Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Taking the Time

I'll never forget the best lesson on time I was ever taught. When my daughter was only 2 and my son was a newborn, I was rushing around the house trying desperately to get us out the door for a playdate when my sweet little girl asked me if we could make paper bag puppets for the friends we were going to see. "We don't have time!" I said, in an exhausted, sweaty panic. My daughter handed me her little toy clock and thoughtfully replied, "Sure we do, mama, it's right here."

I stopped in my tracks and looked at time in a more quality, God-giving way. (You can read my column about this from the time here: Making Toddler Time.)

Teaching my now kindergartner how to tell time is a fun endeavor, and, like all things, takes time. Here are a few tools we've enjoyed so far this year.

First of all, check out this amazing website, Just In Time, it gives great free lesson plans on teaching time both with hours and calendar days and months. (I'll share our activities for Calendar Days soon!)

Secondly, along with various time supplement tools, posters and worksheets you can find at the dollar store, consider getting some interesting, quality, products like the Melissa & Doug wooden shape sorting clock, and Thames & Kosmos' Little Labs experiment kit on Time. Both of these amazing products can be found at this great locally owned and operated educational toy store, Minds in Motion.

The Little Labs kit on Time by Thames & Kosmos is designed for ages 5 and up, which is especially nice, because most science kits and experiments are all geared only to older ages. My daughter has really been enjoying this kit, which comes with a helpful guidebook filled with lessons and activities to understand the clock and also time measurement. It includes different instruments to measure time with, such as an hourglass, dial timer and even a small sundial. The experiments are really creative and useful, for instance measuring time with water, and charting various estimated times. The Time Knowledge Wheel included is also helpful, allowing kids to match the digital time to the analog time and then match the time to the activity, like waking up, eating lunch, playing with friends, brushing teeth, going to bed, etc. A wonderful resource!

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