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How to Help Your Preschooler Learn to Tell Time

elementary Gradeschool Preschool preschooler

Learning to tell time is a great milestone for children. Your preschooler may or may not be ready to do so, but it's a great time to start the skills necessary to tell time. 

Teaching your child to tell time helps them understand the sense of time. We all follow a schedule, whether we want to or not. Kids aren't born with a sense of time. Learning this skill often helps them learn thow to transition from one activity to another. 

Learning Numbers Come First

It's important to remember that all kids learn how to count and identify numbers at different ages. Your first child may be able to count to 20 at age 2, but your second child may take 4 years to do the same task. That is why time telling may start in the preschool years, but some kids won't be able to understand it until kindergarten or even later! 

One way to introduce your child to numbers and telling time is to put a digital clock in her room. Everyday, talk to her about what the clock says and what it means. 

Work Often on Number Recognition 

While you are helping your child read the clock in her room, you need to work on number recognition. She can't tell time if she doesn't know the numbers between 0 to 60 by recognition. 

Play games, practice, and read numbers aloud to her often. Number recognition takes time and practice, but it comes to most kids after a short period! 

Point Out Time Often

When a child is learning something, they need to be exposed to it often. Aside from the clock in her room, start pointng out the time when you get in the car or when you need to leave the house. Show her the times when her favorite TV shows start. Talk about the time as often as you can, which gives her plenty of practice necessary! 

Get a Play Clock

Teaching minutes can be a bit trickier. A play clock is a great way to show your child how minutes work on a clock. She can move the hands around the clock as necessarsy to figure out the different times. 

Practice Counting by 5s

Next, practice counting by 5s with your child. Understanding groups of five will help your child learn to tell time easier. Have your child write down increments of five on a piece of paper up to 60. Recite counting by 5s daily. You can come up with a catchy song or check YouTube for silly skip counting song. 



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