From: Sally Moore – Pre- School room.

Tip: How to give your child a sense of time

As parents, we often take for granted that we can understand the concept of time. But for children, it can take lots of experiences and conversations to acquire a well-developed sense of time. It’s far more than being able to read a clock face and tell the time and without any understanding, children can get frustrated and often experience anxiety as they are unsure how long to wait for something to occur.

There are a few tips that I would like to share with parents to try and help make time more apparent and relevant to your child.

Tip 1: You can use an old-fashioned egg-timer where children can see the sand going through it for an everyday activity such as leaving the house in the morning for nursery. Simply share with your child that in say two minutes we shall be leaving, then enjoy watching the sand pass together whilst getting their shoes on and soon enough it will be time to go.

Tip 2: Digital clocks are more the norm nowadays, but sticking photos to a clock face can really help children understand what happens at what time of the day. Why not set some time aside to create some small pictures together of key daily events – such as breakfast, going to nursery, play time, bath time and finally bedtime. Then stick these little pictures around a clock face to help show the sequence of the day. This will help children make links between the hours of the day, as well day and night routines.

Tip 3: Two brilliant activities that I enjoyed with my children (and with the added bonus of fresh air!) is pooh sticks and blowing out a dandelion clock. Drop sticks into a river or stream on one side of a bridge and then see how long each one takes before emerging on the other side. And look out for the dandelion seed heads in spring time, if it takes four puffs to blow off all the seed heads from the dandelion then it is four o’clock.

As your child moves its way through First Steps, we are all here to help with their development. We do lots of activities and crafts, as well as stories, songs and nursery rhymes to help establish a better sense of time. We also make sure we stick to our daily routines, so each child gets used to breakfast, snacks, naps and their meals at the same time each day.