Understanding time and the passing of time is a tricky thing for young children. Perhaps as a kid on a long trip, your parents responded to the tenth question of “are we there yet” by giving you the remaining time in kid shows – like mine telling me we had one “Mr. Rogers” and one “Sesame Street” until we would arrive at Grandma’s house. Young kids can remember events, but even knowing which event happened more recently is something that develops over the first 5 years. Kids don’t have a grasp of days and weeks and when things happen in time until the kindergarten year, between 5 and 6 years, when they make big steps of progress in their understanding. However, talking about time and days and using visual tools can help them on this journey of development.
Craft/Activity #1: Reusable Felt (Countdown) Chain by TipsfromaTypicalMom
This is an easy project of cutting felt into strips; I got horizontal strips out of one 8.5 x 11″ sheet of felt from Hobby Lobby. Then, you sew a button about half an inch from one end with a corresponding slit (very small cut with scissors, since it will stretch a bit) on the opposite end, about the same distance from the edge. Now, you repeat for as many links as you want your chain to have – I made 20. It would be fun to make a red and green one for Christmas, or different shades of pink for a little girl’s birthday countdown, etc. Mine will be all purpose, ha, currently being used for Easter countdown!
Craft/Activity #2: Toilet Paper Roll Watches by RedTedArt
This is super fast and easy! One toilet paper roll can be made into 3 watches – just cut one into thirds. Then, use construction paper to cut a circle and draw on a watch face, complete with hands, and glue onto toilet paper roll band. Then, we cut a slit along back of band to make the band into a “cuff” that was easily slid on and off. Pen Elaine decorated her bracelet all up with markers. Done!
We talked about a number of uses for this project – for instance, set the “time” for dinnertime or naptime or “time to go” for your child to match up to the clock – you could even draw a digital watch instead of the numbers and hands. Another sweet use that we discussed was to draw the time that you are going to return and pick up your child when leaving them in the nursery or someone else’s care. Even if your child is too young to match the time on their “watch” with a real one, the watch can be a reminder and assurance that you will be picking them up at some set time (whether or not they understand what that time is).
Paul and Barnabas singing in jail – found in Acts 16:11-40 – This is the story of how Paul and Barnabas chose to make the most of hard days, being in prison, by singing praises to the Lord instead of just waiting to move on to the next season of their lives…When teaching kids about time and counting down the days to exciting events, it’s also a good time to remind ourselves to make the most of the present, even a time of waiting! Paul and Barnabas not only were joyful in jail, they stayed in prison after a miraculous earthquake removed their chains. Knowing the jailer would be killed for “allowing” prisoners to escape, these godly men stayed and shared the hope of salvation from Jesus Christ, leading to salvation for the jailer and his family.
Ephesians 5:15-17 “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is…”