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Today we are looking at units of time - What is an hour?


Going from big timescales of months, years and seasons we bring it back to the smaller ones - an hour! Hopefully by the end of the session your child will have a bigger understanding of what an hour is and looks like on the clock.


If you have an analogue clock then that would be perfect to introduce this activity. You can also look at an analogue clock online by clicking on the link below.


You can introduce this activity with a fun video...

Let's Learn About the Clock | Fun Clock Song for Kids | Jack Hartmann

Show your child the clock and share that we are going to be looking at time today. Ask your child - why do we need time? If they have found the answer tricky then explain that we need time to help us know when to do different things, that we all get to go to school together rather than people guessing or just turning up after the start of school etc. 

Talk to your child and ask them what they already know about the clock. Some children may be only able to identify the numbers on it, others may talk about day and night, hours etc. Whatever their ability you can then explain that there are 24 hours in a whole day...Monday has 24 hours, Tuesday has 24 hours etc. We then talk about 12 hours in the day, and 12 hours for the night - they can see the number 12 on the clock. 


Explain that when the long hand is on the 12 and the short hand is on a number such as 1 we say that it is 1 o'clock. Model then different times such as 8 o'clock, 5 o'clock. 


Now to make it active! What's the time Mr Wolf?  To get you started we have a video that has a catchy tune and your child can take part in...


The Wiggles: What's The Time Mr Wolf? | Kids Songs

Now you can play the game yourselves but linking the analogue clock.  Your child can say 'what's the time Mr Wolf?', you then show them on the clock rather than saying it. Your child has to then take as many steps (saying it out loud as they go) and see if they are right! If yes, brilliant! If not, then just simply talk it through together and have another go! 


To end this session your child can play the online game (linked below) to practise reading o'clock. It is a matching pairs game so they may be able to play this independently, although as with all games you may want to model it and explain first before leaving your child to do it independently.  Have fun!

Need a stepping stone?

If it is the number recognition that is making things difficult then spend longer identifying the number when playing the games above. When moving around the house, or doing different activities keep referring to the clock or making a point about the time of day - morning, afternoon, evening. Lots of practise and examples in daily life will help to slowly embed this concept. 


Need a further challenge?

Some children pick up the concept of o'clock up quickly and can read the clock well. Now give them the opportunity to create the clocks for o'clock by drawing on the hands. Remember to stress the importance of a short hand (the hour) and the long hand (refers to the minutes).  Here is a template for you to complete as a further challenge... 

Rock and Tell the Time on the Clock | Analog & Digital Clock Song for Kids | Jack Hartmann