Friday, July 26, 2013


Summer Fun for Preschoolers: Learning About Time Through Outdoor Races

Today I am happy to welcome Becky from For This Season with an awesome way to teach your children time concepts while using their active large muscles!! 

This is the eighth week in the Summer Fun For Preschoolers series! Each Friday this summer I'm sharing a guest post with wonderful ideas of ways to intentionally spend time with your young children!  Click here for a list of all the weeks, and check out the contributors in the left hand sidebar!

If your preschoolers are anything like mine, they have no concept of time.  Sure, we give 5 minute warnings all the time to make transitions easier, but do they know what 5 minutes really means?  For that matter, do they know what a minute feels like?  How about a second or an hour?  I have found the summer excitement of playing outside all morning to be a perfect opportunity to explore the passage of time with my boys.

We started by timing our races.  Armed with my iPod timer, I sent the boys off to run around the circle at the end of our cult-de-sac. 

Bebop (5 years) ran faster than Magoo (2 years) so we talked about relative speed: Who was faster? Who was slower?

Then I had the boys race around the circle on their bikes.  Before I said go I had them make a hypothesis: Did they think the time would be faster or slower?  Did that mean a bigger or a smaller number?  Both guessed faster but were confused as to why a smaller number was better.  More is better right? 

After the bike races, I had them sit down on a blanket and remain still for the same amount of time as it took them to race (about 30 seconds, using Bebop’s race time).  Did it feel longer or shorter?

These activities usually happen at unscripted and unpredictable times and have led to some very good conversations about time.  Bebop is really starting to understand time and often asks how much time has passed since an event or how much time until the next one (usually referencing a meal).  Magoo still is pretty clueless and always tries to negotiate for 2 more minutes.  It’s pretty cute! 

How do you talk about time with your preschoolers?

Becky Marie is a wife and stay at home mom to three little boys living in Central New York State.  Their days are filled with racecars, trains, and super heroes.  The boys learn through every day activities and play in a Montessori inspired environment. When the weather is nice you will find the whole family hiking in the nearby mountains.  After discovering a dairy allergy in her second son, Becky has developed a passion for dairy free nutrition and cooking.  She blogs about motherhood, homeschooling and homemaking at For This Season.

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Andrea said...

What a fun idea for learning using something that kids do all the time!

Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

That's just what I was thinking--they love riding their bikes!