Simple Ways to Help Your Child Learn to Tell Time

Teaching your child to tell time can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. By finding little pockets of time during your day, you can make learning this important skill fun and easy. Here are some simple tips to help your child learn to tell time without it feeling like a big task. Telling the time has been something that three out of my four children found difficult at school, so I had to come up with practical strategies to tackle this myself.

Photo by Malvestida on Unsplash

1. Use Everyday Moments and Pockets of Time

Incorporate time-telling practice into your daily routine:

  • Morning Routine: Ask your child to check the time when they wake up and as they get ready for school.
  • Mealtimes: Have your child tell the time before and after meals.
  • Bedtime: Review the time together as part of the bedtime routine.
  • Car Journeys: Use cars journeys to ask them questions and check their understanding. This way it becomes a little and often approach, not a huge unachievable task.

2. Make It Fun

Turn learning to tell time into a game:

  • Time Games: Play simple games like “What time is it, Mr. Wolf?” or use online time-telling games.
  • Role-Playing: Use toy clocks for pretend play, like being a train conductor announcing departure times.

3. Daily Practice

Incorporate time-telling into everyday activities:

  • Routine Checks: Regularly ask your child what time it is throughout the day, ask them to tell you the time in both the 12 and 24 hour clock to check their understanding, ask them questions like “what’s another way of saying 1.50pm?
  • Timers and Alarms: Use timers and alarms for different activities and have your child set them.

4. Use Visual Aids

Help your child understand time with visual aids:

  • Analogue Clocks: Use analogue clocks to teach the concept of hours and minutes. Show how the hands move and what they represent.
  • Digital Clocks: Compare digital and analogue clocks to help your child understand both formats.

5. Encourage Practical Use

Make learning time practical and relevant:

  • Schedules: Create a simple daily schedule and have your child refer to it to know what time activities start.
  • Time-Related Questions: Ask your child questions like, “How many minutes until basketball training?” to encourage them to think about time.

6. Be Supportive

Encourage your child and make learning positive:

  • Praise Efforts: Always praise their efforts and progress, no matter how small.
  • Learn from Mistakes: Use mistakes as a chance to learn together. Gently correct them and explain the right time.


Helping your child learn to tell time can be simple and enjoyable when you use small pockets of time throughout the day. By incorporating fun games, practical use, and daily routines, you can make learning to tell time a natural and positive part of your day. Happy time-telling!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *