Learn to read the time

Martine Bernier

Health journalist, editor-in-chief

May 6, 2021

Receiving your first watch is an event in the life of a child. Once on the wrist … it remains to learn to decode the language of needles.

To help him in this new learning, make a cardboard dial and write the numbers clearly on it, as well as the minute graduations. Explain to your child that the hands always start from 12 and turn to the right to return to their starting point.

Then show him the needles. The smaller one, which indicates the hours and turns very slowly, the large one which marks the minutes and which he can see moving if he is patient, and finally the second hand which shows the seconds and which is the fastest of the three. Then start by attaching the small hand to the dial so your child will learn the hours first. Tell her that when she is between two numbers, she then indicates the first of the two as the hour. With 24 hours a day, the small hand performs two turns off the dial per day.

When this concept has been understood, replace the small hand with the large one and specify that the 60 graduations are used for the minutes. Every five graduations, the mark is larger, indicating one hour. On a different sheet, indicate the table of correspondence of the graduations: the 1 corresponds to 5 minutes, the 2 to 10 minutes, etc.

When everything is understood, add the small needle.

Little by little, your child will learn the language of the clock smoothly!

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