10 Tips for Teaching Kids to Tell Time

I can really see a difference in Reuben lately. Yes, he’s still having a temper tantrum at 7.02pm because he has to go to bed and yes, he’s still shrieking “pew pew pew” like a Star Wars battle ship as he runs around the living room like a caffeinated puppy on acid.

Then there are the subtle changes.

He’s working harder on school things, knuckling down to put some real effort into writing and reading. From an educational perspective it’s not just the writing and the reading that he has become more interested in. He’s suddenly started asking about telling the time more and more – though I suspect that is less about the actual learning and more about wanting to be able to tell us off if we are jibbing him out of 10 mins play time before bed…

The only problem is that now, we need to teach him how to tell the time… hmm. So, here I am with a blog post that is as much a reminder for myself called tips for how to teach the kids to tell time. I’ve had a poke around the internet, asked smarter people than me and brought it together here to hopefully give us an idea of how to teach him how to tell the time and use his new watch:

  1. Make asking “what time is it?” a part of daily routine according to Bek from Dilly Drops. When you ask, you can keep walking them through the motions and it becomes natural to pick it up.
  2. Hannah from Hannah Spannah uses lotto style game, Tell the Time’ from Orchard Toys as it is a really good introduction to the language of telling the time.
  3. Make this awesome paper plate clock from Mum in the Madhouse.
  4. Start early! Deborah from My Boys Club has had an analogue clock in her children’s room from a really early age so that they had the interest way before it was time to learn.
  5. Keep practising! Beth from Twinderelmo (a good friend of mine and disney lover to boot) told us to keep practising and that her son Charlie LOVED having his own watch, as did Cat from Pushing the Moon’s son, which makes me think we’ve done the right thing for Roo by getting the watch before he can fully tell the time. 
  6. Use a wipe clean time teaching book according it Jemma from Mayflower Blogs, and wait until they are ready!
  7. The lovely Kaiden from Kaiden Laverty has started trying to teach his son by telling him that they need to leave to go somewhere when the big hand and little hand are on a particular number, so involving time in the every day!
  8. Focus on counting in fives – something I would never have thought of! According to Carla from Random Thoughts of a Twenty Something, she focused on learning to count in fives to help them understand time easier as it is done in fives. Clever huh?
  9. Use the time song! I found this on pinterest and I think it’s fab!
  10. Use these free time telling puzzles that you can download and print. Another pinterest find!

Anything to add? You know what to do!

H 🙂



  1. Avatar April 26, 2020 / 10:36 am

    These are great tips. We are learning time with Annabelle at the moment, too and so far, she’s getting there!! x

  2. Avatar June 24, 2017 / 9:34 pm

    They are great tips for teaching a child to tell the time…

    My oldest is 11 now but I remember being worried he would never learn how to tell the time… although these days the phone tells him in easy numbers.

    Seren is 7 and she’s mastered time, although still seems to get confused between o’clock and half past on occasion.

    • Harriet June 26, 2017 / 9:42 am

      Thanks lovely! Roo gets mixed up between the big and small hands!

  3. Avatar June 21, 2017 / 11:36 am

    Thank you for including my quote. My son is looking for a watch at the moment and he would love one like that! It is so clear and bright. I love that he could go paddling with it too. Fab!

    • Harriet June 26, 2017 / 9:47 am

      No worries, thanks lovely!

  4. Avatar June 20, 2017 / 9:36 am

    Thanks for including us in your roundup. I love the bright orange colour of the watch. it won’t be long and he will be telling you the time ALL the time!

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