each specific position where the hand is placed: quarter past, half past, quarter to.

Let them know that one complete revolution equals one hour.

The minute hand starts from the top of the clock and rotates to the right. Children are taught that the number 1 equals 5, and so on, increasing by 5 each time.

For example: 2:05, then 2:10…

They must learn that the number 3 is quarter past, 6 is half past, 9 is quarter to, and 12 is on the dot.

The left side indicates “to,” and children will learn that the clock hand ascends until it reaches the number 12.

Minutes start decreasing, minus 25, minus 20, quarter to…

Each time, we have fewer minutes to reach the hour.

The learning process for telling time will be slow and require daily practice. For a child, learning the clock can be challenging if not done correctly.

A children’s clock for learning the hours can greatly facilitate the task in class and at home.

But above all, time can be taught by appreciating the moments when they have different tasks or games.

Place a clock in the classroom where they can pay attention to the hours; at home, it can be in the kitchen to mark the different meal times they have every day.

A good idea to start this learning process is to design a large clock with the children. You can draw a large dial on cardboard and divide it into 12 parts. Also, include the minutes so that children become familiar with them.

Learning how to read a clock doesn’t have to be difficult. On the contrary, if explained clearly and patiently, children will learn efficiently, quickly, and enjoyably.

There are many time-related games, educational games, and interactive games to practice telling time.

Hour puzzles, workbooks, and worksheets help in their maturation and learning of the clock.

Ana Esteban Blázquez.

Primary Education Teacher in Language and Mathematics.