School is back in session and it is time to buckle down and start learning again.  There is no better “Time” than now to teach your kids how to tell time.  As a parent, teaching my kids the abstract concept of a clock and terms like “quarter-after” or “half-past” were a bit hard to explain.  Now, we have an app that does an amazing job of breaking down the mysteries of telling-time for us.  In Tic Toc Time:  Break down the day to learn how to tell time children are introduced to the basics of telling-time from the very beginning.  Plus the concepts are integrated into a fun and engaging story that keeps your kids interested and entertained while they are learning!

The app breaks telling time down into 4 basic skills:  Learning direction and how to use a compass, using the position of the sun in the sky to determine the time of day, the rotation of the sun and why the night is dark and finally the notion of hands on a clock and the terminology associated with telling time.  Each of these concepts are introduced and narrated by the adorable Beaver Family from Canada.  These cute beavers take us through nature and even into outer space in a rocket to explain time.  Children will actually get up and spin around to find North, South, East and West by using an actual compass on the iPad screen.  They use their finger to move an imaginary sun to the correct positions to learn how the position of the sun affects where shadows fall throughout the day.  We will travel into space with Beaver Dad to learn about the rotation of the earth and why we can’t see the sun at night.  Children will move the sun around the Earth in a 24 hour rotation to learn that there are 24 hours in one day.  In the clock game, they learn how to read time on a digital clock and then transfer that knowledge to telling time on an analogue clock.  They explain the purpose of the big hand and the little hand and the terminology behind them.  Finally, there are several fun “Challenge” games to strengthen and reinforce the concepts they have learned in the app.

Tic Toc Time is a wonderful tool for teaching kids how to tell time.  I really loved how it not only broke down the steps of telling time, but it explained the concept behind telling time and how the rotation of the earth relates to the time of day.  By explaining this concept, I think it helps kids make sense of telling time.  Plus, I think it is ingenious to teach kids how to tell time by the position of the sun.  It is such an easy thing to practice and reinforce as you are out and about during the day.  One thing that I would caution you about this app is that it seemed to take a little too long to load the levels in my opinion.  I’m not sure if this was a glitch in the app or possibly just an issue with my iPad but it would have been nicer to have the game move along a little faster.   Overall, this is a fantastic app and one that I would recommend for any parent or teacher.

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