Introducing the clock to 3 and 4 Year olds…

You many be wondering…when is the right “time” (pardon the pun) to introduce the analogue clock to my child?… I say whenever your child shows interest!

Currently, my 4 year old has started to show an interest in that “thing on the wall” we all look at… she is interested because of “TV time”… let me explain…

My children don’t have a huge amount of screen time, but each day I allow them half an hour of “TV Time”.

The thing with TV viewing nowadays is everything is on demand. My children do not know what it is to sit through an ad break, and they don’t know what it feels like to have to wait until a certain time each day to watch their favourite show.

I remember having to wait until 5:00pm when Looney Tunes came on to watch Coyote and Road Runner.

This made me acutely aware of the time… I would watch the clock with interest every day and then tell mum “Mum, quick! Can we switch on? It’s 5 o’clock”

So, I decided to try out the same idea with Miss 4.

I decided that 5:30pm most days was the best time for our family to have half an hour of “quiet time” while I prepare dinner.

So everyday at 5:30pm, I have made the rule that Miss 4 can watch her choice of TV show for 30 mins.

Let me tell you she has learnt VERY quickly to tell when the clock shows 5:30. “Big hand on 6 and little hand just past 5”…she tells me. We then set the timer on my phone for 30minutes and away she goes.

Time is something that is super important in life because we use it every day in so many ways… setting our alarms, calendars, meetings, appointments, timetables… our lives are ruled by time!

So this week I encourage you to set a particular time for TV watching and also set the countdown clock on your phone. Invite your child to be part of this process. This way you are applying two really important concepts related of time- clocks and duration, in an authentic way.

BTW if you are interested this blog explains our favourite TV program for 3 and 4 year olds  (Bluey) and how there is so many examples of maths in the show.

Have a great week and remember for many more practical ways to have “maths fun at home” sign up to our weekly newsletter here.

Dr Ange🎓🎲