Saturday, 15 September 2012

My First Clock by Ravensburger

Second on my testing list as part of the Toys R Us Toyologist is the My First Clock, here is my review.
Teaching your child the time can be really tricky especially when they are so young or have learning difficulties. My First Clock from Ravensburger helps to make learning this skill easier, we have not yet got round to teaching Tristan who is 4 to tell the time yet so he is a complete novice!. It is suitable for ages 4-9 years & 1-6 players can play each time. We played with Tristan age 4 & Thomas age 10(mental age of 5-6)

In the box you get 1 set of instructions, 1 clock with movable plastic minute & hour hands & 27 clock cards. On one side of the clock cards it shows the time in digital for both am & pm & on the other side it shows the time as a standard clock face or analogue clock face.

In the instructions it has 3 game suggestions;

Game 1 - A whole day

Choose a selection of clock cards that you want to play with, If you have children who are new to learning the time I suggest you just stick to the O'clock times. One player who is able to tell the time can read out each clock card then ask what activity you normally do at that time of day so for example if the time is 5 o'clock then you would be eating your evening meal. This helps to teach your child the hours of the whole day & also to recognise the time.

Game 2 - Setting the Clock 
Select the clock cards you wish to play with, again if your child is still learning stick with the easier ones to begin with. The youngest player starts 1st & then each player takes their turn to take a card from the box, without looking at the time on the clock card, they pass it to the nominated reader, the reader then says the time out loud, the player then has to set the time on the clock, once the player is happy with their set time you then compare the clock face to the clock card, if the player has correctly set the clock they get to keep that card but if it has been set incorrectly they then have to place the clock card back in the box. It is then the next players turn always moving in a clockwise direction.
Once all the clock cards have been played, the winner is the player with the most clock cards.

If only one child is playing they can pick a card from the box & look at the digital time side of the clock card, they then set the clock to what they think is the time. Once they are happy the clock card can be turned over & they then compare them both to see if the clock has been correctly set. If Tristan got any wrong he corrected the mistake so he could then compare the correct clock faces which I found really helped him to learn how to place the hour hand correctly.

Game 3 Fast time
This game is all about speed, the faster you can recognise the time the better you will be at this game. Place all the clock cards analogue face up on the table, the oldest player takes the clock and sets a time on it, once set you show the clock face to the other players & also announce the time on the clock. Each player has to then choose the clock card that they think matches or is closest to the time on the clock as quickly as they can. The player that has the nearest or correct time then gets to keep the card, all the other cards are put back down on the table & play then moves onto the next player in a clockwise direction. The winner is the player who collects 3 clock cards first.

We played a few of the games in a variety of ways & I was quite surprised at how quickly both the boys started to recognise the time. They both really enjoyed playing it & eagerly awaited their turn, each time they correctly set the time it seemed to spur them on even more & got quite competitive with each other. The design of the game is appealing to small children & children with learning difficulties too, it also allows them to self correct. Learning through play is the best way I have found that my children absorb the information, we played it over a few days & each time we played the did get better so I highly recommend this game to family & friends.

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