Telling time is a tricky concept for young children and their understanding of it develops gradually. These free interactive analog and digital clocks will keep your kids engaged while they explore time and how it relates to their everyday life. The time cards are great for helping them make those connections and make sense of what the numbers on the clock really mean.
Choose which version you want and print this free What’s the Time? printable onto cardstock. There is either color or black and white, plus you’ll find an Australian/UK spelling version at the end. Laminate the time cards so your little ones can draw on them with a dry erase marker over and over again!
There are detailed instructions in the download for assembling the clock, but basically we thread a strip of numbers 1-12 into the hour slot on the digital clock so it’s easy to change the time of the hour. There’s also a flap to glue on so it can say :00 or :30. The analog clock hands can be attached using a brad or split pin.
What’s the Time?
To begin with children can focus on the hour and half hour, practicing changing the times on both clocks to grasp the concept that though the faces are different they can still tell the same time.
Then whip out the time cards! Kids can work on these alone or in pairs, talking about what the right times might be for each, fixing those times on the larger clocks and then marking both time card clocks with dry erase markers. They can re-use these as often as they want and will probably enjoy creating crazy times for their activities, for example, going to school at 2.00 or going to bed at 4.30.
If they are reading a story with a time element such as ‘in the morning,’ ‘she went to the party,’ or ‘grandpa visited,’ it’s a good opportunity to grab their clock and talk about what time of the day it might be. It’s all about making connections between what a child knows and tying it to the more abstract concept of time.
As they gain confidence (and age) children can progress to telling time by the quarter hour, 10 minutes and 5 minutes. The interactive digital clock in the download only goes to the half hour, but the analog clock and time cards can register to 5 minute changes in time.
If you’re wondering about educational standards ~
US Common Core:
- Grade 1 – to the half hour
- Grade 2 – to 5 mins (including use of am and pm)
Australian National Curriculum:
- Year 1 – to the hour
- Year 2 – to the quarter hour
Have you downloaded this printable yet? If not, here’s the link again!