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Interactive Ways for Kids to Learn to Tell Time

Little kids can easily use the number knowledge they have mastered to focus on learning new skills. Building on top of established skills encourages young learners to extend learning through play and real-life experiences. Practicing numbers, counting, and other early math skills at home will make learning how to tell time with educational toys and products a fun and frustration-free experience!

The must-have watch option for the little kids in your life who want nothing more than to have all the bells and whistles of a smartwatch just like the one their older siblings and parents have,

is the kid-friendly KidiZoom® Smartwatch DX3 from VTech!

Telling Time Made Easy!

Little kids are learning how to tell time earlier than ever due to the educational experiences they are involved in while watching their favorite TV shows, playing online learning games and apps, as well as using the technology devices found inside their homes.

But what if your child is not interested in telling time, or is even struggling to understand how a clock works?

Before you begin to worry, consider a few things about your child. Little kids learn best when they are interested in a topic. They also have to be developmentally ready to learn a new skill. So, if your preschooler is still working on number skills, telling time may not be a skill that is ready to be learned and mastered. But that does not mean exposing your child to digital and analog clocks and other early time telling skills to help get him or her ready is inappropriate. In fact, the ideas below are great starting points for learning how to tell time!

How to Get Ready to Tell Time:

  • Practice counting - Minutes and hours are divided into 60 parts, so it is important that your child can count to 60. Encourage your child to count on from a certain number and ask what number comes next when looking at a clock. Show your child what the time looks like whenever you see it on the hour. Don't forget that an analog clock counts by 5s, so practice counting and singing by 5s too!

  • Review number recognition - While the hours only include numbers 1-12, the minutes go all the way up to 60. This means that to be able to tell time to the minute, recognizing numbers is important. Make up number games and point out numbers during the day to expose your child to the higher numbers that they may still find tricky.

  • Discuss the time of day - Many little kids may not be aware of the different times of day and need to learn terms like morning, afternoon, evening, and night, and they need to begin to understand what happens during these time periods.

  • Talk about length of time - Before telling time is completely understood, the concept of how much time an activity takes can be taught as a non-standard measurement. Most little kids can understand the amount of time their favorite show takes to watch, how long it takes to drive to school, or how long soccer practice may be. Relating other activities to the non-standard measurements of time can help kick off starting to tell time.

The best way for young children to learn is through play and real-life experience. Toys and learning apps that bring math skills, like telling time, into young learners' lives are fun, engaging ways to learn!

Preschoolers, kindergarteners, first graders, and even some of those older kids will be intrigued with all that the VTech®KidiZoom® Smartwatch DX3 has to offer.

The KidiZoom® Smartwatch DX3 was designed for kids ages 4+. Simply unbox the DX3, add the date and time, and go! Young children will want to dive right into all the smartwatch has to offer beyond just telling time. Kids will love how much this smartwatch is just like the watch their mom or dad wears, and features cameras for taking pictures, selfies, and fun videos.

Personalize the smartwatch settings with fun photo filters and create custom clock faces.

There are also single player games that encourage movement as well as following directions, which are so much fun to play! Racing River and Monster Catcher will be instant favorites! Pair up with a friend who has a DX3 in a secure way, to share preset messages or play Treasure Hunt, Find the Diamonds and Tic-Tac-Toe.

Easily set kid-friendly reminders to help keep your child on track and ready for the day. No more nagging your child to brush his or her teeth before bed or school - just set a reminder and choose the toothbrush icon.

The KidiZoom® Smartwatch DX3 also gives parents the opportunity to teach and reinforce telling time skills to make sure that the smartwatch can be used like a tool, and not just a toy, with different ways to encourage telling time.

Building Additional Telling Time Skills:

  • Break it down - The span of an hour is a long time. It may not be easy for young children to completely comprehend just how long that is, but time to the hour is easier to identify at first. When first learning about time, use the hour to make decisions or change activities. When helping your child to understand when it is still too early to wake up in the morning, place a sticky note over the minutes side of the clock. Write the number of the hour that your child can wake up on the sticky note. When the hour on the clock matches the number on the sticky note, it's time to get up for the day! This can be used for nap or quiet time too.

  • Ask for the time - Little kids love to wear watches like the KidiZoom® Smartwatch DX3 and tell everyone the time! This is true even if they have no idea what time it really is. But with practice and repetition, it will get easier, especially when asking about predictable times in a daily routine like breakfast, school, and bath time!

  • Set a timer - We set timers for so many things these days. A timer is a countdown and little kids understand that as the timer runs, the time to complete the task or play shrinks. Talk about how long a timer is set for when playing independently or reading as well as participating in quiet time; or set a countdown until it is time to leave, or even for when your little one is brushing his or her teeth. The duration of time will be better understood every time a timer is set.

  • Don’t forget the analog clock – While it is easy to think that we only need to work with digital clocks, we cannot skip over learning how to read an analog clock. Analog clocks are still used in classrooms!

While playing with and using the KidiZoom® Smartwatch DX3’s features, young children will build confidence with telling time. The smartwatch also encourages responsibility and independence when using the timers and reminders for daily tasks and setting time limits.

Your child will find that learning to tell time is just one of the many fun skills, games, and activities found on the KidiZoom® Smartwatch DX3. The watch comes in a variety of colors, which is great for families with more than one child. Your kids will love that they can upcycle the top of the package and use it as watch storage and they will want to download all the free games, clock faces, and camera effects online from the Learning Lodge®!

Little learners will love all that VTech® has to offer with their KidiZoom® Smartwatch DX3!

Nicole Franklin is a former kindergarten teacher who now uses her Early Childhood Education Degree in her preschool classroom. She is the creator of the blog, Modern Preschool, where she shares hands-on learning activities for teachers and parents to use with their preschoolers and kindergarteners.

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