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Looking for fun ways to teach kids to tell time? We have some great ideas!

Posted by Christen Barbercheck on


Learning to tell time can be fun! 

When it comes to the concept of “telling time”, nearly everyone has at least one digital clock at their disposal at any given time. Yet, while almost anyone who is able to understand numbers can report the time displayed on a phone, computer, or digital alarm clock, the learning process around understanding the passage of time can be difficult for some people. 

Of course, this includes children. Yet, individuals of all ages who are on the autism spectrum or have other developmental or learning disorders may experience particular difficulty understanding time in relationship to an analog clock. But we believe everyone can learn! A tool we think can be especially helpful to everyone is the Time Timer visual timer. 

Whether a person is an adult, child, neurotypical, or a mainstream learner, this timer is a great addition to your productivity tools in the classroom, at the office, or home! Time Timer’s disappearing red disk clearly displays the passage of time in five-minute increments – so you’ll always know how much time is left for a task, class, or routine. While tools like these can help users “see” the passage of time within a set timeframe, teaching someone how to “tell” time on an analog clock can be more challenging. 

We’ve collected a list of fun, creative, and clever ways of teaching others to “tell time”, and we’re sharing them here. As you may have guessed, many of these ideas come to us courtesy of some amazing people – teachers, of course!! 


Roll and Read the Time! 

Courtesy of This Reading Mama, this fun, free printable game uses motor skills (dice), counting, and a bingo-like format to learning to tell time. Great classroom fun! 


Photo courtesy of This Reading Mama


Each Minute, Every Moment Book 

How long does it take to tie your shoes?  How about to feed your dog, lay out your clothes or eat lunch?  Readers of all ages will love how "Each Minute, Every Moment“ imagines ways we can use our time each day to make every moment count! The book includes a Time Timer® manipulative so that students can set the timer for each activity in the book. With the Time Timer visual timer reinforcing the movement of an analogue clock, this is a great way to teach time and its importance.  


ABCYa.com Time Telling Game 

If you’re a teacher or parents of little ones and you need something for the laptop or tablet, check out this super fun “Time Travel” game from ABCYa.com. This engaging activity will have your kids telling time in no time (yes, pun intended)! 


Personalized Paper Plate Clock 

Bring out your students creative side with the paper plate version of a clock! With just a few materials you can have a classroom of students with their very own clocks.  

Fun Fact! Did you know the first model Jan Rogers made of the Time Timer was made using paper plates? This is how she first physically showed the concept she had come up with 😊  

Photo courtesy of The Spruce / Rita Shehan


Plastic Egg Matching Game 

Easter is just around the corner – and young students in primary grades will love this hands-on classroom game. Using colorful plastic Easter eggs, use a permanent marker to mark the digital time on one half, and an image of the analog time on the other half. Courtesy of The Stem Laboratory. 

Photo courtesy of The Stem Laboratory 


A Fun Sing Along! 

Have some fun and sing with your students. Did you know Time Timer has a song? Sing the Time Timer Song! with your students and pick a students to put the different durations on your Time Timer in your classroom. You can also sing along with the version recorded online here.  


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