Time After Time


The concept of time is a funny thing.  Who can really grasp it?  On one  hand it seems like ages ago that I brought my little one home from the hospital, and at the same time it feels just like yesterday.  How does one go about teaching the concept of time to little ones?  To them a day truly is like a thousand years! 

I read somewhere that its helpful to give children a specific time (as in you have 10 minutes to play and then we are cleaning up) then set the timer and when the timer goes off, clean up.  They will then start to grasp a better understanding of time.  It doesn’t work if you don’t set the timer and then fail to follow through on the end time.  I’ve use this lots both in my classroom and with my children.  Egg timers are a mommy and teacher’s best friend!

But, I’ve also found something else that works particularly well for my kiddos.  I explain units of time in concepts they can truly comprehend.  T.V. Shows

Each day my son has quiet time for 1.5 hrs while his sisters nap.  “How long is an hour and a half?” he asks.  “One episode of Sesame Street and one episode of Spiderman.”  I reply.

"Kids,” I say one morning,"School starts in 15 minutes.”  “How long is that they reply,”  “You know how each episode of Word World has two stories?  It’s one story,”  I answer. 

So I am pretty much limited to time limits of 15 minutes (one portion of Word World, George the Monkey, or Clifford)  or 30 minutes (Spiderman, Dora, or Sid the Science Kid) or one hour (Sesame Street), or any combination of the above. 

Last night the kids asked how long till we get there and my husband called to the back of the minivan “45 minutes… like one Curious George less than  Sesame Street). 


  1. LOL...we do this too. Love it!

    BTW...I can't reply to your comments, but wanted to thank you for your sweet words. I also read A LOT of blogs, but don't always have time to comment. No worries. We are moms of lots of little ones, so I think it goes without saying that our priorities are elsewhere! Thanks for the occasional encouraging word. It's nice to know my house isn't the only one that looks like chaos sometimes :) or all the time....LOL!

    I hope you are having a great day!

  2. Already working on subtraction!!!! Cute !!

  3. those timers are life savers for everything! bathtime, mealtime, playtime.
    i like the tv show idea, too! (cause we watch maybe a bit too much!)

  4. My sister and her family always equated blocks of time in relation to how many Adventures in Odyssey (30 min) they could listen to.

  5. Boy I am glad I don`t have to explain to much any more.
    You sure keep them on their toes

  6. We do the same thing! We say an amount of time, and they say, how many shows?" We then pick a show and tell how many stories! :)

  7. LOL! I love it! I'll have to try that w/ my little ones.

  8. cartoons AND math! it couldn't get any better! those lucky, lucky kids.

  9. haha, I love that!


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