Welcome to my blog about my experiences working in early childhood. I have called it Nurturing Forests because I believe that raising children is not a isolated activity but takes a whole community.

As early childhood professionals, we are actively involved in this process but we also need to work closely with the children, parents, community as a whole and other allied professionals.

I hope you enjoy my site. I also have a facebook site of the same name where I provide links to useful sites for teachers, parents and others interested in the early childhood: www.facebook.com/nurturingforests

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Maths Links: Integrating the concept of time into the curriculum

This is part of Joyful Learner's Math Links... come over and check it out at http://www.joyfullearner.blogspot.com/

A critical maths skill that all children need to learn is the ability to read a clock and both types of clocks, not just a digital clock.

Many people argue that telling the time is too complicated a skill for young children but I know many 2 year olds (and even some babies) who are able to understand the basics. The main skill is an understanding of the numbers and the idea that they represent a concept (time). Most children have been exposed to time as a concept from a very young age - for example, being asked to wait for something.

Like many complicated concepts, such as reading and writing, it is all about modelling and demonstrating how the skill is used in every day life.

For example, for many children I like to introduce the concept of  time (and a clock) when they are arguing over a toy. For example, Joe can have the toy til the big hand gets on the 2. For a very popular toy this can even involve the making of a waiting list then writing the numbers and drawing what the hands will look like.

It is also useful for when morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea are coming as well as when their families will be here. It can also be used in a pictorial communication system to enable children to plan their day.

I also like to supplement this with clock puzzles that show times etc. At the expense of coming across as a Melissa and Doug Sales repersentative (I promise I'm not) this clock is incredible and suitable for all ages.

What do you do to help your children understand the concept of time?


  1. We own that puzzle! It's one of the few puzzles we have yet to outgrow. Thanks for linking up with us!

  2. I was at a conference a few weeks ago & the guest speaker was explaining that we shouldn't introduce linear schedules to young children but instead make them like a clock face so that they begin to realise the correlation between clocks & the movement of time. I have tried doing this with my class timetable & they love it!

  3. Hi Kierna,

    Thanks for this. However, I think you should have a look at my post yesterday about mathematical patterning. Research is beginning to find that we are significantly underestimating children under 5's math skills.