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Telling the time: Make your own clock

telling the time: Make your own practice clock
This clock has lost some numbers! Look at a clock in your home. Can you see what numbers are missing from the clock below? Draw the numbers in the right place. Now you can cut out your clock, the big hand and the little hand and put it together with a clip. Can you move the hands to show different times?
Keystage:  EYFS, Reception

How do you teach a child to tell the time at primary school?

In the UK, teaching children to tell time is a gradual process. It typically begins around age five or six. It starts with introducing basic concepts such as morning, afternoon, and evening,  which helps children understand the sequence of events in their daily routines. 

Analog clocks are key in this process, serving as great visual aids to illustrate the passage of time. Children are taught to recognise the hour and minute hands on these clocks and understand their functions.

As your child progresses, they learn to read the time on analog clocks, starting with telling time to the hour and half-hour. They then advance to quarter-hour intervals and eventually to telling time to the nearest five minutes. 

Teachers use a variety of practical activities and games to reinforce time-telling skills. Children engage in hands-on activities such as setting the time on analog clocks, matching analog and digital times, and solving time-related word problems. 

These activities make learning about time interactive and engaging for your child, helping them develop a strong foundation in time-telling.

How can you teach your child to tell the time at home?

Parents can play a crucial role in helping their children learn to tell time at home by incorporating fun and engaging activities into their daily routines. Here are some tips to help parents support their children's time-telling skills:

  • Start early: introduce basic concepts of time, such as morning, afternoon, and evening, as soon as children show interest. Use everyday activities to help them understand the sequence of events throughout the day.
  • Use clocks around the house: point out different types of clocks in the home, including analog and digital clocks. Encourage children to read the time on these clocks and ask them questions about what they notice, such as the position of the hands or the numbers on the digital display.
  • Make it interactive: create hands-on activities that allow children to practice telling time. Use this teacher-created activity and let your child make their own clock to practise telling the time. 

You can also try our Telling the Time Learning Journey with plenty of worksheets and support to ensure your child can tell the time with confidence.