Learning games are important as a great start for teaching kids about time and how to use a clock. Being able to play their way through a whole day of classroom learning makes education its own game.
These tell time learning games assume that your kids already know how to tell the time and have developed basic math skills to be able to count to 60 as well as recognize quarters and halves.
1. Got the time?
Players collect sets of cards from each other that show the same time but in different ways.
Prepare cards to show the time in three formats: analog, digital and in words. For example, one card will have a clock face with the big hand at 12 and the little hand at 6, one card will show “6:00” and one card will say “6 o’clock”. This makes up a complete set. Make 12 of these sets for each of the 12 hours on the clock, which is a total of 36 cards.
- Split the class into groups of 4. The number of groups you have will tell you how many clock sets you need to make.
- Deal 4 cards to each player and place the remaining cards face down in the middle of the table.
- The first player (decide who goes first here) selects the time on one of their cards and asks the group if they have another version of it. For example, if they are holding the digital card for 3:00, they can ask “Does anyone have 3 o’clock?” Any player with the analog or text for 3 o’clock must hand their card to that player.
- Once the player has collected all three cards in the set, they place it on the desk and they get a point. If they begin with all 3 cards at the first deal then they can simply put that set down and earn a point.
- Keep playing until all sets have been found and tally up the points to determine the winner.
Make the game more advanced by including half hour and quarter hours.
2. What time did…?
This time telling activity calls upon your student’s ability to use arithmetic to solve word puzzles involving time. Students must demonstrate their problem solving skills to be able to both tell time and work out the correct answer to these math problems.
When introducing this tell time math activity, go through the first problem with your students to let them understand how the math questions should be tackled. Then each student, or working in pairs, can go through the rest of the word puzzles and find the answer to the question “What time did…?”
Here are some example questions you can write on the whiteboard or hand out on a worksheet:
- You left school at 3:30 p.m. You then walked to the library to work on your homework. It took 15 minutes to walk to the library. The bus picked you up at the library two hours after you arrived. What time did the bus pick you up? (Answer: 5:45 p.m.)
- You live at opposite ends of the neighborhood to your friend John. It takes both of you 20 minutes to cycle to school. If you both have to be at school at 8:30 a.m., what is the latest time you can leave home and still make it to school in time? (Answer: 8:10 a.m.)
- Your family met you at the cinema at 6:00 p.m. The movie started at 6:15 and lasted 1 hour and 55 minutes. What time did the movie end? (Answer: 8:10 p.m.)
- You had two exams today. The first exam lasted from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. You then had to wait 2 hours and 35 minutes from the end of the last exam to the beginning of the next exam. What time did your second exam begin? (Answer 1:35 p.m.)
- You had a dancing lesson after school. School finished at 3:15 p.m. and it took you 25 minutes to walk to your dance lesson. You made it just in time. After the 1-hour lesson, it took you 15 minutes to walk home. What time did you arrive home? (4:55 p.m.)
3. What’s the time Mr. Wolf?
What’s the time Mr. Wolf? is a great kid’s learning activity and classic children’s playground game.
Select one child to play the role of Mr. Wolf, who then stands at one end of the playing area with his or her back to the rest of the class who all stand shoulder to shoulder in a line.
The children all shout out, “What’s the time Mr. Wolf?” at the same time and then Mr. Wolf turns round and answers by saying the time. For example, “It’s 3 o’clock.”
Mr. Wolf then turns his or her back again while the children slowly advance towards Mr. Wolf on their tippy toes. The kids again chant, “What’s the time Mr Wolf?” To which Mr .Wolf will again respond by saying a different time later than the previous one. For example, “It’s 4 o’clock.”
Mr. Wolf then turns his or her back again while the children again slowly creep towards Mr. Wolf. But they must BEWARE!
When the line of players get close to Mr. Wolf, he or she can respond to the chant at anytime by saying, “It’s dinner time!” at which point, he or she will chase the players back to the starting line with the aim to catch one of the them, who will then become Mr. Wolf for the next round of the game.
Tell Time iPad Games
Go beyond the classroom and into the digital world with the Top 10 Free iPad Apps For Teaching Children To Tell Time. Kids’ educational apps are simple and effective ways to introduce educational technology in the classroom and teach children to tell time in a fun and interactive way.