Simple DIY Clock


A has been learning how to tell time by using clocks. He has really been enjoying it and comes home with work sheets showing me how it all comes together. So I thought the only natural thing to do was to create a play clock for him to practice on, and in turn, teach his younger brother a thing or two about telling time. And what do you know, it’s actually working.


To make the play clock we started with a discarded cardboard pizza circle which we then covered in duct tape (if yours doesn’t have any grease spots, you might even opt to leave it as is without any tape). We then cut a few hands for the clock from a previous discarded box. After punching a hole through the hands and the middle of the clock, we attached the hands to the clock with a brad. I then proceeded to cut the numbers from various colored duct tape.


And as soon as the clock was finished, A couldn’t wait to show off his mad time-telling skills, so we got to it right away. He was very excited to demonstrate how when it’s half past the hour, the big hand is actually half way between the numbers. He then proceeded to sing a song about how to tell time. So smart. Maybe if I had had a song in grade school about time (and dare I say a Duct tape play clock?) I might not have waited until an embarrassing age to actually internalize it all.


And then Little O blew us both away by sharing his knowledge of how to tell time. He knew that the big hand stayed on the 12 when on the hour and neither A or I knew just how he knew this. Preschool? Amazing what they can absorb.

And hey, I might even like this enough to actually transform it into a real live working clock. Maybe once they have their time telling down pat. Could be fun…

February 19, 2013
February 20, 2013



  1. Reply

    Johanna @messylabstudio

    February 20, 2013

    I’m definitely going to do a variation on this with my kindergartener. Thanks!

    I love duct tape!


  2. Reply


    March 14, 2013

    Great idea to try and so simple!

  3. Reply


    April 24, 2013

    Absolutely awesome ! We showed it on our blog

  4. Reply


    December 15, 2013

    So cool and cheap! Gonna make this for my 5- and 3-year old cousins for Christmas. Good idea! And good luck on time O and A!