Introduction: Teach a Child to Tell the Time With a Strawbees Clock

About: Make:Bromyard is a rural makerspace in Bromyard, Herefordshire.

Very easy 5 minute project! Make a clock with hands that turn to help your child learn to tell the time. Even better, your child can make and decorate the clock with minimal adult help.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

You will need:

  • 5 straws
  • 3 single leg Strawbees
  • 12 double leg Strawbees
  • 5 thumb tacks or map pins
  • A large piece of card or paper as a backing
  • Pens
  • (Optional) stickers and other things for letting your child decorate the clock!

Step 2: Cut the Straws

You need to cut four of the straws into thirds, giving you twelve short straws of equal length. Then cut the fifth straw into two unequal parts. These will be the short hand and the long hand of the clock, so make sure there's a clear difference in size.

Step 3: Make the Hands

Attach one single leg Strawbee each to the short and long straws. Pop out the little hole in the Strawbees, and then take the third single leg Strawbee and push the end of it through the centre of the other two. This will create a joint that can pivot 360°. Put the hands aside.

Step 4: Create the Outside of the Clock

All you need to do here is connect the 12 short straws of equal length using the 12 double leg Strawbees. If all the Strawbees are in the same alignment you'll get a nice circle, but you won't be able to attach them to anything. We turned every third Strawbee 90° - although this messes up the shape ever so slightly, it also means you'll be able to easily pin your 'clock' to a wall or backing board.

Step 5: Add the Numbers and Decorate!

Lay the clock frame down on the backing paper or card with the Strawbees that you turned 90° at the 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock positions. We added the numbers for the hours on the paper backing around the outside of the Strawbee frame, and the numbers for the minutes on the inside, in different colours. You can of course add your numbers any way you like - you could die cut them or punch them out of the paper backing, for example.

Next let the kids go wild making it their own with some additional decoration. Our little helper stuck a load of glitter flowers on her clock.

Step 6: Stick It on the Wall!

Push the pins through the Strawbees that you turned 90° to secure the clock to the wall through the paper backing, or simply to secure it to card or foam board if that's what you're using.

To secure the hands but still allow them to pivot freely, push a pin through the centre of the two 'hands' Strawbees (meaning the pin also goes through the plastic of the third Strawbee that's holding them together). This way they'll pivot easily but also stay in place once you've moved them.

And there you have it! A clock for kids to use to learn to tell the time or just to show off a fun project they made.