So, I hadn’t heard of the Kid Klok before, but it seems to have a decent following. And it seems like it could help out with learning how to tell time, given the dual format of the arms/numbers. The creator is a cognitive psychologist who took on the challenge he saw when 2nd graders were trying to learn how to tell time. You can read a story about it here.
The color coding between the numbers and arms helps the kids differentiate the difference between 1 o’clock and 5 minutes past (even though they are the same physical location). That in itself is a big help. But the inventor goes on to talk about how the positive reinforcement of getting it right (when it is a little easier) makes internalizing analog clocks much faster.
Ideally, I think you want a clock like this on your wall. And it makes sense for a school to shell out $35 for the clock where a classroom can benefit from it, but less so for an individual student. But $.99 for the app – definitely palatable.
The iOS version has some advantages too – it’s easy to manipulate the arms, to see the digital values change. The digital values can be read out (by a wonky computer voice still) to the youngster to help them when they’re playing with the clock on their own. And the clock can be set “digitally” – so the child can see what that time would look like on an analog clock. All this “play” helps reinforce the ideas of time, analog clocks, and a bit of the scientific method within the child.
It’s not a traditional game, but it seems like playing around with the Kid Klok for a few minutes a day will help a child with the challenge of telling time tremendously. Just that I have a bad feeling that my life might get a little more difficult once Sal really comprehends time. Though for now, it’s helping us work through the issue of the fact that even though the hour hand looks like it’s pointing at 7, it’s not quite there yet, and therefore, it’s still 6 o’clock and a lot of minutes…