Teaching our children how to tell time can be taxing! The hour hand is simple, but the minute hand takes time and practice– lots and lots of practice. My daughter was getting tired of using our standard clock manipulative to practice her minute counting. I set a hula-hoop up on the floor and taped numbers in the approximate locations of where they would be on an actual clock. She has enjoyed using this activity to count her minutes and move her body as if it were the minute hand. It has also been fun to tell her to move thirty minutes, requiring her of course to jump (in a clockwise fashion) so that she is facing the opposite way. Every once in a while, I ask her to show me what 60 minutes looks like and her challenge becomes weather or not she can twist all the way around without loosing her balance. This has been a great way to encourage her minute hand counting that also uses large motor skills in the process.
I cut out a minute hand and an hour hand too, so that we can use this tool in a variety of ways. Sometimes she places the hour and minute hands of our hula-hoop clock to reflect the time that I say aloud (or sometimes write on a piece of paper). Other times, I place the minute hand somewhere and ask her to place the hour hand to reflect the time that I say (or write); then we switch and I place the hour hand and she places the minute hand.
I have used this with my older daughter too, helping her to practice quarter past, quarter till, half past, twenty-five till, etc. Within a few jumps, she had it down.
This is a great tool that we use often enough that I keep it in the school room at all times. When we’re not using it, I tape the numbers onto that actual hoop so that its ready for us to set up quickly when it is time to jump it out!