How to teach your child to tell the time


How to teach your child to tell the time


How to teach your child to tell the time

When it comes to teaching your kids to tell the time leaving it to school may not be the best option. My son learned very quickly and easily at school but it was different for my daughter who takes a little more time to absorb complex information.

Find this and other featured clocks at

We tried all sorts of things using books and even a clock cake once with the hope of engaging her interest. We had tell the time games and we would go online and try games too. All of these worked to some extent but it felt a hard and unnatural slog.

We bought her a watch but she didn’t really like wearing it as it got in the way and irritated her and she never looked at it. Telling the time remained tricky.

I really scratched my head over how best to help her. At school the subject was quickly over, assumed understood and on they moved,

It was most definitely down to us.

In the end a wise friend pointed out to me that we had very few clocks in our house and she never really saw us telling the time. We would just glance at our iPhones or Fitbits. We needed time to be more visual and present in our lives.

We decided to have a clock in every room, make reference to it regularly and encourage her to read it for us. The clocks needed to be clearly numbered and visually appealing.

These clocks are perfect for a kid’s room. They are fun, funky colourful and attractive and I know she would be delighted with them.

This Leni rainbow clock comes in a myriad of colours so you can just pick your child’s favourite. I love how clear the numbering is on this clock which makes it so child friendly. From an aesthetic point of view I really like how minimalistic yet stylish it is too.

For those who have a less modern and more playful bedroom this clock is perfect. Embracing natural materials with pop of pattern and colour this Nash retro wooden clock would be fabulous. Kids will love the colourful numbers and it is so easy to read.

How to teach your child to tell the time

One way to get her really using and engaging with time was to get her an alarm clock that she needed to take responsibility for setting and reading. I love how this one has o’clock and half past and quarter to and quarter past written on as a reminder. This worked really well for us.

You might consider a kitchen clock that is really readable for kids too so they get to practice all over the house. The clock would again need to be big, clear but also look good in your kitchen… a tall order but one this lovely tell the time clock meets in every aspect.


More fun ways to teach your child to tell the time

Kids love challenges so asking them to let you know when its 5 pm as then you will make tea will keep them interested in time and see its relevance. Making time matter in real life will engage kids far more than abstract questions about time that feel like school work.

They need to know it matters.


Top time telling tips

Personally, I would work on analogue first, then digital time telling. Kids will get really confused if you mix it all up.

So my top tips boil down to this… have patience, give them lots of opportunities to practice, encourage engagement with time telling, keep it practical, real and useful and have clocks all around your home.

I do hope it goes well. They all get there in the end!


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1 Comment

  1. Caroline
    January 26, 2018 / 2:41 pm

    Hi Becky. I’d like to share my own way of teaching my two kids how to tell time. I used a cuckoo clock :-)All I needed to do was set it up in a way that the sounds the birds made told the current time. So instead of the usual “coo coo” or “dingdong” sound, it says “8am”. Well it was annoying for us adults at first, but you get used to it eventually. If you like you can check out this article: It makes choosing the right clock super easy!

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