Teaching kids to tell the time is more difficult than it first appears. Once you know it it’s easy of course, but when you start with a child you’ll get to see why it can be confusing.
Learning to tell time apps
As with many educational tasks there are plenty of iPhone, iPad and Android apps out there that will help you teach your kids to tell the time.
Here’s our round up of the best apps for teaching children the time on iPhone, iPad and Android.
Teaching kids to tell the time requires the parent or carer to be with the child when he or she is using the apps, at least to begin with. You’ll need to explain and be patient. Like I said, it’s not as easy as you think.
In the 12-hour clock you get two of each time. The day starts not at 1 o’clock as a child might think, but 12 o’clock. The hour hand can be practically touching the next hour digit but the child has to remember Five to Eight is still 7:55. There are two types of clock (12 hour and 24 hour), different ways of showing them (analogue and digital), and expressing them (numbers and words). Knowledge of quarter and half fractions is also useful, as is the five times table. See also: Best maths apps for children
As with all apps, especially educational ones, it’s great if you can try it out with a free Lite version. But seeing as most apps are pretty cheap it shouldn’t cost the Earth to get the right one for you. Our reviews will, we hope, help you get there faster.
We’ll be updating with more apps as we get them.
Jungle Time app review
My daughter enjoys Jungle Time from Jungle Education, which is a telling-the-time teaching app that can be set at multiple skills levels, and teaches both the 12- and 24-hour clocks in both analogue and digital formats. It can also be set to roman numerals just to make things a little harder (unless you’re a Roman).
It’s fun, too, and engaging for kids as the clock faces can be set with different animal faces that smile, roar, etc, when you get the answers right.
You can drag clock hands to set time like a real clock, and set digital times using the iOS scroller.
Jungle Time is one of our favourite educational apps for children. It has multiple levels of learning, looks great and works just like a clock. If you have to buy one telling time app then make it Jungle Time.
Tick Tock app review
Tick Tock is a fully functional app for learning to tell the time. It can be set to multiple levels, which is important for time telling as you can start with the o’clocks and move up to Half Past, Quarter To, 25 past, etc.
It’s more basic in looks than Jungle Time, with just a smiley clock face, but it does the job. And it’s only 69p. It makes a good companion to Jungle Time, as kids like variation in their learning apps.
It teaches from digital to analogue and vice versa, digital to words and back again, and analogue to and from words. It takes a little while to work out the operation but once you understand it works just fine.
Around The Clock app review
Wombi’s Around The Clock doesn’t really teach kids how to tell the time. It’s more about learning about times of the day, which is also important and a good start for teaching kids about time and the clock.
You play your way through a whole day where every hour has its own game. (There’s a free Lite version with a sample five games.) Games include making an alarm clock ring, breakfast, and packing your backpack.
It’s good for explaining that there are two 8 o’clocks a day, and differentiating between morning, afternoon, evening and night. But it’s built around hours only, rather than Half Past, Quarter To, etc, so is of less value than other apps, and is a little expensive in our opinion.