Project: time, ihvo

– children deal with time –

by Klaudia Kruszynski

It starts with the preliminary considerations and ideas for carrying out a project in kindergarten.

What is actually realized is left to the children – changes and deviations are possible. Chance and everyday life can also influence the implementation.

…in short…
The article describes a long-term project in which kindergarten children deal intensively with time. All development areas and senses are addressed, the focus is on basic mathematical support, which takes the learning needs of highly gifted children into account to a high degree.
Various projects build on each other in mathematical support, even if that doesn’t seem obvious at first glance.

Project content:

1) Perception of time
Experience the passing of time consciously,
For example: How do plants (flowers) change over time? How do people change over time? What are seasons?

2) How to measure time?
Experiments, building timepieces (children’s ideas), clocks – various types

3) What can you do in a minute??
Document experiments, comparisons, processes (algorithms)
See also: basic ideas of mathematics

4) Create a timeline
When was yesterday, the day before yesterday? When is tomorrow What is tomorrow morning Etc.

5) Thinking about the future:
What does it mean:
I’ll clean up later?
I prefer to paint the picture tomorrow.
What will I do next week, for Christmas?
What do I do when I grow up??

6) Special times: for example Advent
Advent calendar, advent wreath
New year, new year
Calendar, months, weeks, days
Names of months, days of the week.

7) Important terms:
fast – slow, early – late, short – long, now – later, always – never, rarely – often – etc.

8) Possible experiments:
What can you do in a minute??
How much can you do if you perform the activities faster / slower?
How far do you go in a minute??
How many steps do you take in a minute? (Differences: large, small children; slow and faster children)

Important development step: time sequences

What do I have to do in order to do something, for example
to get teeth clean, to bake a cake, to get hands clean.

How long does it take?

painted pictures, photos, lists, folders, etc.

The children:

The children selected were (all names changed):

Tim, 5 years 3 months
Jan, 4 years 1 month
Mark, 5 years 1 month
Linea, 4 years 2 months
Lukas, 4 years 6 months
Anna, 3 years 3 months
Julius, 5 years 11 months
Sven, 3 years 11 months

How did we come up with this topic?

The observation of Tim gave me the impetus. I wondered how far I could see interest in the phenomenon of time in other children.

He can read the clock pretty well, the full hours, the half and quarter hours. For the other times he uses terms like: a little after or before.

He cannot properly estimate his time, he has a very long breakfast (sometimes up to 1 hour, with the meal taking only a few minutes), when dressing and changing he is almost always the last one, just as it is when cleaning up.

On the other hand, he complains that he can only play for a short time, that the building corner is always occupied.

I know that it takes a long time at home to finish. He could be in kindergarten much sooner, but he always finds something that distracts him from getting dressed, washing, and having breakfast.

A week ago he came back to Kindergaten very late. His mother told us that he cried at home and didn’t want to go to kindergarten because he hadn’t played in the corner for a very, very long time. He said that the building corner was always full. It is very common that he can never play there. He blamed us.

We listened to his complaint and said that we understand that he is so dissatisfied. We wondered why he can’t play on the corner. "There are always others in there". "Why?" "Because they’re early in kindergarten." "Can you go to kindergarten earlier?" His mother nodded and he said "yes".

For this day we have agreed that he may have breakfast first and then go to the corner. At half past nine the building corner was still free, but Tim was sitting at the breakfast table until 8:30 p.m. We had to remind him several times that he was having breakfast, talking to the children, watching what the others were doing, dreaming, looking at the window there, played with his food, etc., until he finished brushing his teeth, it was just before eleven.

It is the same with painting or handicrafts. For Tim, the mere activity does not take longer than for the other children, and he has no difficulties in carrying it out. But he loses a lot of time due to various distractions, and finally he also loses the desire to continue working.

We are concerned about this. He could start school earlier, he would understand the material well at school, calculate well, prove a lot of knowledge, but how would it work with independent work? Would he come with me? What happens when boring or tedious tasks have to be solved?

Tim knows that he loses a lot of time, he wants to be brisk, but it doesn’t always work.

I thought about how I can make him aware of how time flies. That he could learn to perceive for himself what is happening, when to concentrate on what he is doing and when to move away from it.

Sometimes he has problems with time like his friend Tim. He is also interested in everything that has to do with mechanics. Maybe he has an idea how the clock works? He also likes to try different things. He likes to discuss, develop his own ideas and has a lot of general knowledge.

He could have a lot of fun experimenting and trying. He also has a lot of knowledge, but he doesn’t like to show it. I hope that he forgets his inhibitions in the game and gains more confidence.


He is new to our group and has been in another kindergarten for a year. He has language problems: indistinct articulation and incorrect sentence structure. He thinks very quickly, makes very big puzzle games, paints tons of pictures. He is very focused on the tasks, determined (sometimes he tricks to achieve his goal) and persistent in demanding mandala images. He has never found a friend, usually plays alone or with the educators. Children do not understand it correctly, and adults also have difficulty understanding it.

I hope that by experimenting together he will get more contacts with the other children and that his ingenuity will enrich the project.


If she paints or tinkers something, she is very persistent, at a young age of 3 years and 10 months she was interested in a project "playing school" and filled out all worksheets. At the same time she embroidered and weaved, her results could be compared to those of the six-year-olds. It is very reasonable – it uses the arguments of adults and is behind it, e.g. "You shouldn’t swap the toothbrush for fun because you can catch a cold, you just don’t do it!"

She is very interested in letters and numbers, loves unusual tasks (a little later, at the age of 4, she created a picture book). She wants to learn the clock.

She is the youngest child in our group. She made friends with Linea. She watches everything that happens in the room and is happy to take part in all the offers. She talks little – you might think she was very shy. At home, she tells in detail what the teachers said / did, as well as what the children did. In all activities she achieves results like the older children, she has long been independent and of course also very reasonable.

Entry into the project

Thursday 11/11/04:
Tim, Jan and Ahmed want to have breakfast together. I ask them if they want to know how long they eat. I show them the stopwatch and explain how it works. The children want that. They start at my sign, and so do I. Create the clock. I tell the children that we write it down how long it takes everyone. As always, the children eat at their own pace. I don’t remind them to keep eating. We would like to continue this measurement every day.

A small group of children meet in the next room. There are: Tim, Jan, Mark, Lukas, Kris, Jane, Linea, Kim, Carolin. I show the children the stopwatch. Some already know what you can do with the stopwatch. We decide to give it a try.

This watch has several functions, it shows the time of day, can be used as a timer and as a stopwatch. We try these functions.

You can e.g. see how long is a minute. I ask the kids if they know how long a minute is? Most say "yes". Then we try: I set the timer to one minute, the children should keep their eyes closed for as long as they think a minute will last. I press "start". Some children open their eyes after a few seconds, some keep them closed for a long time. I cough once when the minute is up. The last children open their eyes. Then I ask them if they heard how I coughed – the minute was just over. they laugh.

In the second attempt, you should only watch on the clock what changes when time runs out. You immediately notice that the one has disappeared and the numbers change. One says the numbers are getting smaller. The clock beeps at zero. Then we use the stopwatch function, we start at 0:00. The children count, they see that after 0:59 a 1:00 comes. Tim and Jan know that it was seconds that grew more and more.

Jan also says that the clock had run forward and back once. You can use the stopwatch to measure how long something takes. We sing the song: "Lantern, lantern, sun, moon and stars". Then Tim read how long it took: 18 seconds. We repeat the attempt, it takes 19 seconds. Then we sing very quickly – 13 seconds have just passed. At the end we sing very slowly, it takes 24 seconds. The children find it very fascinating, they want to try other things.

One suggests that we can measure how long you look at a picture book. Tim answers first. He opens the book, Jan starts the clock. Tim starts reading (!). Everyone is surprised, some children are happy, some are very serious. Although the task was different, I let him finish reading the book. (If you ask Tim to read something, he immediately blocks, doesn’t feel like it, or says he can’t read yet.) I help him with some difficult words. Tim uses different techniques for reading: he spells, he reads short words like "die" or "in" at once, he advises some words of the meaning of the story. He often confuses "d" with "b". After 9 minutes and 50 seconds it is finished. Then I read the story again, it takes 1 minute and 21 seconds.

The children leave the next room, Jan helps me tidy up. He says he already knows the letters and sings "A, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y and z ”. until now Jan has always denied that he knows the letters, or that he will only learn them at school. (I saw a year ago that he knows the letters).

It was clear to see that reading Tim made a big impression on him. I can imagine that he will read soon. His motive will probably be the fact that his best friend already can.

Friday November 12th, 2004:

We measure again the time Jan, Tim and Ahmed need for breakfast. I write it down. I decided that I had to design a sheet on which the children can write their times independently. In addition, they should record what they had to eat. After several attempts, we could have a look at the sheets and consider why the times are different.

The group later meets in the next room. There are also other children. I have three different watches with me, from yesterday, a sports stopwatch and a travel alarm clock. The children look at the clocks, some have seen them elsewhere before. I ask what makes them different. You can see that two only show the numbers – I say they are digital displays. The third watch has hands.

What time do the clocks show? Jan, Tim and Mark say: 11:12 a.m..
What does the third o’clock show??
Only now do the children discover that this watch shows a different time. The hands don’t move. "How so?"
"She is broken. No, there is no battery in it! "

I ask the children if they want to play "The Time Detectives" with me? The children like this idea even though they don’t yet know what the time detectives are doing. This is how our “Time” project starts.

Time, pace, rhythm, order

This is a gymnastics offer for children from 3 to 6 years


Detect and differentiate between different speeds: slow, fast
Carry out different movements at different speeds.

Estimate and try out how long it takes to perform an activity (movement), even at different speeds.

Record the time it takes to complete.

Protect and try out what you can do in 1 minute, how far you can walk, jump, crawl, etc..

Memorize a certain order of tasks, perform, measure time, write it down.

Tasks for the time detectives:

  • Operate the stopwatch,
  • Measure and record the times,
  • Help with the execution of the gymnastics lesson,
  • Distribute the items,
  • Develop the tasks.

Objects, tools:

Cards with signs: snail, hedgehog, rabbit
homes characters
Measuring tables, pens, small pieces of paper
Gymnastics bench, chest, cones, etc.


  • Slow – fast: run, jump, clap, stomp – tambourine
  • "What am I?"- Cards with animal symbols, houses, stopwatch : the children get cards with animal symbols. On a sign, they move as quickly as the animals depicted do. The time detectives have to recognize which animal each child is and lead them into the right house, and time can be measured. Then the cards are checked.
  • How long does it take for a “snail”, “hedgehog” or “rabbit” to run through the entire gym – Stopwatch, cards, pens .
  • How far do the “animals” run in the time of 1 minute – Diagrams, pens .
  • A game story: "We go fishing". The goal of the game is one fish in the pot to throw. Various tasks have to be performed beforehand, whereby the order is important: from the box has to fishing rod be taken out, the Boots must be attracted to a bucket must be taken with you, then it goes over a Bridge to the lake ( blue cloth ), a fish is caught, thrown into the bucket, then back over the bridge, take off your boots, put the fishing rod back in the box and throw the fish into the pot. The time detectives measure and write down the children’s times.

Process and reflection:

24 children from all groups came to this gymnastics class. Among them are children of all ages. Tim, Mark, Jan, Lukas and Linea are among the time detectives. I am supported by a colleague, a pre-intern is also there.

The time detectives initially fulfill their tasks (set the pace by holding up the cards with the animal symbols, measuring time, recognizing animals and leading them to the right houses). Over time, they would rather like to run along with the other children, to be animals. So I take on part of the tasks.
The younger children run as fast as the others, they are not yet able to adhere to the individual requirements. For this reason, the time detectives can only very poorly recognize which animals they are. We have to replace the individual measurement of each animal with group measurements (too many children). The story of the game: “We go fishing” is very popular with the children, everyone wants to participate. Unfortunately, time does not allow it. On top of that, I was the first to choose a bigger child, and this child was so excited that it did all the tasks especially, it wanted to be very funny. The next child was much faster. I promised the kids that we would do this game again soon.


The idea with the animals was good, the younger children need more repetitions, only then can the time detectives do their job properly. With a larger number of children, individual measurements are not appropriate. In practice, the time of one minute is very long, the faster children run through the gym in a shorter time.

I decided to run a similar offer in a small group, shortening the time interval from one minute to 30 seconds. So the time detectives are not overwhelmed and can solve their tasks independently.

Games like "We go fishing" can often be played.


On Thursday I showed the children a book about the clock. I opened it on the page where the kids could see how you used to measure time.

I told how the Chinese fire watch worked. Then we saw what the Egyptian water clock looked like from the inside.

We considered how candles were used to measure time.

Then the children recognized a sand clock. It’s just like our toothbrush clock.

After that, various mechanical clocks were shown in the book. You could open the pictures and see what’s inside the watch. Jan was enthusiastic about the many gears. There are different gears for each pointer. The wheel turns slowly for the thick hour hand and faster for the minute hand. The wheel for the second hand turns fastest.

It was written above the illustration of a box: This is the oldest clock in the world. Nobody knew what was meant. We opened the door: there was a tap in the box. "Yes, that’s right," Jan called. "The rooster makes Kikeriki every day".

Then the children discovered another watch.

They have never seen anything like it. I said it was a sundial and explained how it worked. I took a stick. The sun was shining through the window and on the table you could see the shadow of the stick. Jan knows how the sun is in the sky at different times of the day. We considered where the shadow is at sunrise, where at noon (Jan said: the shadow will be very short) and where at sunset. And suddenly we decided to give it a try.

I got a long stick, a clock and chalk. We were looking for a suitable place outside. I put the stick in the ground. The stick cast a shadow on the floor. Jan painted a line along the shadow. He read the current time of day from the clock and wrote it down next to the shadow.

He repeated this activity every few minutes. Shortly before twelve o’clock, Max and Mark accompanied him. Jan told them what he was doing. There were already several stitches and different times on the floor. Max helped Jan write.

Then I asked if they knew where the shadow would be at two o’clock. Max stood on the last stitch that was painted and walked along, as if the stroke would lengthen over time. Jan looked skeptical and considered.

I asked, in which direction does the shadow move over time? Jan showed it clearly. I asked him to paint an arrow. Then I repeated the first question. Jan showed a spot (which I think was well appreciated) and painted a circle on it.

Shortly before two o’clock there were no children in kindergarten. That is why I myself painted a new line along the shadow and wrote down the time. After gymnastics in the afternoon, we went outside around three o’clock.

The children immediately ran to the sundial. There was no longer a shadow on the floor. You said the sun is no longer there. In fact, she had disappeared behind a house. We looked for a place in the garden where we could still see the sun. After all, it hadn’t gone down. The lawn was lighter and the hoarfrost melted.

In the shade, the grass was white with hoarfrost. In old car tires, the children discovered frozen water and dealt with the "icebergs". The sundial was forgotten, it no longer worked. Hopefully tomorrow we will have as nice weather as today, then the clock will go again. If not, I hope that the children know why she is not.

The next day the weather was bad, the sky was cloudy. Tim and Jan went to the clock. They noticed that there was no shadow on the floor. They knew it was the weather. I later asked her if the sundial was a good invention. You said, but when the weather was bad you couldn’t know what time it was. "That’s right" – I said. "For this reason, people have invented other clocks that go even in bad weather".

How long do we have breakfast?

For two weeks, Tim, Mark, Jan, Linea, Anna and Denise measured the time it took to eat them at breakfast. In practice it went like this:

  • Breakfast was unpacked and the note with the table was taken out of the property compartment,
  • the child looked at the food and named the individual parts, e.g. Apple, sandwiches, yogurt,
  • crosses were made in the corresponding columns in the table,
  • the timer was set to 00:00,
  • the word: "Start" was pronounced and the start button was pressed,
  • the child started eating,
  • when the child was done, the stop button was pressed,
  • the time was read from the timer and written into the table, the note with the table was put back in the compartment.

If possible, the children wrote down the times independently. It was problematic when more than two of the above children had breakfast at the same time. We adults had to help.

After two weeks I collected the notes. For further work I put “minute strips” and colored pencils on the table. A minute is a box on the strip.

We have already researched how long a minute lasts in other games, we also have a “minute tape” with all the minutes we spend in kindergarten on it. The children chose a color for each day of the week. The box with the day of the week and minute box was painted in this color. The number of minutes was taken from the breakfast table and then the corresponding number of minute boxes was drawn. This resulted in strips that the children cut out. The strips were then glued into the table to match the days.

And then the children could go on a journey of discovery:

  • Which stripe is the longest?
  • What day it was?
  • What did I have with me that day??
  • How long does it take for an apple or yogurt?
  • Do I need the same time for the same food??
  • Why did I need so much time for little?
  • Do I always take a long time, or sometimes I am very fix?

With this offer, the children learned: to use a timer, to conduct a scientific observation, to document the observation, to draw conclusions from the results, to reflect on various factors: the type of food, the amount, their own eating behavior.

The aim of this self-observation is also to recognize how much of the total kindergarten time is used for breakfast. I hope that some will find an answer to the question "Why couldn’t I play in the corner again?".

The kindergarten time streak

In a conversation I showed the children the “kindergarten time strip”. The strip begins at 7:30 a.m. After that, the full ones follow every 270 minutes hours are marked.

The first thing we looked at was when the kindergarten would start, when I and my colleague would come into the group, in which area breakfast, games, the circle of chairs, and pick-up would be.

The next thing I did was take photos of various activities, and the children cut out the printouts and pasted them onto colorful squares. The red color belongs to the board game, the dark blue to the teeth brushing, yellow is breakfast, black is Lego games, etc.

The squares are on a large poster. You can remove them and mount them on the time strip. You can also color the minute boxes in the appropriate color and see which activities are carried out.

But you can also time detective play.

The game goes like this: A child becomes a time detective. The time detective watches a selected child all day. The detective tools include: a clock, colored pencils and note paper. The detective pays attention to when the child comes to kindergarten, when it starts playing, eating, brushing teeth, painting, when it is finished, when it is picked up. Each time the time is read from the clock and noted, in addition colored markings are made, which correspond to the colors of the squares on the poster. The detective work is documented on another day. I have prepared a time strip for the observed child. The detective must now search for the appropriate start times and color the minute boxes in the correct color.

In this way you can calculate the duration of the activities and recognize the proportion of an activity in the entire kindergarten period. There are also gaps; these are times when the kids just watch, think about what they want to do next, or just do nothing.

Tim was the detective at Mark. Mark celebrated his birthday that day. I made arrangements with Tim to let me know when Mark starts a new job so I can take photos. So Tim was able to stick the photos on the next day while making the time strip. When the strip was done, we looked for a place to hang it. It was important that it hung at eye level with the children. So we decided on the construction corner.

The next day Mark was happy about this surprise. The other children were also interested in it.

My first watch – a kit for children

In a kindergarten catalog, I discovered a clock that children can build themselves. The case is transparent, so the children can see what the watch looks like from the inside. Jan is very interested in mechanics. He knows how some machines work. When we had the topic “From grain to bread”, he explained to us how a water mill works. He mentioned the many gears and explained how they work together and set the millstones in motion.

We got a set with different gears for the group, so that all children can understand how the force passes from one wheel to the next, what practical meaning the number of teeth has.

Again and again children go to the magnetic board, where the gears are. They try different combinations, build longer rows, etc. They see how the power is transmitted, they also see that the small wheels turn faster than the big ones. They also discover that it is easier to give the turn with a large wheel than with a smaller one. By fiddling, the children discovered the laws of mechanics. Only a practical application of the laws was missing.

So we decided to order the watch.

One afternoon we wanted to assemble the watch. Jan was very excited, he was holding the pack tightly in his hand and wanted to start right away. First we had to remove the packaging. Then we took all the components and the instructions out of the box.

Jan looked at the many gears and noticed that they have imprints. He quickly understood how the wheels had to be inserted into the socket. The clock was built very quickly. Unfortunately we could not fix the last clamp because the opening in the housing was too narrow.

Nevertheless, we tried to make the watch go. The pendulum did not want to commute, we could only set it in motion by hand, and then it would stop. I looked in the building instructions. It said that we should not be discouraged, but check whether everything is sitting correctly. So we opened the watch and disassembled it. Then all parts were put in step by step. Jan worked alone, the other children just watched. The clock was soon finished and we tried again. Unfortunately without success. We could only move the pendulum by pushing it by hand, and we could see the gears turning. But the clock didn’t work. Again we were not discouraged and wondered why it didn’t work. Perhaps it is because of the clamp that cannot be inserted. I suggested that I take the watch home with me and ask my husband if he could widen the opening. In kindergarten we have no tools for plastic. Jan agreed and helped me pack the watch.

Unfortunately, all efforts did not help, the clock could not be made to go.

I showed it to a friend who is a watch collector and can repair any watch. He said that our watch had not been produced properly, the parts were not cast properly.

It is really a shame that the toys for children are always made with little care. The disappointment was huge.

Note by Hanna Vock:

In 2011 I bought an identical watch in the museum shop of the Deutsches Museum in Bonn. It is called "My First Clock" and is also available from amazon. When the kit (33 parts) was completely assembled, the clock ticked very loudly, but ran perfectly. The project kids were really unlucky.

"Brushing your teeth – memory game"

In our kindergarten, the children brush their teeth after breakfast. They do it independently in the washroom, where they have their cups and brushes on the towel hooks. In our group it is the rule that only two children at the same time Brush teeth can. So that the children do not have to constantly check whether a place is free, we have “tooth mice” on a blackboard. If the mice are in the nest, there is space available, if both are sitting on the cheese, you have to wait. A health worker visits us once a year and explains to the children how to properly brush their teeth. In the rest of the time, brushing continues and is largely the responsibility of the children. The educators support it if possible, make sure that the toothbrushes are replaced in good time, check whether the cups are kept clean, take care of the toothpaste replenishment.

And so it always happens that something goes wrong in the washroom. Either the toothbrushes are exchanged or the mirrors are smeared with toothpaste. Sometimes there is a small flood because the children do not brush their teeth at all, but rather wash the sink. Some children stay in the washroom for a particularly long time, some come back after 10 seconds. And the cups are white from the toothpaste, etc. When we talk about it in the chair, everyone thinks they brush their teeth properly. However, our observations show us that this is not true.

One day I talked to a couple of kids about brushing their teeth and wanted to find out if they knew what to do to get their teeth cleaned. I asked the question: "What do you do first?" Children’s answers: "Put toothpaste on it!" "No, get the water first!" "No, first the mouse!" The children give me different answers. Accordingly, the "brushing your teeth" would get water, cream on it, rinse out, mouse would exist. I asked the question again: "What do you do first?"

We slowly considered the individual steps: put the mouse on the cheese, get the mug, open toothpaste, press a small amount (pea size) onto the brush, close the tube, fill the mug with water, brush your teeth: back and forth, Sweep up and down, spit out, rinse, rinse the toothbrush clean, also put the mug, mouth, the mug and the brush back on the hook, dry, go to the group room and take off the mouse.

As you can see from careful consideration, there are many (!) Individual steps. No wonder that not everyone can remember everything. The correct order is also important. I suggested taking a series of photos to help the kids brush their teeth.

Julius and Max wanted to participate. So they became my models and made sure that I photograph everything. They put a lot of effort into it.

In the evening at home I printed out the pictures and the next day we made a memory game out of them.

There are 12 pairs to find. The children have to look very carefully if they want to recognize the activity correctly. After the game you can place the cards in the correct order. A more difficult variant of this game is to find the couple in the right order from the start. You can play differently with the younger children. The first half of the cards are placed together in the correct order. The other cards are shuffled and distributed. Then the children cover the cards in turn, you can only place the next one. If the child does not have the card, it is the next child’s turn. With all possible game variants, it is important to name the activity shown or to connect it to the previous one, for example: "Clean the mug after spitting it out". By repeating the game, the whole process of brushing teeth can be mentally consolidated for the children. For children with language skills, this game could be a way of telling stories, whereby the cards are not in order on the table. Then the game variant would be called "Chaos in the washroom". The goal of the game is of course to fix everything. (I haven’t tried this variant yet!)

The same photos are used to make a poster that we hang in the washroom.

The "toothbrush row" can of course inspire us to think about other rows, for example: "What do I do if I change to do gymnastics?" Or "What do I do if I want to build a sand castle?", Etc.

aim of these games is to be aware of what you are doing, what was before, what follows. What do I have to do to achieve my goal or what do I achieve if I follow the steps below.

Game: "Do you know the clock?"

Contents: 4 plates with clocks that have movable hands, including one that has Roman numerals; several small cards that are printed on both sides: on one side the clock has a certain time, on the other this time is written down as a number – once in the morning, once in the afternoon. This game can be played in several ways.

The simplest variant would be to transfer the time from the small clock to the large one (imitation). The older children can read the corresponding number from the back. The difficulty can be further increased if the children try to set the big clock according to the number on the map. Then the children can set any time.

The mathematically gifted children can play another variant:

"Lisa sat at the breakfast table at 9:05 am, after 20 minutes she was ready. What time was it then? "Or" It was ready at 9:25, how long did it have breakfast? "

In addition, the children can learn the Roman numerals. They do this independently, by comparing them with the Arabic ones.

Talks about time

During this time I had many conversations with the children on this broad topic. For example:

  • What time is it?
  • How do you notice the time?
  • Time has always been?
  • May be the end of time?
  • How do I change over time??
  • There are special times?
  • How can you measure time?
  • What is Advent time?
  • What seasons are there??
  • What would happen if time stopped?

What I learned is that the children think the time and the clock are the same.

You can tell that the clock is ticking or by moving the hands. If you don’t see the clock, there is no time, some children think; other children would look for the watch or listen – maybe you can hear it. These children already feel that time is running constantly, but they still need the specific object.

Only the older or younger, highly gifted children know that time always runs, even if you don’t have a clock. You can recognize it from the sun, from the changes, from the fact that a child becomes an adult, then a grandpa and then you die. But time continues.

Jan knows that the time has started with the Big Bang. When the earth collides with a meteorite and breaks, time continues, this can be measured from another planet.

Jan, Tim and Mark have books about the clock at home (they see the clock as a measuring device), they already understand the nature of time.

For Mark, the watch helps to overcome his fear of being left alone, the hands constantly and continuously approach the indication of when the mother is coming. If the hands show 20 to 12 and the children go into the dressing room to get dressed, then you know without asking that everyone is going outside.

The calendar is also known to children as a timepiece, there are months, weeks and days. December is a special month. The first door is opened on December 1st, and there are 24 doors by Christmas Eve. This time is called Advent. In Advent you light the candles on the wreath, but there are only 4 candles. The candles measure the weeks, the doors the days. This year, the first Advent was in November, but you couldn’t open a door yet. It is because there are two customs at the same time in the run-up to Christmas: Advent wreath and Advent calendar. Tim realized that the advent wreath was there longer than the advent calendar.

In numerous conversations that took place during this time, we paid particular attention to making the children understand different times. What is a weekend What are the weekend days called? What do we do in kindergarten on certain days of the week? On Mondays you can stay until 5pm, on Tuesday the preschoolers have their afternoons, on Thursdays we do gymnastics in the large gym and Friday is the "dismantling day".

Tim, Jan and Mark were able to prove their knowledge and understanding. In the circle of chairs they didn’t wait for their turn, they wanted to answer the questions immediately. Linea answered "correctly" when she knew the answer. Anna was just listening, she didn’t answer. Lukas was mostly busy with other things. If he has to wait for his turn, he "leaves" the room or argues with the neighbors. I can also imagine that he avoids speaking to the whole group because of his language problems.

Another child showed a special interest in the advent calendar. Numbers, actually. He could name the two-digit numbers, choose, say how they are written. He also knew the numbers for the weekend days. He is also interested in counting, systematizing and organizing other activities. The boy, Sven, is 3 years and 11 months old. He knows a lot about different vehicles, knows what an articulated tipper is – his favorite book is called "Vehicles". He is also interested in letters.


The topic of time has of course not yet been exhausted. The turn of the year offers the next opportunity to deal with it. The time detectives will also be active in the future, there is still so much to research.

The other children have an understanding of this topic. Here Max, Jan, Mark, Linea and Sven participated in the mediation. This enabled the group to benefit from their knowledge. A boy asked if he could also have the paper to measure time at breakfast. So he learned to use the stopwatch, he wrote the minutes in the columns.

My goal is to perceive and support the highly gifted and particularly gifted children and to integrate their special way into the group. They have the same position in the group community as all children, but fulfill other tasks that are adapted to them. So I hope everyone benefits from it.

Date of publication: 5.5.07
Copyright © Klaudia Kruszynski 2006, see imprint .


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Christina Cherry
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