From the age of around 4 when a child starts their formal education, they will begin to learn how to tell the time. This is an important skill that they will take with them into adulthood and ensures they can be on time for important events, and keep track of their own time when planning tasks. It is quite common for some children to struggle to tell the time, particularly in this digital world when the time is often expressed in a digital format, and this is why resources such as your children’s first watch are invaluable to help get them through this element of their primary education.
Whether you are looking for a girl’s or boy’s first watch, here are three top tips to help you choose a watch that will be practical, educational and most importantly, fun!
1. Clear face design
This is a very important feature when shopping for a child’s first watch. You need to think about how easy it will be for a child to read when worn on their wrist and whether there is too much information on the clock face that they might find confusing. Clever use of colours can help certain elements of the clock face to stand out, such as the key numbers to help them read the hour and minutes.
2. Simple time teaching method
Perhaps the most important thing to look for when buying a child their very own first watch is whether it features a simple time teaching system that they will easily get to grips with. It is no good just buying them a regular watch that looks colourful or features their favourite character as whilst it might look like a great accessory, it won’t help them to tell the time independently. A simple time teaching system should be present on the clock face, highlighting the important aspects such as whether the minutes are ‘past’ or ‘to’ the hour, or whether you should express the time in terms of 12 or 24 hours.
3. Colourful and fun
Of course, you can’t hope to engage children unless you make learning fun and one of the best ways to do this is to feature bright colours and bold designs that will be eye-catching and appealing. If you can find a boys or girls first watch with colour options – such as the clock face or wrist strap, that’s even better as you can cater to the child’s current personal tastes and preferences – which as all parents know will change frequently!
How to identify if your child is struggling to tell the time
If you don’t know whether your child is ready for their first watch, perhaps the initial consideration should be whether they are showing signs of struggling to tell the time, for example:
- They can’t count very easily, or recognise numbers in a random set
- They struggle to count numbers in blocks of 5 or 10
- They don’t really understand the concept of time when you apply it to their day to day activities
- They’re not used to seeing analogue clocks – perhaps because you don’t have one one in the house
If any of the above sound familiar, or a teacher has mentioned it to you at a parents evening, then you might find time teaching resources such as watches, clocks and time teaching games to be a massive support to your child’s education.
Once you’ve identified that your child might be in need of some support in this area and have searched the internet to find a childrens first watch that features the top 3 elements mentioned above, the next step is to support your child to use this resource. There are some steps below that might help the overall learning process:
- Make time a massive part of everything you do. Talk about what time you will be doing something, how long it is until dinner is ready or how long it has taken to complete a task. By using the concept of time in everyday life your child will become more and more used to the terminology.
- Buy an analogue clock and place it somewhere that your child can easily see it, such as in the kitchen, bedroom or playroom.
- Encourage your child to wear a time teaching watch every day so they can practise telling the time and get used to saying the time out loud.
- Turn telling the time into a game – all you need is two children, one to be the hour hand and one to be the minute hand. Place numbers or pieces of paper with the numbers 1-12 written on them in a circle on the floor and let the children be the clock hands!
EasyRead provides advice and resources to help children learn to tell the time. Their website features their full range of time teaching products including children’s first watches, wall clocks and games.
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