Introduction: Creating a DIY Clock to Introduce Toddlers to the Concept of Time.

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Learning to tell time is one of those milestones in a child (and parent’s life) that tends to be fondly remembered! It can be an exhausting process for both, but one that definitely requires patience and tact on the part of the grown-up, not only to get the little one to read the numbers and make sense of it all but firstly to engage them for more than 10 minutes, depending on the age.

Generally speaking, a child would learn to read time by the age of 6, however that’s not to say now is not a good time (no pun intended!) The concept of reading time can be introduced to a child as young as 4, with the objective of not just learning time, but to achieve a few other important learning outcomes along the way; Learning colours and colour theory, counting from 1 to 12, learning some shapes and even recycling! What better way to amalgamate all of the above with a classic arts and crafts activity – a Colorful DIY clock complete with moving hands……suitable for ages 3.5 years onwards.

Step 1: Things You Will Need.

  • A piece of cardboard – used is better! Remember, we are also learning how to recycle and reuse!
  • Childproof scissors for your little one and grown-up ones for yourself
  • An assortment of paints and a paintbrush or even a small toothbrush
  • A paper plate as a mixing palette
  • Any old plastic container
  • Permanent Marker
  • A piece of foam or styrofoam or thermocol
  • A toothpick or an ice cream stick
  • Craft Glue Pencil or colour pencil
  • Measuring Ruler

Step 2: Cut the Cardboard in a Round Circle and Divide the Circle in 12 Equal Parts.

Cut the clock in a round shape and using the measuring ruler, and guiding your little one, divide the circle into twelve equal parts as much as possible. Look at the 12 triangles in one big circle!

Step 3: Now Start Colouring Each Triangle.

Here comes the fun bit; lay out an array of paints, a mixing palette and a small plastic container for your child to start painting in the different triangles; each representing a number. Where you run out of colours; get creative and start mixing a few together to make your own new colours!

Step 4: Now Number the Triangles 1 to 12.

Using your permanent marker and guiding your child, teach them how to write numbers from 1 to 12 in each of the colourful triangles.

Step 5: Now Lets Make the The Hands of Time.

Simply take two pieces of cardboard or ice-cream sticks and colour them black. Cut them into different sizes with the shorter one for the hour hand and the longer one for the minutes.

Make a hole in the hands at one end using a toothpick or a nail. The hole should be made when you have the sticks placed one over the other so that we can secure them in place on the clock.

Finally, place and stick styrofoam on the back of the clock. This should be done right in the middle so that you can secure your hands properly in the front.

And, you are ready to play (and learn) ‘What’s the time Mr Wolf’!

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