Learning & Loving It: Telling Time

Learning & Loving It is a series featuring simple, yet fun educational activities for home learning and virtual, interactive tutoring.

LRC Learning and Loving It

Telling time with your own clock

This clock activity is a great one for teaching children how to tell time. Use it to talk about time in the future or to discuss how long it takes for something to happen with older children.


Paper plate, construction paper, brad, (optional thumbtack), ruler, scissors, marker, pencil
LRC Clock Supplies

Constructing your clock

    1. Mark your paper plate in quarters (use a ruler for accuracy) by adding a dot in the center, top, bottom and each side.
    2. Write you 12 on the top dot that you made, then proceed by adding the 3 to the right side, 6 at the bottom, and 9 on the left
    3. Fill in the remaining numbers numbers in between your 3, 6, 9, 12.
    4. Mark four minute hand marks in between each number.
    5. Using the construction paper and a pencil, trace two hands for your clock. One should be shorter (hour hand), and one should be longer (minute hand).
    6. Use your scissors to cut out each hand from the construction paper.
    7. Stick your brad through each clock hand as well as through the center of the plate, then fasten.

Learning & Loving It Clocks

Clock activities

    1. Set the clock, and have students tell you what time it shows.
    2. Ask the student to show you a specific time such as 2:30.
    3. Try asking the student to show you a specific time in increments of five minutes to single minutes.
    3. Ask a specific time using phrases like “quarter past”, “half past”, “quarter to” or “on the hour”.
    4. Discuss different times of certain events or routines and have the student show you. Examples of this would be bed time, breakfast, lunchtime, etc.

Older children

    Have older students add or subtract time. Example: “It’s 3:00 p.m. In forty-five minutes, what time will it be?”
    “If you’re at your house at 4:00 p.m., you need to be somewhere at 4:30 p.m., and it takes five minutes to get there, what time would you need to leave?”

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Learning & Loving It: Puppet Time

Learning & Loving It is a series featuring simple, yet fun educational activities for home learning and virtual, interactive tutoring.

LRC Learning and Loving It

Magical Learning with Puppets


Supplies: Paper, pen/markers/crayons/paint, scissors, glue/tape/stapler, popsicle stick/tongue depressor/paint stirrer, book of choice


    1. Choose a book to read together.
    2. Draw or print the characters from the story on the blank sheets of paper. The child may decorate the characters with markers, crayons, paint, etc. if they wish.
    3. Cut the characters out.
    4. Staple, tape or glue the character to a wooden popsicle stick (or tongue depressor, paint stirrer, etc.).
    5. Repeat this step for each character that you have creating a stick puppet for each.


Using your puppets

    Share a favorite read aloud with your child and follow up with a discussion about the characters in the story. (We’re using Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See by Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle). Can the child name all of the characters in the story?
    Explain to the child that he or she will use crayons (or markers or paint) and paper to create a special character that will be made into a stick puppet.
    Provide the materials. Assist the child in cutting out the finished characters. (“Scissors Snip”). Tape or glue or staple the stick onto the back of their characters to make the stick puppet.
    Encourage your child to use their stick puppets to act out the story or to tell their own stories. Stick puppets can even sing and dance—like in “This Old Man (he played one)” or “I Know an Old Lady (who swallowed a fly).”
    You may even want to create a puppet theater to use with the stick puppets. Let the child decorate and old white sheet with markers to use as a curtain or backdrop. Encourage the child to create scenes on the sheet from the story that he or she is about to tell with the stick puppets. Props can be made from tiny boxes, empty thread spools, small fabric scraps, or tiny doll pillows for beds.


About Puppets for learning

    Today, puppets can be used to teach a variety of things. Let’s take a look at some of those things.
    Puppets are simple effective tools for delivering information. When puppets are incorporated with play-based learning, children retain knowledge more effectively and efficiently. The puppets then become tools for sharing or retelling what they have learned or observed. Puppets are a delightful way to encourage children to exercise their language skills. Use a puppet to introduce a story. When the story is finished the puppet can discuss it with the children. The puppet might ask, “can you help me make up a new ending for my story?”
    Children can benefit from puppets through oral and language skills development. When a puppet speaks, children can listen, identify, and understand different words and phrases. The act of speaking out loud is much different than thinking the thoughts in your head. So, when children are required to answer questions, the puppet can act as support—when the puppet speaks all attention is on the puppet not on the child. This gradually nurtures confidence.
    Middle School
    Puppets can be used to analyze characterization in a short story or novel, as well as act out a historical event. Another benefit of puppets with this age group revolves around the developing the child’s social skills. They begin learning how to interact with the different personalities of their peers. By exploring different communication techniques using puppets, students can apply the same strategies to regular conversations.
    Higher grades
    Students in higher grades can use puppets in a more profound way. Using a puppet “transforms getting caught in the headlight into shining in the spotlight.” They can aid in acting out Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar, debating a complex issue, or showing a difficult process, such as a science experiment.
    Puppets can break down barriers and encourage students to discuss very difficult issues when found in literature or in everyday life—such as bullying, abuse, drugs, and cultural and physical differences. Many students are very uncomfortable with deeply personal topics, and puppets can be that “mask” to advance ideas or express issues without feeling vulnerable.
    Over the centuries, puppets have remained a powerful form of communication between people. For students, puppets are a gateway to opening up the mind and inviting knowledge in. Kids’ imaginations can run wild, and without knowing it, they are developing essential skills needed for everyday life, just as they did thousands of years ago.

Click here to see the video demonstration and reading on Facebook.
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Learning & Loving It: Twister Game

Learning & Loving It is a series featuring simple, yet fun educational activities for home learning and virtual, interactive tutoring.

LRC Learning and Loving It

A Spin on Twister

Add a layer of learning to classic games that you already own. For this activity, we’ll add a math “spin” to the classic game of Twister. When students are fully engaged, they are learning, and by using games they already love, it makes it easy to add enrichment or reinforcement of basic skills.

Supplies: Twister board game (mat & spinner; could also make your own with online spinner and colored paper for dots), paper & marker to write numbers

Putting it together

    1. Set out the game mat, and grab the spinner
    2. Grab four sheets of paper (red, blue, yellow, green to match game colors)
    3. Select four numbers for player/s to create math facts from and write one number on each piece of paper


How to Play

    1. Spin the wheel
    2. Designate a number to correspond with each color (ex. Red 12, Blue 10, Yellow 9, Green 11)
    3. Before placing a hand/foot on board, player will call out a basic math fact that corresponds to color’s number (Use: +, -, x, / depending on player’s level) (ex. 9+3=12 for red)



  • Set flashcards on each Twister dot; Student will answer the fact before placing their hand/foot on board
  • For intermediate or middle school students, ask them to create an equation with three numbers (ex. for red: (5×3)-3=12 )

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