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Learn a Unique Montessori Telling Time Activity

“How many months in a year?” I asked my five-year-old. I wasn’t trying to test his telling time abilities but it was clear that the moment has arrived to learn to tell time.

“3?” He responded with zero conviction. At that moment, I knew we had some work to do. I wasn’t worried and knew exactly where to start with telling time.

Learning to tell time is part of Montessori’s history sequence. History is about the duration and passage of time. Tell time is part of that learning. Since that period in my son’s learning, we covered lots of telling time activities and resources.

telling time

We made a simple clock using bead bar stamps, wonderful hands-on learning to tell time activity. One of my most beloved Montessori companies is Montessori Services. I have not once been disappointed by their product. Plus, their customer service is above par, to say the least. Recently, I had the opportunity to explore their bead bar stamps, a material on my shortlist.

Why I love the Bead Bar Stamps for Telling Time Activities & More

  • A great extension to bead chain work
  • Versatility across other learning areas such as history (e.g. telling time), art, and math
  • Hooks children with stamps! Kids love stamping & it works fine motor skills.

I am excited to show you a Learn to Tell Time Activity that my sons and I did with their bead chain stamp set.

Learning to Tell Time

This post is sponsored by Montessori Services. The opinions are 100% my own.

Learn to Tell Time Activity

History in an early childhood Montessori classroom is simple about the duration and passage of time. So, learning to tell time is a critical learning component. Children are not cognitively able to tell time or understand what “last year” or “in 1776” means until they are 7 or 8 years old, generally. As always, there is a range of ages when it comes to learning. Here is an activity that will help your child learn the concept of “time”.

Learn to Tell Time Materials

Learning to Tell Time Activity

Approach to this Learn to Tell Time Activity

  • Prepare your “clock” ahead of time to serve as an example.
  • Stamp the five chain stamp 12 times around the paper plate to create your “clock” units
  • Cut out a shorthand and a long hand from construction paper or card stock
  • Paper hole punch in the middle of the plate
  • Add a chad fastener to attach the shorthand, the longhand, and the plate together
  • Add numbers to correspond to the 5, 10, 15, etc, if you desire.


  • Invite your child to do the activity
  • You don’t need the bean chain to start but it is a good concrete material to introduce counting by 5s.
  • Pull out the 5 chain stamp, the ink pad, and the paper plate.
  • Review that there are 60 minutes in an hour
  • Show the five bead bar stamp and how you can create a clock by stamping 12 times, that the five bead bar stamp corresponds to the minutes on a clock
  • Show how the light blue colored pencil matches the five bead chain
  • Take five bead bar and show how it corresponds with the five bead bar
  • Encourage your child to color in the bead bar stamp

telling time activity with Montessori beads

Bead Bar Extension Activities for Telling Time & More

  • Pull out your Montessori Hundred BoardMontessori Hundred Board and count by 5s
  • Have the child create his own hundred board to take home
  • Skip counting with bead bars
  • Make own skip counting hundred “board”
  • Use a real clock to “dance” for one minute to get a sense for the duration of time
  • Pull out the Judy Clock and point out how the units match

Telling Time Activity for Kids

There is so much you can do with bead chain stamps.  Learning to tell time is one example of activity perfect for this material. This year we are all about learning to tell time. So, look forward to all sorts of fun activities for your child!

More Telling Time Activities

Good luck!
Marnie

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