How we learnt to tell the time

How we learnt to tell the time

It was one of my favourite birthday presents of all time, I still remember so clearly being given a wristwatch for my seventh birthday.
I confess I hadn’t entirely learnt to tell the time at that point – I could do quarter past and half past and on the hour pretty confidently but everything in between I hadn’t really mastered yet. But when I unwrapped my first Timex watch, with a small white face and a smart red, leather strap it was all the incentive I needed.
I proudly wore it to school that day and probably annoyed my teacher and all my friends by doing my own impression of the speaking clock and announcing the time every quarter of an hour.
Some of my friends had children’s watches with Mickey Mouse on the face, with his over-sized, white-gloved hands pointing to the numbers, but mine was simple and sophisticated and I loved it because it was so grown up (although I imagine its simplicity meant it was the one my parents could afford at the time).
Thankfully my small fingers (and nibbled fingernails) couldn’t quite grip the tiny winder on the side used to change the time or I would have forever been fiddling with it. I loved that watch for many years and remember my dad had to repair (and ultimately replace) the strap more than once.
I don’t quite remember what happened to my precious first watch. I imagine at some point in the Seventies my head was turned by one of the new digital watches that, at the press of a button, could show you the date or display a stop watch or lap timer (whatever use that would be) and my once favourite would have been relegated to the bottom of my jewellery box (the one with the ballerina that danced in front of a mirror).
Telling the time is such an essential skill for children to learn. Your grandchildren will be taught as part of their maths lessons but having a wristwatch of their own is a great way to cement their knowledge.

Ideas for a first watch

We like which has a great selection of watches for children.
Star Wars fans will love this special edition watch with a proper anologue face, priced £22.99.

Does your granddaughter likes to sing ‘Let it Go’ from Frozen? This lovely little Frozen watch will make her keen to read the time. It shows the minutes as well as the hours to help her understand how time works. Priced £19.99

If you loved Minnie Mouse the first time around, introduce your little ones with this watch. It comes with a removable second face which explains the concept of ‘to’ and ‘past’. Priced £12.99

This hardwearing boys' watch is water-resistant as we'll as cool and stylish! Priced £19.99