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How to Teach Kids to Wait & Learn about TIME

Wondering how to introduce the concept of waiting (or TIME)? Kara is very impatient at times, "mama, play with me NOW please", "mama let's go NOW please", and one time, I told her: "You have to learn to wait, anak. I'm still working on something. Give me 10 minutes". I completely forgot that TIME is such an abstract concept.

For young children (esp 3 years old and below), time is a mystery. The concept that time exists at all is far too abstract for a young child to understand. Even the passage of time, which seems so obvious to us, often goes unnoticed by children.

And bearing in mind what Dr. Montessori said about kids below 6 years old "introduce abstract concepts in a CONCRETE manner", I got an hour glass timer. When I asked Kara to wait for 15 mins, I explained to her that the orange sand has to reach No. 15 (she knows what is the numeric symbol for 15). GUESS WHAT? This was a total failure. When she is waiting, she doesn't really pay attention to the hour glass (& i also forget to pay attention).

Given the case, I found another way to introduce the concept of waiting and TIME in general - got this 60 minute Apple timer. When I ask Kara to wait for 5 minutes, the knob would move every minute and then the device would ring once 5 minutes is over. This one worked perfectly. She would even remind me, "mama, 5 minutes of waiting done! Let's go to the park NOW!"

You may wonder why I didn't use an alarm clock or cellphone - in my opinion, it's better to isolate and introduce one concept at a time to avoid confusion. The timer has one specific purpose and no other distractions... plus, it's Kara's favorite fruit 🍎🍎🍎


Mommy K


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