Introduction to Time: Hours, Days and Months

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Pre-schoolers have a tough time understanding time. Since it is such an abstract concept, it needs to be introduced and explored many times by children. 

To get a sense of what a certain period of time feels like, they need to experience it. Every aspect of our lives is measured in time, from our current moment to our daily routine with each passing year.

Knowledge of time and learning about time is very important for children as they must understand right in their childhood that time is precious and should use it judiciously throughout their life. For this they must have knowledge of different units of time like days, months, hours, minutes, seconds.

Kids must be well versed in numbers up to 100 and skip counting by 5s before starting with the lesson about the concept of time.

Days in a week :

Children are first taught about a week in their pre-primary classes. As kids start school, they get the idea of days with each passing day. A week is seven days.

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Months in a Year :

A year is the period of 12 months measured from any particular date. Say from a birthday in the current year to the next birthday, it will take the time period of 1 year.

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Calendar :

Calendars show the arrangement of days and months in a year in proper order. It is mainly used to organise events for a month or a daily schedule.

Reading a clock :

The device used to read time is called a clock. The clock has the markings of numbers from 1 to 12 placed equidistant from each other. There are three hands on the clock.

Second hand : It is the thinnest and fastest hand of the clock. It moves after each second.

Minute hand : Bigger than the hour hand on the clock, which reads minutes on the clock. It moves to the next digit after 60 seconds.

Hour hand : The smallest and slowest hand on the clock, which reads the hour on the clock. It moves to the next digit after 60 minutes.

There are certain rules for reading the clock :

  1. Reading of the hour hand : Look at the short hour hand, and if it points at a number and the long minute hand points at 12, then the time is of the perfect hour and named as o’ clock. If the hour hand points at 6, then the time is read as 6 o’clock
  2. Reading of the minute hand : The minute hand is always read in the skip counting by 5s. Look at the long minute hand, and if it points at any number, say 2 and the short hour hand points at any number, say 6, Then the time is 6:10 (as on skip counting by 5s, 2 times gives 10).

For the ease of pre-primary kids, skip counting by 5s should be marked on the clock with each digit for better reading of the clock by little ones. 

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For example : In the above clock the hour hand is at 1 and the minute hand is at 6. That shows the time in the clock is  1:30.

Let’s begin by discovering some ways to teach the concept of time to our young learners in a fun and interesting way : 

 Teaching the concept of time with kid friendly, clear, and easy to understand posters from Uncle Math School by Fun2DoLabs : 

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Download free printable teaching resources from Uncle Math School by Fun2DoLabs for a better understanding of the concept of time.

 Teaching the concept of time through stories from Uncle Math School by Fun2DoLabs :

 The Time Bomb Mystery

 Teaching the concept of time by activities :

Making clock :

Kids will get the idea of a clock if they make one; as we say, actions speak louder than words. To give a clear understanding of the concept of time, kids can be instructed and even helped to make clocks by using paper plates. This activity can be performed by following the steps mentioned below:

1.   Give a paper plate to a kid.

2.   Instruct kids to write numbers from 1 to 12 on the paper plate in a circular manner, as in a clock, at equal distances.

3.   Cut straws or ice cream sticks to make the hour hand and minute hand of the clock.

4.   Help kids attach the hands of the clock to the paper plate using a screw.

5.   Now, tell kids to change the position of the hands on the clock and read the time aloud.

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Help your kids practise the concept of time with interesting and fun worksheets and solutions from Uncle Math by Fun2Do Labs.

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