Adults take watches, clocks and the
passage of time for granted as a part of our daily lives, but this
is exciting stuff for kids just learning how seconds turn into
minutes and minutes become hours.
Kids as young as 4 or 5 often express
interest in learning basic time concepts, although it isn't until
age 7 or 8 that most children master this important skill.
Keep your initial explanation simple.
Start with a basic analog clock and explain the difference between
the hour and minute hands. Point out that every clock contains the
numbers 1 through 12, and the hands always move in the same
direction. Focus first on the concept of hours and provide some
familiar real-life examples (i.e., story time at the library takes
an hour, the car ride to grandma's house takes two hours, etc.).
Repeat the same exercise to explain how long a minute is (i.e., we
cook our oatmeal in the microwave for one minute, the walk to the
park is five minutes long, etc.).
Once you've covered the basics, head
out in search of timepieces to put your child's skills to the test.
For little ones new to telling time, Chicago is full of interesting
opportunities to see time in action. Make Chicago your
classroom-this is a great reason to take a tour of the city.
If you aren't inclined to drive all
over the city in search of notable timepieces, you can easily apply
this same "time tour" concept to your own neighborhood. Keep your
eyes open for clocks at banks, parks, train stations and other
buildings in your area. Look for more traditional public timepieces
and interesting digital displays as well.
Also note the more unconventional ways
of marking the passage of time like using a sundial, watching an
hourglass or counting the rings on a tree.
Most importantly, be sure to enjoy
every minute of this adventure with the little timekeeper in your
Located on the north bank of the Chicago River at Michigan Ave.,
this building is grand in every aspect and detail, including the
two-story clock on the South Tower. Each of the four dials measures
19 feet, 7 inches in diameter. The hour hands each measure 6 feet,
4 inches and the minute hands are 9 feet, 2 inches long. This is a
sight best appreciated when it is illuminated at night.
Macy's on State
The Great Clock at the corner of State and Washington streets is a
true Chicago icon, dating back to its installation in November
1897. Marshall Field hoped his Great Clock would attract crowds to
his store (turned out to be a good plan). Jutting out from the
corner of the building, the ornate and grand timepiece looms large
over busy shoppers and passing business people.
The Chicago Board of
Built in 1848, the Chicago Board of Trade Building, 141 W. Jackson
Blvd., provides a dramatic endpoint to LaSalle Street. The clock is
particularly beautiful at night when it is illuminated and the
surrounding sculptures become more visible.
Although this clock at 225 S. Canal St. isn't
particularly grand or beautiful, it is still fun to watch the
hurried commuters and travelers glance up at this timepiece while
rushing to catch their trains. Linger a moment and take in the
surrounding hustle and bustle.
Anyone who has ever watched a game at Wrigley Field, 1060 W.
Addison St., has seen the old-time clock atop the classic
scoreboard. This simple clock (just dots, no numbers) is part of
the original scoreboard, constructed in 1937.
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