Telling Time Activities and Clock Crafts

What time is it? It’s fun o’clock for exploring telling time activities! Believe it or not, teaching kids how to tell time can be exciting instead of boring. Here are some of our children’s favorite clock activities and crafts from over the years.

Since we’re raising bilingual children, our examples of telling time activities are in both English and Chinese.

Telling time activities and clock crafts

These hands-on activities reinforce the basic parts of a clock while strengthening fine-motor skills!

Clock staring contest

child and parent looking at a clock
Pixels Effect/Getty Images

As silly as it may sound, having a staring contest with a clock is actually quite educational! Best of all, no prep or planning is needed.

Children often go through phases where they find it interesting to watch the hour and minute hands move. They might plop themselves in front of a timer or microwave, patiently waiting for the numbers to change.

This simple telling time activity builds the foundation for learning how to read clocks.

Number matching paper plate suns

In 3 steps, this telling time activity teaches the big 12 numbers on an analog clock. It’s a great beginner activity for kids in preschool and kindergarten!

paper plate sun clock activity number matching

Supplies: yellow paper plate, colored paper, marker, scissors


  1. Write clock numbers on the plate. Tip: First, write numbers 3, 6, 9, and 12. Then, fill in the other numbers.
  2. Cut 12 triangles (“sun rays”) from construction paper. Write numbers on each triangle.
  3. Tape each triangle to the corresponding number.

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Paper plate clock threading

Recycle the first activity into a reusable hands-on clock activity!

threading clock face learning how to tell time

Supplies: yellow paper plate, marker, cotton swab, hole punch, yarn


  1. Write clock numbers 1 through 12 on a plate.
  2. Punch holes next to each number
  3. Tie yarn to the end of the cotton swab.
  4. Thread yarn by following the order of the clock numbers.

Recommended: Printable Hundred Chart in English, Chinese, and Korean

Clock face number pegging

While learning the numbers on a clock, this telling-time activity challenges the thumb and finger muscles!

telling time activity with clock face number pegging

Supplies: cardboard circle, large clothespins, markers


  1. Optional: paint the cardboard and clothespins.
  2. Write clock numbers 1 through 12 on a cardboard circle, such as from a cereal box.
  3. Write clock numbers on each clothespin.
  4. Peg each clothespin to the matching number on the cardboard

Try this: How to Teach Kids Basic Math for Free

Favorite clocks for teaching how to tell time

To help kids learn how to read a clock, these tools are fantastic for making time tangible in your daily schedule.

Yellow demonstration clock

best clock toy for teaching how to tell time and read a clock

The Learning Resources Demonstration Clock is an amazing tool for children. In fact, this exact clock is commonly used in homeschool and elementary school classrooms for telling time games.

Kids can move the hour hand and minute hand to match an analog or digital clock. The simple colors and clear numbers make this clock very easy to read.

Wooden toy clock

wooden toy clock

If you prefer natural materials, my children learned to tell time with this small wooden toy clock. They had fun moving the clock hands to learn half-hours, quarter-hours, and 5-minute intervals.

The simple and clean design makes this a wonderful telling-time activity for preschoolers and elementary school children.

Recommended: 10 Fun Ways to Use the Amazing Hundred Board

Wall clock

best wall clock for teaching kids how to tell time

Don’t be fooled by the attractive colors. This clock is a real analog clock, not a toy. But it was brilliantly designed as an intriguing telling time activity for kids.

The numbers on this clock are easy to read, and the color-coded quadrants show different intervals of time. In addition, every minute is labeled for children to learn how to tell the exact time.

My son has this clock in his room, but it would also be perfect for a classroom.

What was your child’s favorite telling time activity?

Which telling time activity was most helpful and fun for your child? Please share your experience in the comments below. We’d love to learn from you!

More telling time activities for kids

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