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How to teach your child to tell time

how to teach your child to tell time

Although I am happy with the progress the boys are making at school I do try to help them along at home too and incorporate learning in our daily lives from cookery skills to geography and everything in between. Having done this I can honestly say that teaching a child to tell the time can be quite difficult and sometimes a bit exasperating, however I do think it is easier than teaching them to read!


Tiddler “C-A-T”

Me “yes, excellent”

Tiddler “DOG  C-A-T is DOG” 

Give me strength


When the big’un was learning to tell the time we used a jigsaw game at home where you had to match the time to picture of an activity such as going to bed, this worked well to a degree but if I’m honest I let school do the bulk of this one with him.

With the tiddler however we have been using the Easy Read Time Teacher and it is brilliant, I honestly wish we had bought one years ago and can highly recommend it as a tool if you want to figure out how to teach your child to tell time.

The great thing about this tool is that it is a working clock that can be hung in any room of the house and can be used at any point, with or without adult supervision. The clock face has the usual numbers round the edge and the normal 3 hands, hours, minutes and seconds, but it also has the extras which aid the teaching of the phrases.

how to teach your child to tell time

To start with one side is red and one side is blue, this indicates to the child if the minute hand is on blue the time is past and if it is red the time is to.


Above the usual numbers you expect to find are the numbers 1-30 and then 19-1 indicating the exact number of minutes past or to the hour it is with the numbers 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 in bold to make it even clearer.


Then once the child has got to grips with that there is also an extra set of markers to indicate the o’clock, 1/4 past and to and 1/2 past mark as well.


This clock is unbelievably easy to use and helps the children to verbalise their answer with confidence as they can see that if the minute hand is on 3, it is also 15 minutes past the hour and 1/4 past the hour.


We have been usig this with both boys, although the big-un can already tell the time and they have both loved it. They even argued over whose bedroom it would go in (typical brothers).

How to teach your child to tell time  – 5 top tips

This clock is a stand alone piece of equipment that can be used on a daily basis to hone in on time telling skills but it can also be used off the wall in a few ways

  • Ask the child to tell the time
  • Ask the child a series of questions “what is another way of saying 30 minutes past?” “how many minutes past would it be at 1/4 past?”
  • Ask the child to use little stickers to mark off certain times. Using different coloured stickers for each hand.
  • Get the child to ask you questions whilst they check your answers, kids love to play the teacher.
  • Set the child a timed activity  – “colour in for 7 minutes” and then ask them to check the time themselves.
  • These activities work great and really promote Independence as well as time telling skills. I would highly recommend this clock for pre-school and key stage 1 children.

If you would like to order one of these clocks we have a special 10% discount code available if you use this link and the code  aff10.

(We were sent this clock to review. All opinions are my own).


  1. Terri this is fab! I struggled to learn to tell the time as a child and I had a watch almost exactly the same as this and it was a godsend. I felt so anxious without it, but when I had the watch to help I felt more confident. I’ll definitely look into this further as Arthur is becoming interested in the time.

    • yes they do sell the watches too and I am considering buying one for mine as like you said it gives them that confidence boost that they have the right understanding when someone asks them the tie. The clock is brill.

  2. I think this is a genius way to teach kids the time. I actually didn’t grasp telling the time until I was actually much much older. (Hence, that’s probably why I am so bad at keeping time! lol!) Anyway, please take a moment to had a read on her blog.

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