In my ever-continuing quest to make new hands-on math activities, I decided to make a paper plate clock with clothespin numbers. We are still always working to improve Becca’s grip strength so that she’ll be able to easily manipulate a pencil before too long. This is a super fun little activity that not only does that, but also reinforces the location of each number on the clock. Once she gets further into telling time, I will add the “5”, “10”, “15”, “20”… to the end of the clips, like I have the “o’clock” on the 12. I love it when I can come up with a project for her that is fun now, but also will have a great expansion in the future. I also hope to add a brad and hands to this very same clock once she learns more about telling time, so that she can manipulate the clock face to say a variety of times. I love little Judy clocks, but why buy one when you can make a game that turns into a Judy clock?
It’s so simple to make! I suggest that you clip your clothes pins onto the clock before writing the numbers on them – so that they are oriented appropriately when you look at it. I also put numbers on both sides of the clips to reduce frustration. It easily stores in a ziploc bag – I used the smaller paper plate so a gallon bag is more than large enough for the clock and all the clips.
Modification idea for older kids – if they are starting out already with clock knowledge, you could put the minutes only on the clip, with the numbers written on the paper plate, where they have to match “5” to the number 1, “10” to the number 2, “15” to the number 3, etc – matching “o’clock” to the number 12. You’ll just want to use a fine-tip Sharpee instead of a thick one like I did or your 55 won’t fit on the clip. 🙂
Total Mommy Prep Time: About 5-7 minutes b/c I didn’t put the clips on the plate before writing the numbers, and had to re-do some of them that ended up upside down..
Total Becca Play Time: The first time, she played with it about 7 or 8 minutes, but she was highly distracted. She has played with it for longer periods since then. And, again, any time it’s a re-useable activity, I never mind putting 5-10 mins of my own time, or even longer, into the project that I know she will use over and over again. 🙂