Telling the time

8 - 10 years
Ideas to help your child practise their numeracy skills - with you, and online
Girl holds clock and points to the clock face with her other hand

Developed in partnership with Education Services Australia

The Australian Curriculum sets the goal for what all students should learn as they progress through their school life. Skills in the Year 3-4 curriculum include:

  • knowing that there are 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in one hour
  • reading the time to one minute.

It’s easy to help your child practise these skills as part of everyday life – just use these simple ideas.

Mastering time

When your child is learning to tell the time, you can help them by giving them lots of practice. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • make sure you have at least one clock or watch that your child can see (preferably one that’s digital and one that’s analogue)
  • whenever you need to know the time, ask your child to check for you
  • when you need to do something at a certain time, ask your child to work out how many minutes are left
    We need to leave at 8.30. How many minutes left?
  • when you need to know how long a task takes, ask your child to time it
    How long does it take to chop up the carrots for our soup?
  • when your child wants to keep doing something, tell them how many minutes they can keep going, and ask them to work out what time they have to stop
    You can read for another fifteen minutes before I turn off the light. What time will that be?
  • when your child doesn’t want to do a particular task, challenge them to complete it before a specific time, and ask them to work out what time that would be
    Let’s see if you can get your room tidy in less than fifteen minutes. What time would that be?
  • for a challenge, pick a multi-step task, set a total time, and see if you and your child can complete the challenge within that time
    Do you think we can get dinner cooked and on the table in less than 45 minutes? Let's try!

Go online

For online reinforcement, Time tools: 12-hour to the minute will give your child practice at:

  • telling the time on digital and analogue clocks.



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Last modified
7 April 2020