Tips for Teaching Your Child to Tell Time

I remember when I first had my daughter then my son. My kids are all 4 years apart except for the youngest who came 8 years after I had my last son. Surprisingly they were all born on a leap year and no it wasn’t planned. I’ve had people ask me that when I tell them. My oldest (my daughter) was pretty easy with everything. She learned her alphabet, her numbers and even potty trained by the time she was a year and a half. My now teenage son was a little bit different. While he’s always been good at math it took me some time for him to learn how to do things. One of those was learning how to tell the time. Have you wanted to teach your child to tell time, but you aren’t sure where to start? Well, I have some tips for you for teaching your child to tell time from start to finish.

Numbers are important.

Before your child can tell time, he or she needs to know basic numbers up to 60. They will need to know how to count by ones but also how to count by fives. Of course, this is going to depend on what clock you plan on teaching your child to tell time from. Digital clocks do not require someone to be able to count by fives.

Get a clock that’s large enough.

It’s hard to teach numbers on the clock when you have a tiny clock. In order to teach your child how to tell time, make sure you get a clock that’s large enough. You can look on Amazon, eBay, or even a local store for a clock that has big hands. If you’re teaching your child about telling time on a digital clock, you will want a digital clock with big numbers.

Help your child know what the minute hand is.

To help your child properly learn how to tell time, it’s best to get a clock that has a larger minute hand than the hour hand. Also, it’s important to show your child where the minute “place” is on a digital clock. Show your child what the minute hand means on the clock when you’re reading it. Practice counting as the minute hand ticks around the clock.

Help your child understand what an hour hand is.

The hour hand is probably one of the easiest things to read on a clock. It has one purpose and that’s to show what hour of the day it is. After your child has mastered learning what the hour and minute hands are they can begin to learn the basics of time-telling.

Counting by Fives

Earlier, I mentioned the importance of learning to count by fives (some kids do better by learning how to multiply by 5’s). When you’re looking at a clock and trying to tell what time it is in minutes, your child will have to know that 1 means (5 minutes) and 2 means (10 minutes) and so on all the way to 12.


Learning to tell time is really all about “practicing.” It’s easy for adults to tell time because we’ve been telling time for so many years. After all, practice makes perfect. Be patient with your child as they learn this hard concept and eventually they’ll be telling time like a pro.

What are some tips you have for teaching your child to tell time?

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