Savile Park Primary School

Headteacher: Mrs J Boylan

Learning to tell the time

Telling the time is an important skill in everyday life, but it can be tricky to learn.

Before your child will be able to tell the time on a clock they will need to grasp how time relates to their own experiences. You can start to increase their awareness of time from a young age with simple activities and games. Here are some fun ideas to get you started.

Hints and tips for telling the time

  • Draw attention to time. Mention the time at different points in the day. For example, you could say, ‘it’s 5 o’clock – time for tea,’ or ‘it’s 7 o’clock – time for a bath.’
  • Do fun activities that include measuring time:
    • use a timer for baking
    • play a board game with a sand timer
    • use a stop watch to time a race or challenge
  • Make sure your child is confident with numbers and counting from 1–60 as this will make telling the time easier. Practising the five times table will also be a big help.
  • Start with analogue clocks rather than digital clocks. Focus on telling time to the hour and half hour.
  • Put a clock in your child’s bedroom. Ideally it should have a clear hour hand and half hour hand as this will help them to understand that the short hand shows the hour and the long hand shows the minutes.
  • Talk about what you regularly do at different times in the day. Compare and contrast weekdays and weekends, if there are differences. Use time vocabulary such as today, yesterday, now, afterwards.
  • Let your child remind you that it’s time to do something!