A very simple DIY project for the week.

There comes a time when kiddo needs to learn how to tell the time.

Prerequisite: kiddo should be able to count from 1 to 12, recognise and write/scrawl a semblance of the different numerals. Kiddo also recognises some Mandarin numerals so the clock will also feature some.

What you need are:

  • A plastic lid/ sturdy disposable plate
  • cardboard pieces
  • 1 x brass paper fastener
  • colour paper
  • coloring material
  • double-sided tape
  • scissors
  • philips screwdriver or anything pointy
  • twine
  • a working analogue clock/alarm clock for reference


  • We used a plastic lid as I wanted the clock to be sturdy and not look too big when she wears it round her neck/fit into her craft apron.
  • Get kiddo to trace a circle out of the lid on a piece of coloured paper of her choice. Then kiddo cuts the circle (again, good time to practice handling a scissors, i.e follow and cut along a drawn line). This circle will be the hour layer.
  • While she’s at it, cut out the hour and minute hands from cardboard pieces and another larger circle for the minute layer.
  • Put a hole through the centre of the lid, hour and minute layers and one end of the cardboard hands with the screwdriver/pointy tool.

Now it’s ready to start involving/teaching/revising about numbers, sequences and time as kiddo makes the clock.

  • Fold the circle coloured paper into quarters. Once it is unfolded, there’ll be a cross on the paper.
  • While referring to the real clock, ask kiddo to identify which numbers match these 4 folded points (12, 3, 6, 9).
  • Using 1 colour (e.g. black) get her to write/scrawl/copy these numbers on the 4 folded points.
  • DO NOT BOTHER TOO MUCH ABOUT THE NUMERALS BEING WRITTEN IN DIFFERENT SIZES. As long as they are in the general location of the correct positions, it’s fine.
  • Fold the paper again into quarters on the previously unfolded area (ie the diagonals).
  • This time, locate the rest of the numbers on the clock and use another coloured pen/marker to write/scrawl them on, using the new folds as a guide to where kiddo should be placing the numbers.


  • Colour the minute and hour hands in different colours. Draw in directional arrows to indicate which way they should be turning.
  • Label the numbers on the minute layer. This layer will be fixed behind the hour layer and lid.
  • Punch a hole at one end of the lid (preferably at 6 or 12) and tie the twine through. Make sure the twine hoop is long enough to allow kiddo to wear round the neck comfortably.
  • Adhere the hour and minute layers to the lid with double-sided tape and fasten the minute & hour hands into the clockface with the brass fastener.

Kiddo is seen below testing the length of twine on her new clock (& she’s also wearing her jellyfish hat made of strips from plastic bags and paper plate).


  • Snip off small markers/draw in arrows along the numbers on the hour layer.
  • Use some leftover stickers to create a common visual element between the minute hand and the numbers on the minute layer. Reckon this helps kiddo relate and read the minutes.
  • Chinese numerals can be written if it helps with what you want to teach.


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