This exercise not only introduces the idea of taking turns but also teaches telling the time.
IN FIVE MINUTES
What children should learn: Mathematics – to develop a sense of how long ‘five minutes’ is and experience waiting for one’s turn.
What you need: A plastic-fronted wall clock with a clear face, a decorative plate-stand, coloured peel-off labels.
Activity: Place the clock in the plate-stand and keep this in a known place, accessible for the children. Whenever one child wishes to use something being used by someone else, encourage the child to ask for a ‘turn’, and for the second child to say ‘yes, in five minutes’. The first child should then bring the clock to you. Point out the ‘big hand’, and the next number it will move to, after five minutes. Place a coloured label by this number. The child may now take the clock and stand it up nearby, ‘keeping an eye’ on the time.
Extension: Use a three-minute egg-timer ‘twice’, to enable the children to appreciate ‘waiting for a turn’ for six minutes. Show the ‘waiting child’ how to turn the eggtimer after three minutes.
Talk about: What activity could the ‘waiting child’ could do in five or six minutes? For example, he could look at books, play with something else, sweep up the sand, etc.
Print-out of ‘In five minutes’. The activity is drawn from Caring and Sharing – Activities for 3-5 year Olds which contains enjoyable activities to help foundation stage children to develop essential social and emotional skills.