What is day? What is morning? What is afternoon? What is evening? What is night? What is dawn? There is a cycle that is being repeated by nature every time the sun comes up and goes down and the moon joins in at night. Your baby, or itty bitty one can listen to you as you describe the day or night. It is about being deliberate about what we already know about the parts of the day and to say it out loud so that our child can listen and observe. Just like we sometimes point out that this is a yellow banana and the grass is green, and the sky is blue, so do we need to point out change in the day to our child.
Once your child is old enough to notice the clock or begin to talk, start talking about what time it is during the day. When you are waiting to go out of the house to run an errand, or go visit someone, let your child know what time it is that all of you or both of you will be leaving? Either write down the time and have it next to the digital clock, or have their toy clock set to the time of departure and have it near the analog clock. Start talking about what time it is when it is breakfast time, lunch time, nap time, getting ready for bedtime, and time to go to sleep. This routine you have set for them is associated with the time of day. Beginning to point out what time opens the child’s world to taking note to time.
This piece of time is not about learning how to tell time by reading a clock, but the beginnings of doing so. To learn about something, it is better to have a purpose or meaning connected to it. By beginning the phases of time for day, you are establishing meaning. The child will begin to notice that the sun is rising or setting. The child can see that the moon is there in the sky at night.
Where is this on the Schedule of Activities 0-18 months?
- Saturday and Sunday for Go outside and Explore it).
This is a bit of a stretch, but to really understand what is day, what is night, what is morning, and so forth, the baby needs to see it outside.
Where is this on the Schedule of Activities 18 months-3 years?
- Tuesday for Numbers
- Saturday and Sunday for Go Outside and Explore It. The child must know what day, night, morning, afternoon, evening, and night look like. Go out and see the sunset or the stars!
Where is this on the Schedule of Activities for 3 to 5 years of age?
- Tuesday for Numbers (specifically counting), Quantity, and Measurement
- Fridays for Numbers (specifically counting and sequence)
- Every day for Play Time. Go see the stars and the moon, the sun and the sunsets!
Something to Think About:
For this activity, it really is simple to do that does not take any toy or APP to teach. It really does not take the necessity of buying something extra to teach as well. It simply takes mindfulness in pointing things out to our child that we may normally take for granted. When it is time to eat, say what time it is every time. When it is time to take a nap, what time is it? When your child wakes up, what time is it and do we say “good morning”? What time is it to go to bed? All of these things we normally do not say out loud because we take for granted of what we already know.
With so much going on in our lives and during the day, it is easy to let the day pass without knowing where the time went. For you and your child, this is a time to stop and be mindful of the time of the day and time you have with each other. Sometimes taking a moment to pause and notice the change of position of the sun in the sky or the different phases of the moon can really teach your child to be in the moment and paying attention to details. I truly have been taken things for granted about paying attention to change and to details because things sometimes feel like a blur or rushed during the day. It is refreshing to point these things out to my kids an just pay attention to the little moments, the subtle changes of the day, and the time it takes for the moon and stars to change the look or position in the sky. This is a way to become more mindful of things and learn math.