In school, really young kids learn to tell time by practicing on a fake clock. Even though the clock has no motor, and doesn’t really tell time, kids can move the hands around on it to learn what different times look like. At home, or in home school, a child can practice learning how to tell time when you make a quick and easy play clock. Made from a single burner cover the clock is lightweight, easy to carry around, and will help your child learn time in no time!
Burner covers are often sold in sets of four – one large and three small – and are not expensive. Found at many dollar-theme stores the metal covers are made to hide burners on your stove when not in use. The thin metal burner cover is perfect for creating a child’s play clock. Use the large burner or one of the small ones then decide on the design you want.
Make a quick handle for the clock by cutting a length of wide ribbon. Glue the ends of the ribbon to the underside of the burner cover, against one wall of the side. Hot glue works well to hold the ribbon in place although a young child can eventually pull it off. From now on, the area with the handle will be the top of the clock.
Burner covers usually have decorative scenes already printed on them. These scene shown can be the background for the clock or you can change it by gluing on decorative paper or cloth. Make it easy on yourself by leaving the sides of the burner cover – generally done in a solid color or understated print – as it is.
Choose stickers to make the numbers for the clock. Or, cut paper number shapes and glue them in place. Make the hands for the clock by cutting shapes from thin cardboard off of a product box shapes from colored, hard plastic. Other options for making the hands include fine-grit sandpaper or wide Styrofoam strips.
Punch a hole at one end of each hand. This area should be rounded or squared and the opposite end should be shaped like an arrow to point at the numbers. Set the hands aside for the moment. Lay the burner cover flat on a hard surface like a wooden plank or thick cardboard. Use a nail to hammer a hole in the center.
Stack the hands on top of each other with the long hand on top. Position the hole in the hands over the hole of the burner cover, on the topside. Place a brad through the hands and burner cover then open it on the underside. Kids aren’t as likely to mess with the brad if you place a piece of packing tape over it.
The simple but useful clock can help little kids learn to tell time. It’s lightweight so they can take it anywhere in the house or along for a ride in the car. Even though the clocks cost little to make they cute enough to give away as gifts and handy enough to use in a home school setting.