Help your preschooler or kindergartener learn the concept of time! This craft is a perfect visual for teaching time to kids.
Understanding how time works feels like a natural thing, but for kiddos it can take a bit of explaining! Over time I think they get a general grasp just by hearing us refer to time throughout the day. “Five more minutes to play with your toys”, “we’re going to grandma’s tomorrow” and so on.
But to really understand what each period of time entails, I wanted to find a way to show Lu visually. Through some inspiration from a similar post I found on teaching kids location, I altered it to show the different categories of time! It’s so easy but has been incredibly helpful!
When you tell your kids “in a minute”, they probably understand that means “soon”, but don’t know exactly what a minute IS. Showing them a clock is one way to help this, which we’re in the process of learning about as well. But this craft helps with teaching kids the concept of time all the way up to a year!
There are so many opportunities for this topic to come up, seeing as we plan our lives around this little concept of “time”. Talking about birthdays each year, holidays coming up in a month, going to the library once a week, and then all the daily routines that are broken into days, hours, and minutes. It’s an important and relevant thing for kids to learn, for sure!
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To explain this to my kids, I broke the different methods of time down, beginning with seconds and working our way up to years. This craft is so easy and will become a valuable tool for homeschooling your preschooler or kindergartener!
Making the Concept of Time Booklet
Here’s what you’ll need to make this craft:
- 7 different colored pieces of construction paper
- 2 pieces of white construction paper
- A ruler
- Paper cutter or scissors
Another super simple craft with basic supplies!
1. Measure and cut out each colored paper
First we need to get all the papers sized correctly. I started with a 3×3 square, and added an inch for each subsequent paper. For the last one, which should be 9×9, I trimmed a tiny bit off. The width of the construction paper we used wasn’t quite 9 inches, so taking off maybe 1/8th of an inch worked fine.
Afterwards you should have 7 squares of different sizes. When they’re piled in order there will be about an inch showing on the bottom and side of the next one.
2. Size and cut the white papers
Similar to step number one, now we have to measure the proper sizes for the white papers. I measured to keep the white from peeking out the sides when the papers are all piled because I thought that looked nicer.
Here are the measurements I used:
- For the 3×3 square I cut out a 2.5×1.5in rectangle
- For the 4×4 square I cut out a 2.5x2in rectangle
- After that, I added one inch to it which gave me one of each: 3.5×3, 4.5×4, 5.5×5, 6.5×6, and 7.5×7 inch rectangles
3. Fill out the time periods on each white paper
The way I organized this was by one second, one minute, one hour, one day, one week, one month, and one year. Start with the smallest white paper and draw one colored-in circle on it to represent one second.
Moving on to the next largest white paper, draw 60 circles in the color you outlined for the minute. Outline those circles in a new color. This represents that 60 of the circles used for the minute make up one hour.
So on and so forth with making 12 hours surrounded by a circle for one day, 7 days surrounded by a circle for one week, 4.5 weeks for one month, 12 months for one year.
Underneath the circles, write out what they represent. For example, on the minute card write “60 seconds make…”. The answer will be written below on the colored paper. The idea is simply to break them down in a way that’s color coded so they can more clearly see how many of one goes into making another.
Something else I did that is totally optional is indicate seasons on the “year” card. I find that with such a long time frame (to little ones) it’s further helpful to give them the reminder of seasons as indication for a year passing. Of course not everyone lives somewhere that experiences all 4 seasons! But for us it was another helpful visual.
4. Glue the white squares on to the colored paper
Now we just have to put them together! Going in order of second, minute, hour, day, week, month, and year, glue the white papers on to the colored ones. They should match from smallest to largest.
As I said before, I thought it looked neater to not have the larger layers peeking out from underneath smaller layers. So when I glued them on, I tucked them in closer to the top and left rather than centering them.
5. Label and laminate
Now that the white papers are attached, you can see the space left at the bottom for labeling. Simply go through and write 1 second, 1 minute, etc., at the bottom of each paper. This is the answer to the sentence started up on the white paper.
Then you can go through to laminate and trim each paper. I like to round the edges whenever laminating something for the kids too so it doesn’t poke them.
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6. Attach to make into a little booklet
All that’s left now is to put all your pages together and in order! Hole punch the top left corner of each page. To keep it straight, I would hole punch one and then line that up with the next one to make sure all the holes lined up. Once all are hole punched, simply tie a string around it. Now they’ll stay together, and it’s easy to hang up!
Easy Craft for Teaching Time to Kids
This craft was easy to do, and has been very helpful in explaining the concept of time. When kids can see it color coded, it helps them to understand it better. We have used this a lot for homeschooling and will continue to use it as we work more on reading clocks! I hope this craft is helpful for you in teaching time to your kids.