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Learn to Tell Time

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1. It is beneficial for children to begin learning to tell time between ages 5 and 8. Start by teaching your child how to wear the watch, placing it right side up on his/her wrist. Make sure the watch is not too tight and that it is securely fastened.
2. Explain the watch face to your child. On Zoobee kids watches, the large numbers represent the hours, and the small numbers/ dots represent the minutes/ seconds. The red hour hand is short and thick, the blue minute hand is longer and thinner, and the yellow second hand is the thinnest and moves fastest.

3. Explain how the watch measures time.
A. Start with the second hand. Watch and count to 60 with your child as it makes one trip around the face. Talk about tasks that take seconds to do. Time yourself and/or your child doing these activities. These might include washing your hands, putting your seat belt on, calling a friend on the telephone, and tying your shoe.

B. Next discuss the minute hand. Help your child see that every time the second hand makes one full trip around the face, the minute hand moves forward one dot/small number. Time yourselves again doing activities that take minutes to perform, such as homework, reading a book, music lessons, playing a video game, walking the dog, and cooking dinner. Count the minutes on the watch face by ones, fives, tens, fifteens, and thirties.

C. Now explain the hour hand. Note that every time the minute hand makes one full trip around the face, the hour hand moves forward one large number. Discuss and/or time yourselves at activities that take an hour or hours to do. Suggestions include watching a TV program or movie, learning at school, or driving to a neighboring city. Count aloud the twelve hours as you point to them on the watch face.

D. Finally, teach your child that the hour hand travels around the face twice each day. (And the minute hand travels round the face 24 times, which means there are 24 hours in one day.) The first time the hour hand moves around measures morning, and the second time it goes around measures afternoon/night. Note how each day actually begins at 12:00 midnight when your child is asleep, half the day is over at noon, or about lunchtime, and the day ends at the next midnight.
4. Now your child can read the watch! With one of your Zoobee kids watches at hand, explain that you tell time by stating the hour, then the minutes. Help your child state the hour by looking at whatever large number the hour hand is on or has just passed. Then have your child state the minutes by counting the small numbers/dots by ones, fives, tens, fifteens, or thirties.
5. Practice writing and saying the time with your child. Count again by fives, tens, fifteens, and thirties to help your child understand how to read time more efficiently than by counting the individual dots every time. You may use a pie or pizza to help your child visualize this concept. Compare the whole pie with the watch face. Cut the pie in half to illustrate the 30-minute (half-hour) increment, and again into quarters. Cut another pie or pizza into sixths and twelfths. See how many different ways you can state the same time (i.e. - 12:00/noon; 3:45/ "quarter to 4"; 6:30/ "half past 6";2:50/ "ten 'till three")
6. Encourage your child to practice telling time by keeping a schedule of his/her daily activities. Have your child draw what his/her Zoobee will look like at certain times such as when school begins, lunchtime, when he/she does homework, chores, and bedtime.
7. For a fun way to reinforce your child's understanding of the duration of time, make a game of timing your child. See how many U.S. states or world countries he/she can name in 30 seconds. Time how far he/she can run in one minute. How many multiplication facts can he/she accurately recite in 5 minutes? How many cartoons can be watched in one hour? Have your child time you or a friend doing these activities. Be creative, and watch your child have fun using his/her Zoobee!

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