Tick, tock! It’s time for clock worksheets

Learning to tell time is very exciting for young children. While they most likely can read a digital clock and announce the time they see by simply calling out the numbers, they may not really know what those numbers mean. By learning to read an analog clock, children gain an understanding of the relationship between minutes and hours. Also, even in this electronic era, many analog clocks are still around (namely wrist watches), so it is important to be able to accurately tell time looking at a clock face and hands.

Clock Worksheets

These clock worksheets picture both the analog and digital clocks, asking children to cut and paste the correct digital clock under its matching analog clock. It is easier for children to accurately name the time on an analog clock when the digital number is available. The challenge is increased slightly as eight choices are presented for the six clocks on the page. You may wish to make a second copy of each worksheet and give your child only the six correct digital numbers as he first approaches this task. Then you can ask your child to do the worksheet a second time with the eight choices for additional practice and reinforcement.

Teaching children to tell time on an analog clock progresses in specific, and small, steps. First, a child must become familiar with the clock face and the hands. You can make a paper clock easily by writing the numbers (1 - 12) around the edges of a paper plate. Then attach a shorter hour hand and longer minute hand cut from tagboard to the center of the plate with a brass brad (found at office supply stores) so that the hands of the clock can move. Another suggestion is to purchase (or borrow) a wooden teaching clock. The most popular, called the Judy Clock, has gears that move the hour hand accurately as the minute hand is rotated around the clock face. Demonstrate how the long minute hand moves entirely around the clock face in 60 minutes, while the hour hand only moves to the next number.

The five increments used to teach children how to tell time are as follows:

  1. Telling time to the hour (minute hand pointing to the 12; hour hand pointing directly to the number - Clock worksheets #1 and #2).
  2. Telling time half past the hour (minute hand pointing to the 6; hour hand halfway between numbers - Clock worksheet #3).
  3. Telling time ¼ past the hour (minute hand pointing to the 3; hour hand slightly past the number - Clock worksheet #4).
  4. Telling time ¾ past the hour (minute hand pointing to the 9; hour hand almost to the next number - Clock worksheet #5).
  5. Telling time to five minute increments. (This is an advanced skill and will not be presented with worksheets at this time.)
  6. Telling time to one minute increments. (Again, this advanced skill is not presented in these beginning worksheets.)

I recommend presenting the first two worksheets (time to the hour) and then giving your child additional practice recognizing those times. When your child is accurate and comfortable naming analog times to the hour, introduce the next worksheet. Again, provide additional practice (with a Judy Clock, paper clock, or clock flashcards) and move to the next worksheet only when your child is accurate and comfortable telling time with the current worksheet he is completing.

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