As we run around in frenzy completing our day to day tasks, we almost end up running against time and many mothers wish that children would do more things on time, waste less time etc. for children to understand about time, being on time and wasting time etc it is important that they understand the concept of – time.
What is time? How do we see it? Where do we see it? How do we know that time is up? For us it is easy to understand these questions but these are concepts about time that we take for granted, and can be confusing for a child .
The concept of time first begins in simple everyday rituals, because till children cannot count, it goes without saying that they will be unable to understand about the small hand, big hand, 2 o’clock etc. The understanding of time starts with simple everyday rituals and routines. ‘We will brush our teeth, then we will have milk and then we will sit for a story’. Children as young as 18 months can understand when you tell them a routine and infact kids love routine as it adds that much needed structure to their day and gives them things to look forward to. This is also good for their growing brains as brains thrive on routine, knowing what is next.
Singing songs to children about time, clocks and other time related concepts, also helps, so when its time to put toys away it helps to sing the song given below. similar songs can be sung for eating, brushing teeth and other daily chores.
‘Its time to put your toys away, toys away, toys away
Its time to put your toys away. its time to end our game’.
Songs and rhymes like hickory, dickory dock, help children understand about the existence of clocks and make them observe them in their environment.
The next step is to make a picture clock for your child which is in the shape of a clock but instead of the numbers has pictures of his/her daily activities in the same sequence, where number 12 usually is on the clock, paste the child’s photo and on the other numbers place pictures of the routine of the day. As the time to brush the teeth approaches put the big hand on the child’s photo and the small hand of the clock on the picture of child brushing teeth. And say, ‘lets look what time is it. Oh, its time to brush your teeth.’
The concept of time is not only about teaching how to ‘see’ time, but is also about teaching the importance of being of time, using time well and understanding that there is a special time for everything.
1. Concept of being on time- extremely essential. At this age children learn by imitation so your child will learn looking at you and your habits, so be punctual!
2. Using time well- here using visible items like a sand timer helps so that children can see time passing and know that little time is left to complete the activity etc
3. Special time for everything- just like schools have a timetable it is important that mothers make a timetable for home and help the child display it in the room, this helps children understand routine, structure and time management!
Try out these time tested activities with your child and I guarantee you will have the time of your life!