Montessori Free & Affordable Clock Activities for Telling Time

Montessori Free & Affordable Clock Activities for Telling Time {Montessori on a Budget blog}
Murat Cokal

Four is the perfect age to start learning how to tell time. Use these free and affordable clock activities for telling time! But first, a Montessori lesson on: Introduction to Concept of Actual Time!

Indirect Aim: Introduction to the concept of actual time.

Direct Aim: History.

Age: 4 1/2 and up.

Material: Egg timer (with sand), a real clock, adding machine paper, a pencil, a toy clock, and some scotch tape.

1. Introduce the egg timer. "Look what I'm going to do now. Watch this." Turn the egg timer over. "See what is happening? The sand flows down." Wait until all of the sand goes through so the child will realize that it will empty entirely into the lower part.

2. Bring out the clock: "Now let's watch the long hand of the clock and see what it does while the sand is emptying." So you sit and watch the real clock until the child realizes that the arm of the clock has moved. "Yes, it finally emptied out, and this long hand moved from here to here. This is how we measure time. Do you think you could have sung a song while we were waiting? Could you have eaten an apple?"

3. "O.K., now I would like to show you something (bring out the a toy clock). This is not a real clock. It doesn't tick, but it is our clock with which we can work, and I would like to show you how we can measure time."

4. Bring out some adding machine paper. Take the paper strip and place it around the clock. Get a child involved by letting him hold the paper down. The child holds it on the top and bottom and you tape it on with little bits and pieces. Make marks on the inside of the paper where the numerals are, all the way around the clock.

5. "Tell me what time do you get up?" "Seven." "What time do you eat breakfast?" "Eight." "What time is circle?" "Ten." "What time is lunch?" "Twelve." "What time is outside time?" "One." "What time do we go home?" "Three." "What time do you eat dinner?" "Six." "What time do you go to bed?" "Eight." Mark in the numerals as you ask. Then peel off the paper when you have finished. The child can then draw, in pictures (age appropriate), what happened at each hour.

6. Later, you can also do the nighttime by wrapping the paper around the clock twice. You can hang these beside your calendar.

7. The next step is to relate to your calendar the concept of today and yesterday. Take down your paper hanging next to the calendar and say, "This was from yesterday. Would you like to make a new one for today?" "O.K."

8. This will also relate to the weekly, monthly, and yearly calendars which you will be keeping.

{From my Montessori training manual.}


Free and Affordable Clock Activities

Directions for making a clock and How to Present the Clock (scroll down the page to find it) from Montessori Mom.

Keeping Time from Prof. Richard Pogge (comprehensive!).

Time downloads from Montessori Materials:
Big Movable Clock, and the Passage of Time Activity  donated by Jules and more!

Very affordable:
$ Telling Time Write-A-Mat from Melissa and Doug on
$ Telling Time Matching Cards  (print and cut and laminate) from Montessori for Everyone.


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