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How do you begin to teach the concept of time?

What are the preliminary concepts needed to undertsand time? How do you teach your toddler the difference between now and later?


Asked by TweenAndTwinMom at 10:54 AM on Jul. 1, 2010 in General Parenting

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Answers (3)
  • I started by making it a game - how long does it take you to.... It' takes a few seconds to touch your toes three times. It takes a couple of minutes to sing the ABC song. It might be an hour before dinner. Sometimes when I'm cooking I'll have them set the timer for something. Like if something has to bake for an hour, I'll have my kids set and start the timmer, then when it goes off they food is done. This introeuces the idea of seconds, minutes and hours.

    My kids get an hour of television a day - generally two half-hour shows. Sometimes I give time in terms of "one TV show" or "two TV shows" to help them too.

    Answer by eringobrough at 1:35 PM on Jul. 1, 2010

  • I always do it with a sign. I hold my finger up like number one (one minute) when they have to wait. Soon they learn that the finger means I know they want something, they have to wait, and they will get what they want. It's great to use a sign because you can do it in public. If you are talking to someone or busy you can do the finger and they will know to wait. That's a way to teach the idea of a little later.



    Answer by Gailll at 11:01 AM on Jul. 1, 2010

  • Both great ideas! Thanks!

    Comment by TweenAndTwinMom (original poster) at 11:04 AM on Jul. 2, 2010