Telling Time Made Fun: Engaging Kids with Maths-Based Interactive & Incredible Games

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Updated on: Educator Review By: Michelle Connolly

Telling Time Made Fun: Telling the time is a fundamental skill that sets the foundation for mathematical understanding and daily time management. We believe that by transforming this essential lesson into a lively and engaging activity, young children can develop a solid grasp of time concepts in an enjoyable way. Interactive games and maths puzzles offer a dynamic approach to educating students, enabling them to learn to tell the time with ease and interest.

Telling Time Made Fun LearningMole
Telling Time Made Fun: Round navy alarm clock

We not only aim to teach the basics of telling time but also to intertwine these lessons with mathematical skills. This method captures the imagination of students and young learners, making the learning process more relatable and applicable to the world around them. Teachers are equipped with a variety of tools and activities that can be incorporated into classroom learning or even at home, ensuring that telling time is not only educational but also an enjoyable experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Interactive games make learning to tell the time an enjoyable experience for children.
  • Maths puzzles help integrate time-telling skills with broader mathematical learning.
  • Resources for teachers and parents support effective and fun time education at home and in school.

Understanding Time Basics

Before introducing games and activities, it’s important for us to ensure that children grasp the core concepts of telling time. Doing this lays a strong foundation for understanding the more intricate aspects of time later on.

Clock Essentials: Hours and Minutes

We first look at the clock face, a circle with numbers 1 through 12, which signify the hours. Each number is spaced evenly around the edge. The hour hand is shorter and points to the current hour. The minute hand is longer and points to the precise minute, travelling around the entire clock to count 60 minutes in an hour.

AM and PM: Distinguishing Day Parts

In our daily life, we use AM (from the Latin ‘ante meridiem’, meaning before midday) and PM (from the Latin ‘post meridiem’, meaning after midday) to differentiate between morning and the rest of the day. AM runs from midnight to midday, while PM covers midday to midnight. One full cycle of AM and PM makes up a 24-hour day. It’s vital we explain to children that the sequence changes from AM to PM after the hour hand passes 12 at noon.

Tools for Teaching Time

In our article, we’re exploring engaging ways to help children master the art of telling time. We’ll delve into the tools that make learning about clocks both fun and educational.

Analog vs Digital Clocks

When we introduce the concept of time to young learners, it’s essential to distinguish between analog and digital clocks. Analog clocks provide a visual representation of time passing, with moving hands that point to numbers on a circular face. Digital clocks, on the other hand, display time numerically, which can be more straightforward for children to read but less so in terms of understanding the passage of time.

Analog Clocks:

  • Use paper plate clocks with movable hands for a hands-on activity.
  • Practice reading clock faces through interactive games that display different times.

Digital Clocks:

  • Explore online games that convert analog to digital time.
  • Utilise worksheets that focus on reading and setting digital clocks.
Telling Time Made Fun LearningMole
Telling Time Made Fun: Person wearing black digital watch

Telling Time Resources and Materials

Our toolkit for teaching time is brimming with resources and materials designed to support a variety of learning styles.


  • Provide a mix of worksheets for both analog and digital time concepts.
  • Include challenges like matching times or calculating time durations.


  • Craft clock faces with different times for classroom display.
  • Access online platforms like LearningMole, which offers a treasure trove of educational content, to enrich lessons with interactive tutorials and activity sheets that make mastering the intricacies of time an adventure for every child.

By thoughtfully selecting these tools and utilising a blend of both analog and digital formats, we can offer a well-rounded approach that caters to all learning needs, ensuring that the concept of time becomes a familiar and understood part of a child’s world.

Interactive Time-Telling Activities

In this section, we introduce varied educational approaches to improve children’s time-telling skills. These range from traditional methods with a twist to exciting game-based learning and creative crafts.

Fun with Flashcards and Bingo

We’ve found that using flashcards can be a stellar way to boost memory and understanding of time concepts. Children can play with flashcards featuring different clock faces, matching them with the correct time. For a group activity, time bingo offers an engaging way to reinforce these skills. Each player has a bingo card with clock faces, and they must identify the time when it’s called out to mark their board.

Innovative Time Games for Engagement

Incorporating games into learning can significantly increase a child’s engagement. For example, interactive time-telling games utilise digital platforms that children can play, offering a mix of fun and education. Another innovative approach is using apps that create a game-like experience, often requiring students to solve maths problems that involve reading clock times.

Hands-On Crafting Time

There is immense value in hands-on activities such as crafting your own clocks. Children can create their own time-telling toolkit using materials like paper plates, movable hands, and markers, which helps cement the concepts of hours and minutes. This hands-on approach not only solidifies theoretical understanding but also enhances fine motor skills and creativity.

By incorporating these diverse activities into our learning strategies, we help children develop a robust foundation in time telling, making it both fun and educational.

Incorporating Maths in Time Education

When teaching children to tell time, embedding maths enhances both the understanding of time and the development of essential mathematical skills. By intertwining puzzles and games with maths concepts, and creating worksheets that integrate addition and subtraction, we provide a multi-dimensional learning experience that is both fun and educational.

Puzzles and Games with Maths Concepts

In our experience, children are more responsive to learning when engaged with materials that are interactive and enjoyable. For instance, matching times with corresponding activities utilises both the concept of time and basic addition skills. A typical puzzle might show various clocks and a set of activities with durations. The goal is for the children to calculate the end time of activities, fostering their math skills in a practical context. Such puzzles solidify the practice of adding hours and minutes, which is a cornerstone of maths education. Another game might involve matching times to daily routines, which helps connect time-telling to the real world.

Worksheets Integrating Addition and Subtraction

Worksheets can be both a traditional and effective tool for reinforcing maths skills in the context of time education. We create worksheets where children are given a start time and an ‘add’ or ‘subtract’ time value. The task is to figure out the resulting time. This method encourages proficiency in both addition and subtraction, important aspects of maths. A simple example would be to provide a clock showing 3 o’clock, then instruct the child to add 40 minutes, guiding them to deduce the answer of 3:40. By practising these math concepts in tandem with time-telling, our young learners enhance their ability to both tell time and to apply essential maths operations.

Teaching time becomes a comprehensive mathematical exercise, reinforcing a wide range of maths fundamentals, making the subject approachable and interesting.

Learning Increments of Time

In teaching the concept of time, it’s essential to make the experience engaging. We focus on breaking down the increments of an hour into easily understandable chunks, like half hours and quarter hours, and delve into the smaller segments of minutes and seconds.

Teaching Half Hours and Quarter Hours

Half hours and quarter hours are fundamental increments that help children understand the flow of time throughout the day. For a half-hour, we point out the minute hand’s journey from one number to the next, signifying a 30-minute interval. For example, when the minute hand moves from the 12 to the 6, that indicates a half hour has passed.

To explain a quarter hour, we illustrate how the clock is divided into four quarters, each representing 15 minutes. We make it fun by associating activities that could fit into a 15-minute duration, like reading a short story. Recognising the clock’s face at 15 minutes past or 15 minutes to the hour helps children visualise time in quarters effectively.

Understanding Minutes and Seconds

We then narrow down to the smaller increments: minutes and seconds. A minute, comprised of 60 seconds, is a brief period, yet a crucial one to grasp. We show the importance of seconds by timing quick tasks, such as how long it takes to tie a shoelace, emphasising their fleeting nature.

Structuring activities around these short time spans, we align with LearningMole’s ethos of interactive and tangible learning experiences that resonate and stick with children. Through these activities, we ensure that the concept of minutes and seconds isn’t just learned but experienced and understood in a way that will be remembered.

Telling Time for Early Learners

We understand the importance of making the concept of time engaging and accessible to our youngest learners. From preschool to 2nd grade, our approach integrates storytelling and songs to establish a solid foundation in time-telling skills.

Kindergarten Time-Telling Basics

In kindergarten, we start with the very basics of telling time. Our activities focus on the hours, using the clock face to help children understand the big hand and the little hand’s movements. With picture books like “Telling Time with Big Mama Cat,” we make these introductions visual and memorable.

Engagement through Stories and Songs

We’ve found that songs like “Hickory Dickory Dock” and storybooks centred around time can captivate children from preschool to first grade. These methods turn abstract concepts into relatable narratives, helping learners internalise how the clock relates to their daily routines. Our resources for storytelling and song integrate seamlessly with hands-on activities to reinforce these time-telling skills.

Daily and Seasonal Time Concepts

Understanding time is a fundamental skill that allows us to organise our daily lives and activities. Telling the time can be made enjoyable through interactive games and maths puzzles that incorporate days of the week, months, and seasons, making it a practical learning experience.

Days of the Week and Months

The calendar divides our year into 12 months, each with a varying number of days, and seven days which make up a week. Games and puzzles can be designed to help children memorise the sequence of the days of the week, from Monday to Sunday, and recognise the months from January through December. By incorporating these elements into fun activities, the puzzling question of which month comes after another, or what day follows Tuesday, becomes a simple task for young minds to solve.

  • Days of the Week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
  • Months of the Year: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Seasons and Time

As the Earth orbits the Sun, we experience four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Each season has its own set of characteristics and length, affecting not just the weather, but our daily and monthly routines. Activities that involve matching seasonal images, such as blossoming flowers for spring or falling leaves for autumn, with the correct months, teach children the seasonal cycle. Similarly, games can simulate seasonal changes to help understand the concepts of shorter days in winter and longer days in spring and summer.

  • Seasons:
    • Spring: March, April, May
    • Summer: June, July, August
    • Autumn: September, October, November
    • Winter: December, January, February

Interactive activities not only embed these concepts into memory but do so in a way that feels more like play than education. We ensure that our approach caters to the varied ways children learn while making the elements of time and seasons easily comprehensible.

Time in the World Around Us

In our journey to make learning an adventure, we’ve discovered how the concept of time resonates deeply with both science and nature. It’s fascinating to see the connections between the ticking clock and the world around us.

Connecting Time with Science and Nature

As we explore the symbiotic relationship between time and the natural world, it becomes clear that timekeeping is not just about clocks and calendars. It’s about the rhythmic patterns in the behaviour of insects, the changing of the seasons, and the cycles of growth and decay. For instance, observing an insect’s life cycle can teach children the importance of time in the context of nature. By relating these natural phenomena to the concept of time, we create a tangible link between science and our everyday lives.

Our Approach:

  • We use interactive games that simulate the lifecycle of an insect to instil a sense of timing and sequence.
  • Nature walks become a practical lesson in how buds bloom and leaves fall in a timely fashion, underscoring the relationship between science and the natural world.
  • We encourage a hands-on experience with our educational content that considers each child’s learning pace, ensuring that every lesson is a building block in understanding the broader concept of time.

By intertwining time-based activities, such as tracing the movement of shadows or charting the phases of the moon, with maths puzzles that require timely problem-solving, we create a multifaceted learning experience.urahan Discovering time in the world around us is not just about watching the clock – it’s about connecting with the living, breathing fabric of our world.

Educational Time-Telling Games

We’ve handpicked some exceptional educational time-telling games that promise enjoyable learning experiences for kids. Through these games, children can master the art of reading clocks and understanding time, all while engaging in delightful gameplay.

Board and Online Games

Board Games:

  • What Time Is It? – A classic board game where players move around the clock-themed board, practising how to read time as they land on different hours and minutes.
  • Telly the Teaching Time Clock – Helps children learn both digital and analogue time through fun, hands-on play.

Online Games for Kids:

Game-Based Team Learning

Starting Time:

  • Teams race against the clock to solve time-related puzzles, enhancing both their numeracy skills and their understanding of time. It’s a hit with kids just starting to learn time-telling.

Time Games:

  • By working together in teams, children experience a series of time games that encourage collaboration and communication, enhancing their problem-solving abilities and social skills.

Learning through play has always been at the core of our philosophy at LearningMole. By integrating educational concepts with fun, interactive elements, our resources draw upon a variety of learning styles to help each child thrive.

Assessing Time-Telling Skills

In our journey to make mastering the art of telling time delightful for children, it is vital to periodically gauge their progress. Through an array of engaging resources and activities, such assessments can be both informative and enjoyable.

Review with Worksheets and Quizzes

Practice Pages:
We have crafted a suite of worksheets that invite young learners to apply their time-telling knowledge. Our practice pages are specially designed to challenge pupils in a fun and interactive way, with each one focusing on different aspects of clock reading.

Beginner Worksheets: Feature clear and simple analogue clocks, helping children identify the hour and half-hour marks.Intermediate Worksheets: Introduce minute intervals, requiring a more precise reading of time.Advanced Worksheets: Combine analogue with digital representations to ensure a well-rounded comprehension.

Our exercises offer a dynamic approach to learning, wherein children can engage with time-telling through hands-on activities. They might, for instance, construct their own paper clocks to manipulate the hands and better understand the relationship between hours and minutes.

Interactive online quizzes serve as a quick and effective way to review a child’s understanding. Real-time feedback from these quizzes helps reinforce what children have learnt while highlighting areas that may require additional attention.

In using these tools, we can ensure that the process of learning to tell time remains a positive and constructive experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that teaching children to read clocks and tell the time can be a challenging yet enjoyable experience. Below, we’ve gathered some of the most commonly asked questions and our recommendations to help make learning this essential skill both effective and fun.

What are some engaging activities for teaching children how to read clocks?

We often use colourful paper clocks with movable hands to make learning interactive. By physically moving the hands and seeing the time change, children get a practical understanding of how clocks work. Additionally, we set up timed scavenger hunts where reading the clock correctly leads to the next clue.

Can you recommend any interactive games that help with learning to tell the time?

Certainly! There’s a plethora of online games which make learning to tell the time enjoyable. These games often include matching digital to analogue clocks, solving time-related riddles, or sequencing events based on time, all of which can greatly aid in comprehension.

Where can I find telling time games that are suitable for use in the classroom?

We’ve found excellent resources for telling time games that are designed specifically for classroom use. For instance, BBC Bitesize offers games and activities that are perfect for group participation and easy to integrate within your lesson plan.

How can I incorporate maths puzzles into time-telling lessons for more effective learning?

One of our favourite methods is to introduce time-themed maths puzzles. These may involve calculating the duration between events or solving problems where the time acts as a critical variable, encouraging students to apply both their time-telling and mathematical skills.

What resources can I use to create a fun lesson plan for teaching time-telling?

We often turn to sites such as Teaching Time which provides resources ranging from worksheets to interactive whiteboard activities. These materials cater to various learning styles and are fantastic for creating diverse and engaging lesson plans.

Are there any telling time activities designed specifically for early years’ education?

Absolutely! Many educational platforms offer time-telling activities tailored for younger children. Simplified puzzles, story-telling with time concepts, and colourful clock toys are especially effective for early years’ education. These resources help to introduce the basics of clock-reading in an age-appropriate and stimulating manner.

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