Learn to Tell Analog Time: Easy To Make Analog Clock

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I have high school students who find it difficult to tell analog time – which is the only type of clock we have displayed in the classrooms. The reason they cannot tell analog time is they’ve become accustomed to digital time because it is so easily accerssible – cell phones, microwaves, stoves, computers, alarm clocks, Tv’s, train stations, airports, cars, and many more places in their daily lives. Learning to tell digital time is much easier than learning to tell analog time.

Learning to read an analog clock is difficult in itself. First a child needs to learn how to count from 1 to 12 and understand the numbers on a clock are in an ordered sequence and read “clockwise”. Additional telling analog time skills are to be able to count from 1 to 60, identify the hour and minute hands, plus understand the function of both the hour hand and the minute hand. And when that is all accomplished, counting by 5′s is thrown into the equation!

To help my grandchildren with their learning to tell analog time skills, I’ve made a simple analog clock from cardstock. What you’ll need for each analog clock:

  • one 8″ x 8″ square of cardstock (1st color)
  • three 1″ x 8″ strips of cardstock (2nd color)
  • one 1″ x 3″ scrap cardstock (3rd color)
  • one 1″ x 2-1/2″ scrap cardstock (4th color)
  • one fastener
  • double sided tape
  • black marker
  • scissors/paper cutter


  1. Cut an 8″ x 8″ square of cardstock. (color #1).
  2. From two 1″ x 8″ strips, cut twelve 1″ x 1″ squares (color #2).
  3. Turn each of the twelve squares to make each a diamond. Write one number on each with black marker. For an advanced lesson, turn the diamonds over, write the hour numbers and below write the minutes in increments of 5; ex: :05, :10, :15, :20, :25, :30, :35, :40, :45, :50, and :60 and :00 on the 12. These can be used when the child is ready.
  4. Cut one ”tie” shape clock hand from colors #3 and #4.
  5. Fold the third 1″ x 8″ strip in half, then fold each half in half making 4 sections. Draw a line with the black marker along each fold.
  6. Use the marked strip to mark each side of the 8″ x 8″ square at each mark. Use these marks for placement. When the child places each of the analog clock numbers on the face, a diamond point will line up with each mark.
  7. Place the marked strip across the middle of the 8″ x 8″ square. Mark the center with a black marker dot using the horizontal and vertical marks. This is where the hands will be attached.
  8. Place double sided tape on the back of each analog clock number. Have the child place them in the correct place.
  9. Attach the clock hands. Have fun learning how to tell analog time!


  • Photos of the analog clock with ”tie” shaped hands and single numbers did not come out – somehow the memory card stopped working – sorry, but very similar to the photo above.
  • Laminate the analog clock face, numbers, and hands before cutting for continued use.
  • Use the numbers alone to first learn counting order for 1 – 12.
  • If making more than one clock, use a Fiskars paper cutter for cutting multiple pages at one time.
  • Labeled hands (see photo above) and numbers can be printed using Word’s “Draw” tools and fonts.
  • Make a larger size analog clock face to include minutes, 1 – 60.
  • With the child, create a number - abc word or alliteration associations for learning to count by 5′s to from 5 to 60. Here are examples of the word associations:
number-abc word association alliteration word association
5 apes 5 fish ate
10 bats 10 toes and
15 cats 15 fingers.
20 dogs 20 dogs chased
25 elephants 25 elephants and
30 fish 30 thoroughbreds.
35 goats 35 thesbians told
40 hippos 40 fables to
45 insects 45 fans.
50 jellyfish 50 fairies and
55 kangaroos 55 ferrets sang
60 lions 60 songs
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