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Clock for Pre-School Kids

This is a device to help regulate children's bedtime hours, even when they can't yet tell the time
  [vote for,

I've done a lot of searching for this, and cannot find anything similar. If someone can find something like it I'll buy 6. There isn't anything in the local shopping mall either.

The principle of the idea is that kids from 2 years onwards can understand pictures even if they can't yet tell the time. Because the hours of daylight can be so confusing, they will not necessarily know when to get up and get out of bed and wake the rest of the houshold.

The idea is to have some kind of device which shows the four main bedroom phases of the day and what the child should be doing. So, we will have 4 representative pictures - 1. When to get ready for bed and get into bed. 2. When to stop playing around with crayons and go to sleep. 3. When to get up and play in the bedroom and 4. . When to join the rest of the houshold.

I have no preference on the the presentation - this could be in the form of 4 pictures that revolve in a circle, or some kind of digital representation of that. Perhaps there will be an associated real clock and voice that can be used to say the real time. It would be double as a training aid when the child gets older. The clock will need to be adjustable to handle weekends and daylight saving time changes. Also, it would be handy to show that the next "clock phase" is coming along, so kids can set their expectations on how soon that will be.

tonywells, Jun 24 2003


       I've considered something similar, with pictures on the dial instead of, or in addition to, numbers. If they're young enough, you could dispense with traditional clock interface altogether (no hands, no numbers, no clockwise movement). Just have it work like an odometer, always rolling toward the next event.   

       I think a better way to do this would be to have a computerized system that spoke pre-recorded phrases. This would allow you to set your own schedule without using Mommy's or Daddy's voice, but you'd have have to define the schedule. Some combination of this, hands and a digital display would probably be best in the long run.
phoenix, Jun 24 2003

       Thanks for your helpful comments [phoenix]. I'm inclined to stick with something that sort of looks like a clock, even if it has pictures rather than hands.   

       This is to help children associate the shape and style with ordinary clocks and see the connection with time regulation. The point of having a conventional clock next to the picture clock is because it can start to be used as a training aid as the child gets older.   

       My parents taught me by giving me an old alarm clock as a toy, but as soon as I could start to count at the age of 3 they got me to start using it to tell the time.   

       Mind you it took me till age 7 to work out how to tie my shoelaces....
tonywells, Jun 26 2003

       A quick, incomplete germ of a thought - how about: The 4 pictures are arranged in the appropriate postions on a fairly conventional clock face. The clock has a conventional minute hand. The hour hand however would be painted on a tinted acrylic disk. This disk would have a cut out/clear section that would clearly reveal the appropriate picture at the appropriate hour while the other pictures are slightly "grayed out" (permitting an association of their relative positions on the clock face). This might permit, ultimately, the association of the depicted activites with actual time since the clock would also directly display time in the normal manner.
half, Jun 26 2003

       Someone once asked my 4 year old what time his daddy got out of bed.
His response: "Just before he poops."
shazam, Jun 26 2003

       I absolutely agree with [half] on the greying out idea. This would give the child some idea of the amount of time that the current phase has before the next phase starts. Not bad for your incomplete thought!   

       I can see one problem, which is the difficulty of the times not being equally spaced apart. For instance, there is a long time interval between the morning "time to go wake the rest of the household" and the evening "time to get ready for bed.   

       I had thought of a solution to the greying out and the different time intervals by using some kind of back or front illumination and switching the four lights on.   

       The downside is that would mean the clock becomes electronic, and you have to think about batteries or safe mains supply in the bedroom.
tonywells, Jun 26 2003

       We have a simpler version of this at home for our two. Our "bunny clock" wakes up when it is time for kiddies to wake up Mummy and Daddy. If they woke up and the bunny clock was still asleep then they were to go back to sleep. It was a normal clock with an alarm that made the sleeping bunny face go to an awake bunny face. It worked a lot of the time, and worked even better when the batteries were running low :)
PeterSilly, Jun 27 2003

       Why not have magnetic pictures that stick to the clock face. That way you can adjust bedtime for kids of different ages.
Aegis, Aug 04 2003


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