90 Days of Summer Fun: Lessons in time

No reclining allowed at 10 minutes ’til landing.

It’s 10 minutes until our flight lands and my kiddo calls it a day. Can’t blame her considering we’ve been traveling from Istanbul back to New York City via Paris. We’re in it for more than 11 hours at this point, and wake up time was 5 a.m., so needless to say, there was no point trying to keep her awake through customs and an hour ride home.

But when wake up time the next “morning” was 2 am, after her 9 hours of sleep, I couldn’t convince my daughter to stay asleep. Two days later, I’m still jet lagged, but in the blur of these last couple days, I found it the perfect time to explore concepts of time with my child.

And I don’t usually go quite so overboard as I did in my pursuit to find the best time teaching tools that are available. You can find some of these time items in our Daily Grind and Goodnight Sleepyhead and Too Cool for Preschool Original boxes, and purchase them separately during our holiday pop-up store in New York City.

My current favorite is the red German-made clock I discovered at the Nuremberg Toy Fair this year. Without all the bells and whistles- through it does have batteries that make the clock work- but it would probably lose in a side-by-side comparison with many other kid clocks. It doesn’t have bright colors or a silly face, and it doesn’t talk and make loud electronic noises, but it does have elements others’ don’t like interactive blocks that can be used to explore sequencing of events, roman numerals, fractions of time, seconds and other time elements.

But you don’t have to purchase a kids clock to explore time with your child. Use a clock at home, or make a fun simple paper plate clock with your kid. With the following supplies, a paper plate, construction paper, colorful markers or crayons and a metal fastener, you can make a custom clock to practice time concepts.

Write the numbers on the paper plate as they appear on a clock. Draw 2 arrows or “hands” and cut them out of construction paper. Punch small holes in the exact same place on the hands.Use a metal fastener to punch through the paper plate attaching the 2 clock hands. Viola, you have a clock. Create different versions with seconds or roman numerals and make learning time fun.

The point is simply to make it fun, and start with the basics. Start noticing clocks and time during the day. What time is it when we wake? When we eat breakfast? Head to school? Eat lunch? Take a nap? Eat dinner? Bathe before bed? And bedtime? Wear a watch or check your Iphone. Explore world time clocks and on vacation talk about what time it is in your vacation spot versus your hometown. Talk about how many hours of sleep you’ll miss when you return home!



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