My 6.5 year old twin boys are in rapid development and ready to start as First Graders this summer. The world around is increasingly opening up to them more and more, and I decided that I can no longer defend postponing to teach my boys how to read the clock.
To be able to do that I will need a teaching clock, since a teaching clock is a really great tool to demonstrate the positions of the hands for different times.
A commenter to one of my former posts recently asked me if I could show how to make a teaching clock at home, so I decided to give it a try and make one.
In this article I will show how I did.
Make or Buy a Teaching Clock?
Now, it’s quite easy to find a good teaching clock online, so if you don’t want to make it yourself, you can buy one on Amazon.
If you want to buy a teaching clock, you need to go for one with:
- Big clear numbers in all hour-positions
- Smaller numbers indicating minutes (only in hour-positions)
- Markings at all minutes
- An hour-hand and a minute-hand
Avoid clocks with too many colors and illustrations as these will only serve as unwanted distractions.
You will find a good example of a useful teaching clock here.
I recommend making one yourself with your kid though, as it could be valuable to show your kid what basic parts a clock consists of while you make it.
As you progress with the clock-making, you will talk about the various parts and what they mean.
Thus the basic understanding of the clock will slowly, but surely sink in with your kid, even at this early stage.
The Teaching Method
There is a great way to teach your kid how to read the clock, and it is a method recommended by experts, i.e. professionals used to working with children.
Find the method here.
But first we need to make a teaching clock, so let’s get started.
How to Make a Teaching Clock
To make a teaching clock the way I did it, you need the following materials:
- 1 white paper plate
- 1 piece of cardboard in a different color than white
- 1 split pin
- 2 markers, 1 black, 1 in another color
- 1 ruler
- 1 pair of scissors
Use the black pen to write the numbers 1-12 in all hour-positions on the paper plate. Leave the edge of the paper plate blank for the minutes.
Of course you can simply do this by eye, but in order to find the center of the plate and also get the numbers placed more accurately, you can follow these steps:
a. Use the ruler to find the center of the plate by placing it across and measure the longest length possible. This is the diameter of the plate.
b. Keep the ruler in place, divide the diameter with 2 and make a dot in the center.
For example, if you measure the diameter to be 25 cm, you know the center should be at 12.5 cm.
c. Now that you have the center of the plate, place the ruler vertically so that it lines up with the dot in the center.
d. Use the black pen to write “12” at the top and “6” at the opposite position.
Don’t write at the very edge of the paper plate, this is where you want the minute-numbers and minute-markings to be, so remember to make room for the minues.
e. Now place the ruler horizontally making sure it lines up with the dot in the center and write the numbers “3” and “9” in the according hour-positions.
Fill in the rest of the numbers by eye.
Use a different color pen to write the according minute-numbers at every hour-position.
You will write these numbers close to the edge of the plate. Also make them a bit smaller than the hour-numbers.
Don’t be distracted by the fact that I used stickers for the minutes on my plate… The surface of the edge of the paper plate I used did not allow me to write there, so I had to use stickers instead!
Use the ruler to draw an hour-hand and a minute-hand on the cardboard.
If you have a different colored piece of cardboard at hand, you can make the hour-hand in one color and the minute-hand in another color.
Cut them out.
Use the point of the scissors or a pointy knife to make a tiny hole in the center of the plate, as well as in the cardboard-hands.
Place the hour-hand on top of the minute-hand and fix the hands to the paper plate using a split pin.
You can make the markings for the minutes anytime after STEP 1.
I did it as the very last thing.
That’s all, one teaching clock ready for you and your kid.
Have fun teaching and learning!