Making Clocks

Early Years (Age 3 – 6)

Curriculum Goal

Kindergarten: Demonstrating Literacy and Mathematics Behaviour

  • Measure, using non-standard units of the same size, and compare objects, materials, and spaces in terms of their length, mass, capacity, area, and temperature, and explore ways of measuring the passage of time, through inquiry and play-based learning (#16).


  • Students and teacher will be sitting on the floor. Students should have some previous experience with clocks and telling time.


  • Pre-cut circles – one for each student (Appendix A)
  • Long thin strips of paper to make the hour and minute hand – one for each student
  • Pencils and Markers
  • Butterfly clips
  • Scissors


  • Explain that you are going to make clocks.
  • Review the different parts of the clock – round face, numbers, cardinal numbers (12, 3, 6, and 9). Review the position of each cardinal number on the clock.
  • Have students fold their circle in half to get the exact positions of the cardinal numbers 12 and 6. Fold again to get the positions of the 3 and 9.
    • Instruct students to put little pencil notches and the appropriate number at that spot.
  • Show students how to make the rest of the numbers on the clock. Have them put notches at the spots where numbers should go and check with an adult to ensure equal spacing before writing the numbers.
  • Explain to students that the number 12 should always be facing them while writing the numbers in (with pencil), to avoid having numbers turned to the side or upside down.
  • Invite students to go over the numbers with marker to make them stand out.
  • Students then take a long strip of paper and cut the clock hands. Remind them that the hour hand must be shorter than the minute hand.
  • Pierce a hole through the centers of their clocks, lining up the hour and minute hands to the hole. A butterfly clip can be threaded through the clock hands to hold them in place. 
  • Have students explore their finished clocks.

Look Fors

  • Are students able to identify the cardinal numbers on the clock?
  • Are students able to place the numbers onto their clocks in the appropriate location?
  • Can students space out numbers on their clock appropriately and write the numbers correctly (in the correct order and facing the appropriate side)?


  • Ask students to play with their clocks and verbalize the times that they can identify.

Related Lessons

Prior to Making Clocks, explore spatial thinking to support students’ ability to appropriately distance the numbers on a clock.

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