Heidi Reina, M.S., Ed, is an educational technology integrator and teacher, reviewing free educational websites and apps.
Teach How to Tell Time with these Games and Clocks
These entertaining games make learning to tell time a breeze. Kids learn best when they stay engaged enough with a skill to practice it repeatedly. Telling time games and apps offer lots of variety, as well as practice, for all skill levels. Learning to tell time has never been so fun!
There are teaching clocks and games for conversion for digital (numbers) to analog (clock face) and words for time in all kinds of combinations. A couple of these games also have activities for calculating lapsed time - an important skill for older elementary students.
The games and apps are great for demonstrations, math learning centers, or for helping you child to master telling time at home. Children get immediate feedback to tell them when their answers are right or wrong. Time worksheets are a slow slog in comparison. So throw out those clock worksheets! These interactive time games are the way to go. For a comprehensive list of more than 20 games, see LearningReviews Learn to Tell Time Games.
Snapdragon Tell the Time
Beginner time telling interactive
Snapdragon Tell the Time is a delightful game from BBC Schools. Move the hands on the analog clock to match the time words. Time is in 1-hour increments: "one o'clock", "seven o'clock", etc. When your child gets to the correct time, the clock chimes and Snapdragon says the time in English and Welsh.
The clock's hands simulate the movement of a real clock's hands. Using that visual clue, I've asked kids to tell me the fastest way to get to the time, moving forwards or backwards. So we practice the vocabulary for clockwise and counterclockwise.
I'm a huge fan of BBC Schools websites in Great Britain, and they have wonderful interactives for kids in Maths (Math) and Literacy (Language Arts).
Hickory Dickory Clock
Learn to tell time using clock words
Another British site, James Barrett's ICT Games, offers more beginner practice in reading clock words and telling time. In Hickory Dickory Clock you select the analog clock with the correct time and your mouse will get to eat some cheese. If you guess wrong, the cat will try to catch your mouse until you get the right answer!
This activity provides practice in reading an analog clock in 15-minute intervals, using the concepts of half past, quarter to and quarter past. Sections of the clocks are also labeled with "past" and "to" which give children visual clues to help them pick the right clock.
Multi-level Analog Clocks
Clockworks on MrNussbaum.com offers four levels of challenges. Kids move the hour and minute clock hands to the correct positions to solve problems. They have two minutes to complete as many problems as possible.
Beginner - Time is set to 15-minute intervals.
Medium - Time is set to 5-minute intervals.
Advanced - Time is set to 1-minute intervals.
Challenge - Kids solve lapsed time word problems. For instance, they must set the clock hands to the time that is 10 hours and 51 minutes before 2:47.
When the hands are in the right positions, the screen displays "CORRECT". The hour hand, particularly, must be in the correct position between numbers in keeping with the corresponding minutes.
Teaching Demonstration Clock
Make the clocks disappear in this timed game
Once kids learn to tell time, they need practice reading clocks to increase their speed. Mr. Nussbaum's Bedtime Bandits provides this kind of practice.
In this multi-level game, kids must pick the correct analog clock from among several to match a digital time. The beginning level presents clocks in 1-hour increments. At each level, the game becomes a little more difficult, with 30-minute, 10-minute, and 5-minute increments. Later levels require kids to calculate lapsed time. For instance, 1 hour and 20 minutes after 11:30, or 3 hours before 12:00.
My kids enjoyed the scramble to match all the clocks before they fell on the bedroom floor and BEDTIME - game over.
Stop the Clock
Beat the clock to increase your time telling speed
Here's another game to help kids improve their telling time speed. Stop the Clock, from Oswego City School District in New York, is great for improving speed. It is a series of interactive time telling games, where kids match digital times to analog clocks. You drag the five digital times to the correct analog clocks, then press STOP THE CLOCK to record your time.
Stop the Clock R provides practice matching 1-hour (o'clock) words to analog clocks.
Stop the Clock 1 provides practice telling time in 1/2 hour increments.
Stop the Clock 2 - 15 minute increments.
Stop the Clock 3 - 5 minute increments.
Stop the Clock 4 - 1 minute increments.
Stop the Clock 5 provides practice telling military or 24-hour time in 1 minute increments.
This telling time game is the most popular one among my kids - used at computer math centers that my 2nd grade students rotate through during the day. They record their personal best time for each activity in their math notebooks. We recognize the students who have a new personal best each week.
Numbernut.com Dates and Times
With interactives for conversions to days, weeks and months
Time calculation takes on a new dimension at Numbernut.com Dates and Times. This websites provides more than a dozen interactives to practice telling time, calculating lapsed time and converting time to days, weeks and months.
Each interactive provides ten questions where kids pick from several answer choices and get a smiley face for each correct answer. The interactives can be played over and over, with new questions asked each time.
Scroll to the bottom of the Numbernut.com Dates and Times web page to see all of the interactives.
Teaching Time Clock
Analog clock with day and night visual clues, lesson plans
For teachers, Time-for-Time has an outstanding Teaching Clock. The analog clock has large numbers, a sweeping second hand, an AM/PM indicator, and an option to display the digital time. What I really like about this clock are the visual clues to the time of day as a sun progresses in the background and descends into moonlit night.
Time-for-Time has many other teaching time resources. They include a printable game for children, lesson plans, and customizable telling time worksheets. There are also displays of current time clocks from across the U.S. and around the world.
Telling Time Quiz app
Captivating graphics and 18 levels guarantee your kids will get lots of practice in learning how to tell time with the Telling Time Quiz app for iPhone and iPad. You can customize it for one child or for several with varying skills - great for differentiated instruction.
A similar app is available for the Kindle, Kids Telling Time. The graphics are engaging, and kids love playing it.
Teach How to Tell the Time in 3 Easy Steps
Magnetic Time Teaching Tool
What Teaching Method Helps Your Students Learn to Tell Time?
What do you think of telling time interactives?
mommyplus3kids on November 21, 2013:
Great information. I always like to make learning fun for my kids and there are good resources here.
LearnKidstoRead on November 17, 2013:
Great lens thanks for the info. Will try these games out with my son who is struggling with math and telling the time. Sue
HeadStartForKids on October 09, 2013:
Thanks for sharing! My little ones are still learning to read but I look forward to them telling me the accurate time soon. At the moment my daughter thinks every time is "ha-past five" and she often looks at her bare wrist while telling me so!
alenmic on March 14, 2013:
I love all your education lens. Thanks for sharing.
Katy Hall from UK on November 23, 2012:
Love your lens! There are some great fun ways to teach here!
Thanks for sharing...
olmpal on September 18, 2012:
Children learn better while having fun for sure! These telling time games and clocks sounds delightful!
Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on September 05, 2012:
Perfect! This is a hard concept and these tools would help in no time at all! ;o)
JuliaAnnPayne on September 03, 2012:
great lens for kids have a great day
anonymous on July 29, 2012:
It just seems like time to bring over some angel dust timely teaching!
jazziyarbrough on June 23, 2012:
I think telling time interactives is great for kids and possibly for some adult education students. Thank you for sharing
octopus64 on June 09, 2012:
You also try out http://www.visnos.com/demos/clock
it also links telling the time to angles and fractions
kpp2385 on May 17, 2012:
great information. thanks for sharing
anonymous on March 12, 2012:
so many great links. thanks for sharing
earthybirthymum from Ontario, Canada on February 18, 2012:
Horde great resources. Thank you.
Pangionedevelopers on February 18, 2012:
great info source
jimmyworldstar on February 04, 2012:
I don't think they're that useful, maybe if it was in a language other than English it'd be good for learning how to tell time in other languages.
desa999 lm on January 27, 2012:
Great idea and an interesting lens.
E L Seaton from Virginia on December 24, 2011:
This is great. I am now sufficiently inspired to put up a lens about an interesting clock called the chronophage (if it is spelled correctly) that is the most fascinating clock I've seen. Greatly informative lens here.
Buchamar on December 15, 2011:
I love them! I feature educational apps for iPad :-)
baby-strollers on December 07, 2011:
I'm Canadian, but we still get a lot of BBC stuff over here. thanks for the share.
anonymous on December 02, 2011:
Nice lens, lots of useful resources.
anilsaini on September 13, 2011:
Mark Falco from Reno, Nevada on August 10, 2011:
This is a really great list of interactive time telling games. Bookmarked for later. Thanks!
anonymous on August 02, 2011:
Oh what wonderful time telling fun you have here. At home, I learned to tell time early on with a clock with no numbers, just a bar in each space and Mom still has that clock in the kitchen. It was kind of a game to figure that out for me.
JanieceTobey on August 02, 2011:
Thanks for sharing these telling time games! Blessed by a Squid Angel and featured on "The Best Homeschooling Resources!"
Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on August 01, 2011:
Fun games for learning here. Thank you!
Tolovaj Publishing House from Ljubljana on July 11, 2011:
Great list of resources. Just the right time... Or I should say great timing? :)
agenroy on May 16, 2011:
Good idea.. I get more information today
hlkljgk from Western Mass on May 08, 2011:
these are awesome - i'm going to try them out with my dd! thanks
Philippians468 on April 14, 2011:
i think it is a fresh new approach to learning! cheers
Blackspaniel1 on March 09, 2011:
mantasticman on February 14, 2011:
Jeanette from Australia on February 07, 2011:
These games make learning look like fun! This lens has been blessed by the maths angel and added to my best maths resources lens.
Johann The Dog from Northeast Georgia on January 25, 2011:
What a great resource! Hmmm...wonder if it could help dogs tell time, BOL! Mum wishes they had all this pawsome stuff when she was a kid.
anonymous on December 04, 2010:
Your favorite link is great. I just became a member of the
LearningReviews.com website. Thanks a lot for having the big arrows point me in this direction.
teachingtools on November 18, 2010:
Great lens and ideas! Don't forget you can use free certificate templates to reward your students for their successes!
Paul from Montreal on October 25, 2010:
So many kids and teens have cellphones now that telling time on an analog clock is becoming a lost art!
Evelyn Saenz from Royalton on October 20, 2010:
Great resources for teaching children how to tell time. I've lensrolled it to my Turkey Time and Mouse Ran Up the Clock lenses. Be sure to stop by and ad this lens to the plexos on those lenses.
Ellen Brundige from California on October 19, 2010:
Oh, I would've learned time so much faster if we'd had these when I was little! My mother wound up having to put number stickers on the kitchen clock, because learning to tell time via Roman numerals was beyond me.
Jimmie Quick from Memphis, TN, USA on October 08, 2010:
This is great. I an adding this to my Teaching Math Headquarters lens.
KarenTBTEN on October 08, 2010:
Looks like a useful page -- telling time is a difficult concept. SquidAngel blessings!
Leanne Chesser on March 23, 2010:
Great selection of interactive telling time games. Blessed!