Learning to tell time is an essential 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 several 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 kid 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 analog 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 to bed.
- Primary Games relatively 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 excellent 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 teaching children to half- and quarter-hours. The reason we liked this book is that Kumon uses repetitions to enforce the basics to the children. It is also colorful and 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 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 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 like are the features on it.
We found two DVDs that people seem to like that helps kids tell the time. Both DVDs have great reviews:
- Rock ‘N Learn:Telling Time or the updated version Learn to Tell Time DVDs teaches children how to read traditional analog clocks with hands as well as digital ones. See a preview here.
- Munchkin Math: Telling Time is a DVD that will help your child learn how to tell the time in a fun, interactive, and engaging way. You can see a promo for this DVD here.