There are a lot of good reasons to spend time teaching your children how to speak Russian. It is a language that is spoken by roughly 300 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken Slavic language in the world. Russia is also one of the ten strongest economies in the world and is continuing to grow at a rapid rate, so if your children are able learn the language they will have increased job and business opportunities when they enter into the job market. If you happen to have a child who is dreaming of becoming an astronaut, you might be interested to learn that in order to graduate from NASA’s Astronaut Candidate Program you need to be fluent in Russian as well as English.
Russia also has an incredible history, rich in culture and traditions, so it is a wonderful opportunity for children to learn about a new country or discover their own family history and culture.
Russian is considered a moderately hard language to learn, so luckily it’s not the most difficult language around, although it isn’t one of the simplest either. It won’t be easy, but with a lot of perseverance and practice your children will be opening themselves up to a world of opportunity.
Where to Start
A good place to start is with the alphabet, the Russian alphabet is known as the Cyrillic alphabet or Cyrllic script. It is actually easier to learn than the English alphabet because the letters only have one letter to one sound, while the English alphabet can have more than one sound.
Digital Dialects has a great section on their site that goes over the alphabet with sound files to help children with their pronunciation. It is a free site with language learning games in Russian (as well as 60 other languages). The Cyrillic script might be a little intimidating for a small child so you will need to be patient with your child as they begin to learn.
Once you child is familiar with the alphabet you can begin to introduce basic words like colors, animals, family, things you find around the house. A couple of books that are very helpful with introducing basic words are Usborne’s First Thousand Words In Russian: With Internet-Linked Pronunciation Guide and a series from Milet Publishing called My First Bilingual Book that has wonderful picture books with images for common Russian words that will help get kids started.
As with all language learning, repetition is very important. Depending on their age and ability, your child will probably not remember words that you teach them on the first try, so it is very important to use repetition until they are able to remember an item or words. This will take time and patience. Different types of word games (either online or a game that you play with your child at home) can be useful at this stage. Here are a few free online games that you can try out to help reinforce repletion of simple words:
- Raskraska24 is a fun site with activities for kids.
- Enchanted Learning is an educational website that has games to help learn.
- Russian Flashcards offer a free account or a premium subscription where you can learn from home with their Flashcard System.
Phrases and Conversation
As your child begins to build up their vocabulary, you can start to teach them phrases. It is also a good idea to introduce reading the language at this point. Start with simple phrases and once mastered you can move onto more complex phrasing.
If you know anyone who speaks Russian try to have your child interact with them, this will help absorb the language much more quickly.
It is important your kids are hearing the language on a regular basis. One of best ways for a child to learn a new language is for him to hear people speaking it fluently. Through conversation children can begin to get used to the sounds and accents of a language. If you don’t speak the language yourself or have someone in your community or family who they can converse with you can always expose them to the language through music and DVD or online videos.
Here are a few very popular DVDs that can help parents expose their children to the language.
- The always reliable Little Pim DVD’s in are a good place to start for children ages 0-5 or check out their digital downloads .
- For slightly older kids you can try Russian for Kids. This is a 5 DVD set that also includes flash cards and a poster.
- Another DVD you can have a look at is Bilingual Baby, although we hesitate to recommend this DVD because the reviews for it are a bit mixed.
Games and Fun
The best results when teaching a child often come when you can make the subject matter fun and your kids are motivated and excited to learn. Obviously this isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but if you can manage to make it an enjoyable experience for your child they will want to learn and will stick with it. If you need a bit of help trying to make the learning process fun for your child you can always try out a few different apps. Here are a few popular apps for kids:
- Learn Russian. Basics is an app that teaches kids the basics and fundamentals of the language. This app contains interactive lessons for the alphabet, numbers, seasons, weekdays, months, animals, and colours.
- Russian Baby Flash Cards is a flashcard app with categories for food, animals, transportation, numbers, colours & shapes, clothing, household items, body parts, outdoor items, music instruments/arts & learning.
- My First Bilingual App this iPad app features 26 mini-games all with a feature word. You can try the first 10 words for free and then use the in-app purchase to unlock the complete version. This app can best be described as a fully interactive, bilingual board book.
- Smart Speller Russian HD Full Version helps kids learn to spell by hearing the sound each letter makes, and the proper pronunciation of the words.
- 123 Count With Me in Russian! was developed for kids (ages 2+) and aimed at teaching them to count by having the child move graphics of toys and shape puzzles.
Remember that teaching a new language to a child is a process, and will take a long time so don’t expect immediate results. The more you can expose your child to the language the easier it will be for them to learn.
photo credit: smcgee via photopincc
There is certainly no shortage of material to help teach kids English as a second language. There are so many resources that you can use, some parents and teachers might not know where to start. With that in mind, we have sorted through what we think are the best ESL DVDs, apps, books, websites and language learning systems for kids that help with the wonderful journey of learning a new language.
The Best DVDs to Teach Kids ESL
DVDs are an easy way to get kids familiar with English. Of the DVDs that we checked out, our top picks for the best DVDs for help teach kids English at home are Little Pim: Volume One English/ESL and the LeapFrog: Learning DVD Set.
If you are looking for a DVD, a good place to start is with the Little Pim: English DVDs. Little Pim have lots of videos to choose from for ages 0-5. You can buy them individually or in sets. Each DVD is thirty-five minutes long and includes seven episodes that combine an animated portion with Little Pim the Panda and a portion narrated by Little Pim that shows real children demonstrating the word or phrase that is being learned. This series is generally pretty good quality and fun for kids to watch.
If you are looking for something a little more advanced, you can’t really go wrong with any of the LeapFrog letter or number videos. They are very popular with anyone teaching kids letters, words, numbers, etc. They are entertaining for kids and very educational. These are highly recommended for kids learning English.
Another good resource is the Sesame English: ESL for Children series of DVDs (if you can get your hands on it!). It seems to be discontinued so check your local library and there a couple of places selling it here or here. YouTube also have a few clips of the Sesame Street ESL series.
ESL Language Learning Programs and Websites for Kids
There are so many really good websites with ESL resources for kids you won’t have any trouble finding something that will help you teach your kids English online:
- Mingoville is an online-based course featuring fun English games, grammar, songs, and more. You can try the site for free and if your kids like it then you can upgrade to a paid membership for $24 for 3 months or $48 for a year.
- ESL Kids Lab has ESL teaching materials for kids from k to 12. It also has video lessons.
- Starfall is a free website to teach children to read with phonics. For preschool, kindergarten, and first grade. It has phonics games and online interactive books
- DinoLingo English for Kids – Learning English for Children DVD Set is a language learning program for kids that uses DVDs, books, CDs, flashcards, and online lessons.
- English 4 Kids has ESL teaching materials, resources for children, parents and teachers of English. It also has games and activities for ESL kids.
- English Classroom also has ESL teaching for young learners.
- Learn English Kids has lots of free online games, songs, stories and activities for children to have fun and learn English too.
- Anglomaniacy is a great site for kids who are learning English. Includes picture dictionaries, basic English vocabulary, grammar for kids, online word games, tests, etc.
- ESL Kids is a wonderful free ESL website for kids. It has flashcards, handwriting worksheets, classroom games and children’s song lyrics.
Free Online Games to Help Teach ESL
- ESL Games Plus offers interactive online games for learning and teaching English as a Second Language.
- English Language Games has some fun letter, colour, number, writing, etc. games.
Best ESL Apps for Kids
There are lots of great apps to help teach kids English. Here is a small sample of some of the best:
- Intro to Letters is a very highly rated app that covers the basic foundations of language, how to read, write and understand letters from a-z, lowercase letter symbols and their sounds (phonics) phonograms – writing and pronunciation capital letters – letter names, writing and pronunciation, and consonants and vowels.
- Kids learn English with Busuu helps kids learn 150 words, taught across 30 learning units full of educational games. Each lesson follows a 5 step methodology to gradually help your child learn vocabulary, spelling and phonetics.
- Adventures for Kids helps kids develop an English vocabulary by following characters on adventures through space, the zoo, the farm, the city, etc.
- Simplex Spelling Phonics 1 is a very highly rated app that teaches English spelling and reading skills by using a combination of phonics lessons, spelling/word patterns, and contextually relevant spelling rules.
- Word BINGO helps kids learn sight words (sight words are words that are recognized immediately (on sight) without phonetically decoding or sounding out parts).
- Sight Words Hangman uses 300 sight words in a hangman game to help increase kids vocabulary, spelling and reading levels.
- SentenceBuilder is designed to help elementary aged children learn how to build grammatically correct sentences.
- Flashcards for Kids has 1,500 picture flashcards to help boost kid’s English vocabulary.
- Duolingo is a free language learning app. It’s designed for adults but can be good for kids as well.
ESL Books for Kids
- Let’s Learn English Picture Dictionary (for ages 3-8) contains more than 1,550 commonly taught basic words that are displayed on pictures scenes such as home life, the classroom, city life, sports, the zoo, outer space, etc. This picture dictionary also includes an index and glossary of all the individually illustrated words.
- ESL Activities and Mini-Books for Every Classroom is a quick and easy guide that is designed for teachers with kids who can’t speak English, but it can also be helpful for parents of ESL kids with tips and activities for kids in Grades 1-4.
ESL Songs for Kids
- ESL Kids has over 40 popular children’s songs and nursery rhymes in this section, many of which can be found on YouTube if you don’t know the melody of need ideas for gestures.
- Anglomaniacy has a list and some audio clips and lyrics of some of the most popular English songs for kids.
ESL Learning Toys for Kids
Here are some fun toys that we found that are helpful to young ESL learners.
- ThinkFun What’s Gnu is a fun game for younger players to practice their word recognition and spelling skills. Players slide the “Letter Getter” forward to reveal two letter tiles, and then use them to create three-letter words by filling in the blanks on their Word-Starter cards. The player who spells the greatest number of words wins.
- Sentence Building helps develop early grammar and reading skills with sturdy, interlocking cards that cover parts of speech, capital letters, punctuation, building sentences, etc. Tailor activities to different learning levels with this set that includes grammatically color-coded cards (55 word, 4 punctuation, and 27 photo cards), game ideas, sample sentences, and teaching suggestions.
- DK Games: Silly Sentences (for ages 4-7) is a game that has puzzle pieces for making sentences. The sentence structure is enforced by the way the puzzle pieces fit together. ESL teachers seem to like this game for their students although lots of complaints that there aren’t enough verbs in it.
- Sentence Scramble: For English Learners of All Ages! Primary, ESL & Ell is designed to teach the basic structure of simple English sentences. The object of Sentence Scramble is to make as many sentences as possible with a set of word cards. The cards are printed on both sides, color coded, and include nouns, adjectives and articles, verbs, adverbs, prepositions, and pronouns.
- Zingo Sight Words uses the game of bingo to help kids learn to recognize sight words. Kids will learn to read common sight words.
Flashcards and Workbooks
- First Words Flash Cards (Brighter Child Flash Cards) is a set that features 54 cards that help reinforce phonics, letter recognition, and reading readiness skills with full-color illustrations. A special card also offers creative game ideas designed to reinforce learning.
- Picture Words Flash Cards can help your child learn basic words. Each card presents a word, plus a colorful picture representing that word. There is also a Parent Card that suggests many games to help your child learn letters and words.
- Trend Enterprises Sight Words Bingo Flash Cards( for ages 5-9) is a set that includes 36 playing cards, 264 playing chips, caller’s mat and cards and a storage box. Kids will practice reading 46 words from common vocabulary lists
- Cut & Paste Sight Words Sentences helps beginning readers master over 100 sight words using the unique, hands-on approach in this resource. Step-by-step directions tell how to use the sight words on each reproducible to teach an entire lesson reinforcing sight word recognition, sentence structure, vocabulary development, and higher level comprehension skills.
photo credit: hira3 via photopin cc
There are SO many good resources for parents who want to teach their kids about money management, that there is no excuse for raising a child who can’t handle money in a responsible way (it that is what you are into). There are literally hundreds of books, websites, apps, games, and even specially designed piggybanks that will help parents create a super financially responsible offspring. Since there is so much out there parents can use, we have picked out the best stuff to help teach kids about money management.
The younger kids are when you start teaching them about money the easier it will be to get them comfortable talking about and dealing with money as they become adults. An easy way to do this is to start them off with some good books; here are some of our favourites:
For Kids Ages 3-7
These are great story books for younger kids with simple messages about the importance of saving, and learning the difference between wants versus needs.
- Little Critter: Just Saving My Money Little Critter learns the value of money, how to make good decisions with money and how to have a sense of self-pride through his hard work and planning. After earning money by doing chores, Little Critter’s dad takes him to the bank to open his first savings account. This is a great book to help introduce the idea of banking and saving money to young children.
- The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble with Money In order to earn coins for the Astro Bear video game, Brother and Sister Bear find ways to work for money. This book helps teach kids the importance of saving money, interest and the concepts of goods and services.
- A Chair for My Mother This story is about a family that lost all of their furniture in a house fire. The family members decide to save coins to buy a new chair for their home. When the jar is full they go out and buy a beautiful chair for the family to enjoy. This book teaches several money concepts, including counting, saving, making choices, banking, and wants and needs.
- Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday is a fun book about a boy who is given a dollar and all of the temptations he faces trying to not spend the dollar. It’s a good book to start getting younger kids to think about the value of money and some of the difficulties that children have in saving money.
- Pretty Penny Sets Up Shop A young girl creates a “Small Mall” from things in her attic to sell to raise money for her grandmothers surprise celebration. Very good book about earning money through hard work and also good lessons on counting, and saving.
For Kids Ages 8-13
- Lunch Money a 12 year old boy is obsessed with trying to earn money any way that he can, including doing things like collecting bottles, extra chores, etc. He eventually gets the idea to sell comics to his schoolmates, but the principle finds out about it and bans him from selling them at school. This book has good lessons on business, making money and what it takes to get even a simple business off the ground.
- Money Hungry is an award winning novel deals that deals with a young 13 year old girl, Raspberry Hill, who lives in the projects with her mother. They were homeless at one time and now Raspberry focuses on money as the source of comfort and security. This is a good book to show children the role money can play in a person’s life.
- A Smart Girl’s Guide to Money This addition to the popular Smart Girls Guide format shows girls the ins and outs of money. It includes sections with 101 money-making ideas, bank accounts and interest, having a job, keeping track of money, and spending money wisely.
- Growing Money: A Complete Investing Guide for Kids is a guide that explains in kid-friendly terms all about savings accounts, bonds, stocks, and even mutual funds. This is a great book for children who want to put their money in the stock market because it also covers topics from dividends to how to read financial papers.
- Money Sense for Kids shows kids how to get bank accounts, write checks, use an ATM card, learn about stocks and start to invest on their own. The author offers ideas on how kids can earn, save, budget, and invest their money. She also presents puzzles and games that focus on the theme of money.
- The Complete Guide to Personal Finance: For Teenagers shows teens how to get and manage credit, how to make and stick to a budget, how to save for college, how to determine their needs versus their wants, how to pay for a car, how to finance college, how to manage risk, how to open a bank account, how to write a check, how to balance a checkbook, how to avoid the pressures of consumerism, and how to avoid financial mistakes. This book also teaches teens about investment options, taxes, checks, debit cards, credit cards, and basic budget tips.
- The Motley Fool Investment Guide for Teens helps teens understand the basics of investing and how easy it is to start investing on their own. They go over how to save and spend wisely.
- Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees has exercises and concrete examples on everything from responsible budgeting to understanding the difference between “want” and “need” for children of every age.
- Financial Peace Junior is a whole financial program tailored for children ages 3-12 that is designed to teach kids how to handle money. It has ideas for activities and age-appropriate chores, games and “toys”, an activity book, and dry erase boards to track their progress.
- Rich Kid Smart Kid is a free website that provides financial lessons and games for kids starring two mice as the main characters; for grades K-12, and divided by grades.
- H.I.P. Pocket Change is the U.S. Mint’s free website for kids that feature games, art activities, and puzzles, as well as a history of the mint.
- Sense and Dollars is an interactive site with money games.
- Financial Football Visa and the National Football League have teamed up to help teach financial concepts with Financial Football, a fast-paced, interactive game that engages students while teaching them money management skills. Teams compete by answering financial questions to earn yardage and score touchdowns.
Again, there is no shortage of websites to help teach kids about money. These are the most popular:
- The Mint has a kids section that provides basic information about starting a business, earning money, spending it wisely, and saving and investing.
- Practical Money Skills is an online resource for educators, parents and students focused on financial literacy and education.This site is for all ages of kids and is run by VISA USA.
- Sense and Dollars is a site for kids that teaches kids how to earn, save, spend and budget.
- BizKids has kids teaching kids about money and business using shows and online games.
- Money as you Grow has 20 things kids need to know to live financially smart lives, developed by the Youth Subcommittee of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability.
- PBS Kids It’s My Life is a great site money site for kids, the section on money management is especially good.
Most of the apps we found are some form of allowance or chore trackers. If you are in Canada you can check outLearning Money with Leo. This app was designed to provide parents with a practical and fun way to help teach their children (3 to 6 years old) about the concepts and value of money.
Online Allowance Trackers Apps/Websites
Teach your child that money can be enjoyed by having kids save up and purchase things for themselves by using an online allowance tracker. Here are a few to choose from:
- ThreeJars is a website that helps kids sort allowance money into virtual save, spend and share “jars”. Puts allowance online so it’s easy for your kids to track it, teaching them responsible money management
- Moneytrail is a free, online system for tracking allowance and credit between kids and parents.
- Bankaroo is a family project with a website and an app version to help children learn how to manage their savings.
- FamZoo is an online virtual family bank. Parents use FamZoo with their kids to teach good money management habits and introduce them to charitable giving.
- A+ Allowance is an allowance app where you set your kids jobs for the week and decide how much they will earn.
- Savings Spree is an app with games that teaches kids how the daily lifestyle choices that they make can add up to big savings or big expenses, depending on how they choose to spend (or not spend) their money. Savings Spree shows kids that they can save their money for short term goals, spend wisely by making more frugal decisions, donate to others, or invest money so it will grow to meet future needs. This is brought to you by the same group that do the Money Savvy Piggybank.
Videos/Webisodes to Teach Kids about Money
Sesame Street series “For Me, For You, For Later” A bilingual multimedia program that helps families share experiences and develop basic financial skills Teaches lessons in value, spending, sharing, saving and more
The Secret Millionaires Club is an animated series that features Warren Buffett as a mentor to a group of entrepreneurial kids whose adventures lead them to encounter financial and business problems to solve. The program teaches the basic of good financial decision making and some of the basic lessons of starting a business. The animated series has 26 online short webisodes, and 2 TV specials.
Money Games for Kids
- The Allowance® Game helps kid ages 5-11 years learn to how to handle money, make change, identify money values, add & subtract money.
- Learning Resources Money Bags A Coin Value Game has kids earning money while winding along a cartoon path. Money is earned by landing on a square labeled with a practical chore, such as setting the table, or an entrepreneurial task, such as a lemonade stand.
These piggybanks are a great idea to get kids to visualize where their money is going. The same idea can easily be made at home with a few jars or containers from your recycle bin or the dollar store and a few labels.
- Money Savvy Pig is a divided piggy bank that has four compartments that can be emptied separately: Spending, Saving, Donating, and Investing.
- Moonjar Classic Moneybox: Save, Spend, Share is a tool to help change how children develop a basic understanding of good money habits by being responsible for dividing their money into compartments dedicated for saving, sharing, and spending.
photo credit: mjohnso via photopin cc
Lots of people can use a little help with spelling, especially kids who are just learning. Luckily there is no shortage of material available to choose from that will help your kids become spelling masters. We have found some great apps, books, websites, and free online spelling games that can help make learning to spell a little bit easier.
Best Spelling Apps for Kids
There are obviously quite a lot of spelling apps for kids available, so finding the top few apps was a bit of a challenge. The spelling apps that we choose as our top picks are:
- Squeebles Spelling Test allows parents to customize spelling tests for their children by setting up tests, entering words and then recording audio versions of those words for your children to listen to before they try to spell them. Stats on each child let you see how they’re doing and which words they’re struggling with. When the children do well on the spelling tests they can move on to play a mini game. This app has received great reviews on the iPhone Mom, Best Apps for Kids, Teachers with Apps, Pad Gadget and many others.
- Freefall Spelling has 75+ prebuilt words and allows parents to setup their own custom spelling lists. Each new word supports a custom audio recording and image, allowing the child to practice any spelling/sight word list that may come home from school. When the child correctly spells several words in a row and they’ll be rewarded with a new item to add to their fish tank. This app has really good reviews from the Daily Download on TiltTV, App Advice, Smatoos and more.
- Simplex Spelling Apps offer a range of very well received spelling apps that use a combination of phonics lessons, spelling/word patterns, and something they call their “reverse phonics” approach as well as contextually relevant spelling rules. The great reviews for these apps are too many to mention, but if you are interested check out their home page where they have links to the reviews.
- Uncovering the Logic of English is the book for you if you want to teach kids how to spell. It is a multiple-award winning book that will show you the phonogram and spelling rules which explain 98% of English words. The reviews for this book are overwhelmingly good. You can view the author’s YouTube channel here (if you can find the time, these videos are very helpful with explaining how kids learn).
- Spelling Power, Fourth Edition (for ages 8 +) don’t let the size or the price of this book put you off. It is very popular with homeschoolers and parents with kids who are struggling with spelling.
- Scholastic Dictionary of Spelling is a great beginner dictionary for kids to do their own spell-check. The introduction gives instructions for looking up a word the reader does not necessarily know how to spell, offers more than 150 memory tricks to correct commonly misspelled words, and clearly explains general spelling rules (and their exceptions).
- Spelling City is a great site with lots of free spelling activities, games, word lists, resources for parents and teacher as well as lots of other stuff.
- Big IQ Kids has free vocabulary and word lists organized by grade level that you can use to play games, practice and be tested on the word lists.
- Kid Spell is another free site to check out with spelling lists and games.
Top 15 Free Online Spelling Games
We looked through a lot of games and weeded out what we think are the best free online games
- Fun Brain is always a good source for kids’ education games, and this game is no exception. In this game you are basically the spell checker and you have to pick out the word that is spelled incorrectly and then type in how to spell it properly.
- ABC Ya Spelling Practice (for Grades: K,1,2,3) is a simple game where you select a Dolch Word List and listen to the word the dragon speaks. Then you just click and drag the letters to spell words correctly. Press ‘hint” to see how the word is spelled or press “skip” to go to another word.
- Primary Games See ‘N Spell is another simple game for younger kids that shows a picture and has the child move letters into a box to spell the word.
- Spelling Central make games out of a spelling list that you input. After inputting the list you can do a word search, arrange the words in alphabetical order, unscramble the words and try to figure out the missing letters.
- Learning Games for Kids have eight different games to choose from including hangman, word scramble and word search. Kids can even study for their spelling tests by entering their own words.
- Look and Cover is pretty good. Basically you see a word and then a creepy giant hand moves over the screen and covers the word and you have to type the proper spelling in. You can change the level of difficultly of the lists by going through the ‘Pupils Lists’.
- Spellits (for 7 – 11 year olds) is a site that offers interactive online activities and printable resources which teach spelling strategies, rules and patterns.
- Wild West English is good site for older kids. There are a couple of spelling games on this site, to find them just click on the bull or the spelling showdown character.
- Alpha Bot is a little different than the other games out there for older kids. You have to move letters around on a big grid after hearing the audio of the word.
- Spin and Spell is an animated game for students ages 4-8 that has pictures that the player can select to try to spell.
- Swiper`s Spelling Book Game a very simple game for preschoolers that shows a three letter word then Swiper takes the letters and the child has to select the letters from a list to spell the word.
- EduPlace has simple spelling and vocabulary games that you can select based on grade level.
- PBS Kids has some good spelling games for younger kids based on Super Why, Clifford the Big Red Dog, etc.
Spelling Curriculum to do at Home
If you are looking for an intensive spelling program to work on at home, there are a number of programs that have a full curriculum that are used by homeschoolers that might be helpful to parents of non-homeschoolers who are struggling with spelling. Some of the more popular ones are:
- iPhone Mom
- Best Apps for Kids
- Teachers with Apps
- Pad Gadget
- App Advice
Obviously learning to tell time is a very important skill for kids to learn. These days teaching kids how to read a clock is easier than ever because of some of the amazing resources that are available. Since there is quite a lot of material around we have rounded up some of the best websites, free online games, apps, books, clocks, DVDs, and teaching watches to help you teach your kids how to tell the time in a simple and easy way.
Websites with Lessons
There are a number of sites with online lessons on how to tell the time, we checked out Time Monsters, Apples 4 the Teacher, and Visnos . The site that was the most fun according to our kid testers was Time Monsters. It is an animated website that has cartoon fellow by the name of Professor Tempo giving mini lessons while monsters try to distract you from the task of learning to read the clock.
Sites with Games
There is no easier way to help kids learn something while having fun than online games. Luckily there is no shortage of time telling games. To help you wade through the vast number of games around, we have picked the ones our kids testers liked the best and tried to find games for a variety of ages and skill levels.
- Turtle Diary Time Zone introduces the concepts of seconds, minutes, hours, A.M. and P.M. through this simple exercise, as kids read the clock and fill in the correct time.
- Toy Theatre is a simple learning game where you choose the correct answer from a selection of clocks.
- ABCya Time Travel is an activity where you practice setting the clock by selecting a type of clock and then dragging the hands of the analogue clock or by clicking the up and down buttons of the digital clock.
- Stop the Clock a slightly different variation of matching analog clocks to digital clocks. It’s fun.
- Mr. Nussbaum’s Bedtime Bandits is a bit different than the other games that are out there. Players take the form of a child with a flashlight avoiding going bed.
- Primary Games fairly simple game matching an analog clock to a digital clock.
Apps are kind of perfect for teaching time, they are easy, cheap and kids love them. Since there are a lot of really good ones out there, we tested out a few apps and two that you should check out are Tell Time and Interactive Telling Time. Both of these apps are standouts in the crowded time telling app market.
Another option to help kids get used to the idea of time and clocks is from a workbook or a storybook. There are quite a few books to choose from but here are a few that we like:
- My Book of Easy Telling Time: Learning about Hours and Half-Hours is a Kumon workbook that introduces children to the concept of telling time by concentrating on the hours first, and then incrementally introducing children to half- and quarter-hours. The reason we liked this book is because Kumon uses repetitions to enforce the basics to the children, it is also colorful and really worth the price for the kids to learn to tell “basic” time on their own without much supervision. The basic requirement though is the knowledge of reading and writing numbers from 1-12.
- Another book we really like is Telling Time with Big Mama Cat. It is a book that tells the story of Big Mama Cat as she goes throughout her day and what she does at particular times of the day. This book includes a fold-out page that has a clock with movable plastic hands. Readers can change the time as Big Mama Cat moves from one adventure to the next. The reason we liked this book was partly because of the overwhelmingly great reviews and partly because teachers seem to really like this book as a way of teaching time to kids.
A lot of teachers use teaching clocks, they are a great way to help kids learn, you can easily make a simple teaching clock on your own or there are some handy ones that you can buy.
A really popular teaching clock is the American Innovative Teach Me Time! Talking Alarm Clock and Nightlight. It is an interactive, talking time-teaching game that has adjustable skill levels and teaches concepts on the analog and digital clock faces. There are few complaints about how bright the feet are on this clock at night and some other complaints about difficulty in programming the clock and some design issues (numbers too small). But what we really like are the features on it.
We found two DVDs that people seem to really like that help kids tell the time. Both DVD have great reviews:
- Munchkin Math: Telling Time is a DVD that will help your child learn how to tell time in a fun, interactive and engaging way. You can see a promo for this DVD here.