by Jennifer Dyer
A few years ago, when eldest was in kindergarten, she was having trouble remembering how to tell time and count using the clock. One day, while jumping outside, I had an idea. Our trampoline was round, just like a clock. So, we started at the zipper for 12 o’clock and went from there. First, we jumped around counting to 12, one jump per hour around the trampoline’s circle. One o’clock, two o’clock and so forth. Then we marked off the minutes. Jumping in the same 12 places around the circle, we counted by fives.
After she mastered that, we moved on to telling time. We took turns calling out a time: 12:35. The other person had to jump to that time. So, the first landing place for the hour, 12, would be near the net. We had to count the hour points as we passed them. If we started at 6 then we counted to the 12 mark. Then we had to jump around until we got to the minute mark. We went forward and backward from the 12 spot. So, 55, 50, 45, 40, 35. OR 5, 10, 15…
When we got tired of jumping, we used our arms and legs as the clock hands. Legs, the minute hand because they are longer, and arms the hour hand. Obviously, this got quite silly as she tried to come up with times that would contort me in the greatest way. It was fun!
After those few hours on the trampoline, she had it down, plus her adding by fives had improved dramatically.