EasyRead Time Teacher

How other cultures learn to tell the time

If your child is learning to read a clock for the first time, then they are likely going to have a lot of questions. Whilst the majority of them will probably centre around how clocks work or how they demonstrate the passing of time, your child might start to look outside of their own experience and wonder how different cultures tell time. Different countries and languages can all measure and interact with time in very different ways, so if you or your child are interested in exploring how other cultures learn to tell the time, here is our guide.

Time-telling across the world

Different parts of the world have different, and often unique, ways of interacting with time, shaped by historical, geographical, and social factors. Modern timekeeping is largely uniform due to globalisation and technological advancements which have reduced modern time telling skills to a quick glance at a screen, and so it is easy for us to overlook the importance that time still holds for many cultures across the globe.

Exploring how different people learn to tell the time can reveal a great deal about their societies and the structure of their days, as many local time practices still reflect cultural identities. Whilst in Britain, our timekeeping is primarily used as a way to schedule our daily lives and has little cultural impact, in other areas the way people interact with time can vary depending upon the seasons, the time of day, and any religious holidays or festivals.

These rules, whether clearly displayed across societies or simply implied through practices that have been passed down through generations, nurture the timekeeping traditions of different areas and keep them from fading. So, before we get into a deeper exploration of how cultures across the world learn to tell the time, let’s take a look at how interactions with time differ from country to country.

Interactions with time

Cultural attitudes towards time vary significantly around the world, reflecting deeper values and revealing much about the numerous different ways of life. These diverse attitudes towards time and its passing not only influence daily schedules and social norms but also reflect broader cultural values and priorities, shaping how people interact, conduct business, and manage social relationships.

For example, in countries such as America and the UK, time is viewed as a way to keep track of the different stages of the day and informs which actions we take next, which has resulted in a structured approach to time management and a strong emphasis on punctuality, scheduling, and efficiency. Time in the West exists to keep us on track and manage our tasks, and this strict approach to time is also one shared by several East Asian societies, particularly across Japan and South Korea. These areas often have a considered and measured approach to time, valuing punctuality and structure highly and viewing time as a resource that must be managed wisely. However, it is important to remember that many of these attitudes are unwritten, and can only be observed through daily interactions, rather than through the study of time.

In contrast to these more rigid contexts, where time is money and lateness is seen as an insult or indicative of one’s commitments, many other societies have a more relaxed attitude towards time. Primarily found across Middle Eastern and Latin American cultures, these attitudes are informed more by social factors than strict schedules, and measurements of time are often event related, meaning that the conclusion of an activity is generally more reliant on the judgement of the participants rather than the amount of time allotted on a clock.

By taking the time to observe these different ways of scheduling, planning, and utilising our time, we can explore the different societal and environmental factors that inform our engagement with the concept of time. What may seem unusual, or sometimes rude or wasteful, to one culture is often informed by many centuries of societal development and cultural norms, illustrating the multifaceted nature of time across global cultures. Despite being seen as a universal concept that touches every area of humanity, the ways that we interact with time have been adapted to suit the requirements of different societies across the world: so, no matter where you come from, there is always something to be learned through exploring the different attitudes to time.

Telling the Time

As our understanding of time differs so much depending upon where we come from, it goes without saying that how we learn to tell the time differs greatly as well.

For as long as humanity has been able to observe the sun rising and going down, and the turn of the seasons as temperatures dropped and crops stopped growing, we have been developing ways of tracking it. Ancient cultures such as the Maya and Egyptians developed advanced calendar systems that integrated astronomy and seasonal cycles, which informed our understanding of time and eventually led to the development of a worldwide 12-month calendar based on our planets’ movement around the sun. This shows that the natural progression of time is inherently circular and relies upon continuous natural loops, but over the centuries, we have moved away from astrological ways of tracking time – although there are still cultures who use natural indicators for tracking religious or cultural events.

Time-telling methods vary globally, influenced by cultural, historical, and environmental factors, and these variations remind us that time’s perception is as much a cultural construct as a scientific measure. However, there is one universally accepted and utilised tool that helps us all measure time: the clock.


Across the world, clocks are used as a visual representation of the passage of time, and whether we use it to create our schedules or track our time, they are always there to show the hours, minutes, and seconds as they pass.

Throughout the US and Europe, people predominantly use the 12-hour and 24-hour formats on digital or analogue clocks, with many of the historical ways of telling the time long forgotten by the advancement of time-telling resources. The timekeeping practises of many East Asian cultures is also similar to these methods, as they utilise both digital and analogue clocks and the timekeeping system divides the day into 12 two-hour periods, whilst Latin American cultures use the 12-hour format – although often without strict adherence to exact times and with a more flexible, relaxed approach to time.

Both the 24-hour clock and the 12-hour clock represent the same units of time, but the passage of time is displayed in different ways. The 24-hour clock, often referred to as “military time,” is a widely adopted format that eliminates the ambiguity present in the 12-hour clock system by making it immediately clear which part of the day is being referred to. For instance, 18:00 immediately indicates late afternoon or early evening, whereas 6:00 on the 12-hour clock could be early morning or evening and requires the additional specifier of “a.m.” or “p.m.” to clarify. Despite this, the 12-hour format has a long historical identity and is deeply embedded in the daily life and culture of the regions that use it.

Cultural methods

In many other areas of the world, the erasure of traditional methods is not as widespread, and many cultures utilise a blend of traditional and modern methods that reflect their cultural nuances. This is particularly evident in global Islamic cultures, as prayer times are crucial and Muslims are expected to pray up to five times a day. This schedule is maintained year-round, and the yearly calendar also contains numerous religious holidays depending upon the movement of celestial bodies, as the month begins with the new crescent moon in the Islamic calendar, and astrology remains a key focus of their festivals and celebrations.

Similarly, whilst the majority of the Indian subcontinent follows the standard 12-hour and 24-hour clock formats, the landmass still contains rural areas and cultures that utilise traditional time units as cultural measurements. Although they rarely depend upon them for modern-day timekeeping, these traditional and cultural attitudes towards time continue to coexist with contemporary methods despite the rapid global modernisation.

How to tell the time with EasyRead Time Teacher

The enduring popularity of cultural timekeeping methods alongside modern practices highlights the complexity of how humans perceive and manage time, and understanding these varied timekeeping approaches offers valuable insights into the social fabric of different cultures, reflecting each community’s values and routines.

The range of clocks offered by Easy Read Time Teacher reflects this widespread diversity, accommodating the different time-telling styles that shape our daily experiences and interactions. So, whether you are searching for an English, French, Spanish, or Welsh clock to learn to tell the time with, explore our full range today and find the best resources for your needs.

Two children learning how to tell the time with an EasyRead Time Teacher Wall Clock.

How to Teach Your Child to Tell The Time in 2020

Two Children learning how to tell the time with an EasyRead Time Teacher Wall Clock

The beginning of a new year is the ideal time to take on new ventures and set targets for the year ahead. Aside from the traditional new year’s resolutions, like eating healthier foods and losing weight, you could look to teach your child how to tell the time in 2020, which is made very easy with our fabulous EasyRead time teaching products.

We’ve all been there. As a young child, learning how to tell the time is difficult to get your head around at first, but it doesn’t need to be. With the right guidance, learning this important life skill can be very straightforward and mastered within no time.

Additionally, employing the most effective time teaching system will make the learning process a lot easier for you and your child. With that in mind, if your new year’s resolution is to help your child to learn how to tell the time in 2020, you should use our award-winning time teaching products and here are the main reasons why.

Make Learning Fun

Amongst many other things, our EasyRead time teaching products, such as our EasyRead Wrist Watches and EasyRead Wall Clocks, do a great job of making a tedious task fun and enjoyable for children, which is crucial in keeping them engaged with learning.

With their bright colours and eye-catching designs, our time teaching watches help to bring time to life for children, making them more likely to absorb information than when learning from a clock or watch that has a dull design.

Simple, Yet Effective

At EasyRead Time Teacher, we are proud to say that we offer the simplest time teaching system for children. Our unique system, which has been endorsed by educational professionals around the world, allows children to learn how to tell the time quickly and efficiently.

Compliment Your Child’s School Life

Another thing which makes our products so effective is that they tie in with and complement what your child is learning at school. At EasyRead Time Teacher, we sell a range of products that are designed to help teachers, so we have a good understanding of what type of system children require when learning the time.

It takes the average child 2 to 3 years of school lessons to master the time. Our EasyRead products, which can be easily used at home and on the move, help to drastically speed up this process, without causing any unwanted confusion with your child’s school studies.

Assisting your child with the learning of valuable life skills is something that will give you both a great sense of achievement, and a memory that you will cherish forever. So, why not help your child to learn how to tell the time with our EasyRead time teaching system in 2020?

For more information on our range of products, browse our collection or get in touch with our team.

does your child struggle to tell the time

Does your child struggle to tell the time?

Telling the time can be a tricky concept and one that is not uniquely reserved for primary school children.  In May this year, telling the time made the national and international headlines when it was revealed that some teenagers can’t tell the time on an analogue clock.  Whilst we were a little surprised the problem was this widespread, it highlighted how many children struggle to tell the time, leaving parents wondering where to turn.

So, how do you know if your child is having difficulties telling the time?

If the issue hasn’t been raised in a parent’s evening or you’re not aware that your child is struggling with their time related work in school, here are a few tell-tale signs to look out for:

  • They can’t count easily from 1 to 60 – if your child is having trouble with numbers in sequences, recognising them from a random set or perhaps counting them backwards, they will find it difficult to read the numbers on a clock.
  • They struggle to count in blocks of 5 or 10 – this is another skill that really helps with reading the time as it enables children to recognise and count the minutes on a clock face.
  • They don’t understand the principle of time – it is true to say that we all experience time differently and that children in particular, have a very different notion of time to adults, however if your child struggles with the concept of time in day to day activities, this may be a sign they need a little extra help when trying to apply the concept to an actual clock.
  • They’re not used to seeing clocks – we live in an increasingly digital age, so if yours is a house without any analogue clocks, your child may find it more difficult to tell the time as they are not familiar with the traditional clock face.


What can you do to help?

There are many ways in which you can help your child if they are struggling to tell the time, but probably the most important is to talk to your children about the time and involve them in time related tasks.  Maybe you could get them to tell you when it is their bedtime by reading the time on the clock, or speak about everyday tasks in terms of how long they might take?  By making time a big part of everything you do, it can help your child to become familiar with the concept.

If you do not currently own an analogue clock, now might be the perfect time to invest in one.  If you don’t want a traditional timepiece to ruin your modern interiors, why not buy a clock for your child’s bedroom or playroom wall?  Our EasyRead Time Teacher clocks are colourful yet practical and feature our unique 3-step time teaching system, that will have your child mastering the skill in no time!

No room on the wall?  No worries, we’ve also got a range of alarm clocks and watches also featuring our 3-step time teaching system, so your child can practice telling the time until it becomes second nature.

If you’re worried that your child is falling behind in this essential skill, and you don’t want them to struggle next year at school when time teaching pops up on the agenda, consider buying one of our products today and you’ll be amazed at how quickly their ability develops.

Please speak to our team for advice or click here to order our products.

EasyRead Time Teacher

The Perfect Gift

EasyRead Time Teacher watches are a fantastic present to give to the important child in your life.

Our clocks and watches are a brilliant and educational gift for the little ones in your family. Children all over the world have loved taking ownership of their learning – it’s great to see children teaching themselves and having fun doing it. Every child has to learn how to tell the time as part of their Key Stage 1 Maths syllabus, so why not give them a helping hand with one of our wristwatches?

They’re comfortable and colourful, with a large clear face that shows children everything they need to know to tell the time. The wristband will fit even the tiniest wrist and it’s removable so it can be washed.

Click here to see our EasyRead watches.

With an EasyRead watch, a five year old can learn to tell the time in just 10 minutes. Click here to see what our customers say.

Don’t worry, our 3-step process is very easy to master and our free resources are just a click away. We have all the support you need.

In addition, we also offer clocks for the home. Our 3-step teaching system is easy to master, enabling the children to learn with very minimal input from the adults around them. Click here to view our EasyRead clocks.

EasyRead Time Teacher

What are your children learning at school?

It’s important for parents to understand what their child is learning at school. It’s only natural that parents want to help their child be the best they can be. The early years at school are important to a child’s learning growth.

Key Stage 1

Year 1 Programme

In 2014, telling the time was introduced to the National Curriculum. In the early stages of Key Stage 1, children are required to tell the time to the hour and half past the hour and draw the hands on a clock face to show these times. What better way to introduce your child to the concept of time than having your own EasyRead Time Teacher wall clock in your house? The clear and colourful clock face is easy to read and our simple yet effective learning methods will have your child reading the time in a matter of hours.

Year 2 Programme

According to the year 2 programme of study, children should be able to count in multiples of 2, 3, 5 and 10 forwards and backwards. They should also be able to recognise, find, name and write fractions. Our wall clocks will not only help children with counting, they can also assist with fractions. The ¼, ½ and ¾ fractions are easily recognisable on the EasyRead clock face and will help your child understand fractions. In year 2, children are expected to tell and write the time to five minutes including quarter past/quarter to the hour. They should also know the number of minutes in an hour and the number of hours in a day.

Key Stage 2

Year 3 & 4 Programmes

Key Stage 2 builds upon the Key Stage 1 skills. Children will develop their fractions and counting skills. They will also learn to tell and write the time from an analogue clock. Children will also be expected to have a good concept of time. This means they will be able to estimate the time with increasing accuracy to the nearest minute. They will also use vocabulary such as o’clock, am/pm, morning, afternoon, noon and midnight. Our clocks are proven to help children at an early age to grasp the concept of time.

Our EasyRead Time Teacher wall clocks and watches are great for introducing your children to the concept of time so they are prepared for what they are going to be learning at school.

Click here to see the EasyRead wall clocks.

Click here to see the EasyRead watches.

EasyRead Time Teacher

To teach analogue or not?

“Excuse me, do you have the time?” – A common question asked. What if you couldn’t answer that question? Well according to a poll by an on-line watch retailer earlier last year, one in seven people admit they can’t tell time on a non-digital watch.

More shockingly perhaps is the fact that in a different poll by www.TwistedTime.com, 37 per cent of parents with children aged 10 or under said they had not or did not plan to teach their children to read the time on non-digital watches. But why is this? Perhaps because people rely on getting the time from their phones and iPods rather than from watches and clocks.

Is it even necessary for 21st century children to learn how to tell the time on an analogue clock in today’s digital age? Well, yes! There are countless reasons:

  • Analogue clocks can provide a vivid representation of time that digital clocks cannot. With many different learner types out there – including visual learners/thinkers – most need the analogue clock to have a good understanding of time. Children with autism spectrum disorders are an example.
  • Telling the time is a useful skill and analogue clocks are still in use. It also provides a useful framework for understanding of modules and alternative numerical base systems.
  • Are we going to replace the beautiful clocks on our churches and railway stations even the with digital? Surely not!
  • “I’ll meet you at the train station at quarter past five” – this could be a problem if you can only use a digital clock!
  • iPhones and iPods have an analogue clock option which is very popular amongst Apple users. Other companies such as Audi and Lexus also use the analogue clock rather than digital in some of their cars. Analogue still exists around us – and will continue to do so.

We are a family business dedicated to helping children and adults learn to tell the time on analogue clocks. Our clocks and watches are designed to help children learn to tell the time in terms of ‘minutes past’ and ‘minutes to’ the hour. Take a look at our 2 and 3 step teaching method.

EasyRead Time Teacher

What are your children learning at school?

It’s important for parents to understand what their child is learning at school. It’s only natural that parents want to help their child be the best they can be. The early years at school are important to a child’s learning growth.

Preschool and Kindergarten

At preschool age, kids are required to be able to discuss units of time. For example seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks and years. To be able to do this, kids need to have an understanding of how time works. Having one of our EasyRead wall clocks at home will begin to introduce kids to the concept of time, therefore making their first day at preschool that little bit easier. In Kindergarten, kids will begin to develop their understanding of units of time and will begin to add phrases such as morning, afternoon, next week, in fifteen minutes etc. to their vocabulary.

Grade 1

Kids at this stage should be able to tell and write the time in hours and half hours. They will also be able to describe events in terms of time. This means they will begin to use phrases such as “this morning I…”, “for the first 15 minutes I will be…” and “at 1:30pm I…”

Our EasyRead Time Teacher wall clocks and watches are great for introducing your kids to the concept of time at home so they are prepared for what they are going to be learning at school.

Click here to see the EasyRead wall clocks.

Click here to see the EasyRead watches.

EasyRead Time Teacher

Our customers are our best advert

Here at EasyRead Time Teacher, we love hearing feedback from our customers. We have always believed that our customers are our best advert. Take a look at what they are saying about EasyRead:

“The watch I ordered allowed my 9 year old dyslexic daughter to read the time like her classmates for the very first time! It has made such a significant difference to her life.”

“I would highly recommend this clock if your child has difficulty understanding how to tell the time – I wish I’d had something like this when I was a child!”

“My daughter has an EasyRead watch, we bought the matching clock and they really help with her understanding.”

“My five year old daughter learned to tell the time in five minutes!”

“Fantastic watch! My Granddaughter can’t wait to go to school wearing hers!”

“Excellent, daughter is very happy! She learnt time within two days. The watch is very sturdy, highly recommended.”

“Best watch I’ve ever purchased for my daughter.”

“What a brilliant watch!! So easy to read and builds children’s confidence. I would recommend this watch to everyone!”

“Great products and excellent quality for the money!”

Would you like to see what all the fuss is about? Click here to view all our EasyRead products.

EasyRead Time Teacher

Teaching with TwinTime

TwinTime offers a whole different method of teaching children how to tell the time. Here at EasyRead, we understand how difficult teaching the time can be – especially in a classroom full of excitable children. Our products are proven and trusted by hundreds of schools and thousands of teachers.

We recommend pairing the TwinTime Teacher Edition with the TwinTime Student Edition however this isn’t essential, our system works just as effectively if you purchase one or the other.

The TwinTime Teacher Edition was designed so teachers can stand at the front of a classroom to demonstrate setting the time with the moveable hands. It is wipe on wipe off so you can also write the time underneath the clock.

The TwinTime Student Edition is smaller than the Teacher Edition – perfect for children. They are perfect for children to work in groups or individually for setting the time on the clock face and then writing the time underneath.

As well as telling the time, TwinTime is also useful for counting forwards and backwards from 30, for learning fractions and counting in 5s and 10s.

Our 2 and 3 step teaching systems will work perfectly with TwinTime in teaching children how to tell the time. Take a look at them here.

EasyRead Time Teacher

Tell the time in 3 simple steps

The maths curriculum requires children to tell the time to the hour and half past the hour. It’s a daunting task and you might be wondering how you can help your child grasp this tricky concept. Many children have a difficult time learning how to tell the time so we have created a beautifully simple yet very effective 3-step method.

Let’s look at an example:


Step 1:

Read the number at the end of the long hand.

In our case, it would be ‘8’


Step 2:

Say which side it’s pointing to: ‘minutes to’ is the red side and ‘minutes past’ is the blue side.

On our clock, the long hand is on the red side so ‘minutes to’


Step 3:

Read the number at the end of the short hand.

The short hand is pointing to ‘2’


Put it all together so you will get:

‘8 minutes to 2’


Take a look at what our customers say about our 3 step teaching system:

“My five year old daughter learned to tell the time in five minutes!”

“Excellent, my daughter is very happy! She learnt time within two days – highly recommended.”

“I wish I had something like this when I was a child.”

“My son is 25 and has Down’s Syndrome, he’s used the watch and system for four days and is now telling the time correctly 99% of the time!”