Smarty was very excited to see new items in her math box this week – a clock from $1 section of Target and a kitchen timer. Our home has clocks everywhere – both digital and analog, and she was attempting to read the digital clock for a while. Using the timer seemed like a perfect introduction to digital clock, since it’s very easy to set. We talked about minutes and hours and reviewed our prior knowledge of a long hand and a short hand on an analog clock. We set timer for 1 minute and 5 minutes and saw what we can do in 1 minute (stare at the timer and ask about 10 times when it will beep) and in 5 minutes – almost finish a quick card game. Smarty was also very excited to be able to write on the area under the clock with an erasable marker that came with it. It was encouraging, since usually she is not interested in any writing activities. Mostly, however, I wrote the time in hours, and she was setting both clocks. We also talked a little about her day – what happens at 8 am in the morning, at noon, and we focused at 3 pm in the afternoon – that’s when we consider her afternoon rest over, and she can resume her afternoon activities. She can see the clock (analog) in her room, and we want her to stay put quietly until the long hand is on 12 and the short hand is on 3. Of course, ideally we want her to take a nap, but this is so not happening here lately.
I gave some thought to teaching minutes and realized quite quickly that teaching analog minutes would be next to impossible at this point. Too many concepts would be beyond Smarty's grasp. But we always encouraged her to look at the clock, told her the time of the day and explained what it means in terms of her day and upcoming activities. We will continue to do so and she might just pick up minutes by understanding the pattern. Or she might not, and I am totally OK with it. It’s not something that my daughter really needs to know at her ripe old age of 3, but she is having a blast playing with her clocks and talking about time. Here is a link for older children – Time For Time.