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Little Genie Box’s School Readiness Program

Last year, I got the Little Genie Box: School Readiness Program for N, as I wanted to teach him how to tell time, and we started working on it during his school holidays. He was very enthusiastic initially, and had a lot of fun with the initial activities, but as the materials started becoming more challenging, he lost interest, so I put them on hold, and waited for him to be ready again.

Recently, C has been trying to teach him how to tell time, so I thought it was a good time to revisit the materials in the Little Genie Box: School Readiness Program.

Little Genie Box: School Readiness Program 

Unboxing Part 1

Previously, we worked on finding out how long it takes for the sand to trickle down in the hourglass, and I used the digital timer to time how long it took N to do a jigsaw puzzle. I also timed the crawling race he had with the twins, and after that, he used the digital timer to determine which of his two trains was faster. He really liked using the digital timer, and kept coming up with different suggestions on what he could time.

Hourglass and digital timer

Working on his jigsaw puzzle

Crawling race

Which train is faster?

Next, I got him to put the numbers onto the paper clock. He had a bit of trouble with the red numbers (minutes), as he hadn’t learnt how to count in multiples of five yet, so I had to “lend” him my fingers so that he could count.

Putting the white numbers (hours) on the clock

So proud of himself for putting the numbers correctly



I then used the materials to teach him how to read the hour, followed by the minutes, and used the paper clock to reinforce his learning as well.

Read the hour

Writing the hour

Drawing the hour

Read the minutes

Drawing the minutes

I then challenged him to use the paper clock to show me the various times that I asked for, but after a while, he lost interest and didn’t even want to try the other activities in the box.

Playing with the paper clock

About half a year later, I felt he was ready to continue learning how to tell time, so I took the box out again. This time round, he was able to read the hour and minutes quite quickly, so I didn’t get him to write the answers out. Instead, he had to use the paper clock to show me the time. I also jumbled up the cards, so that it would be less predictable for him. I wanted to use the digital watch included in the box to get him to read the time off the watch, but unfortunately, the watch had stopped working by then. Oops.

Reading the time

Showing the time on the model clock

I split the activities up so that it would be less tedious for him, and I was surprised that he was so enthusiastic about the human clock. I honestly thought that he wouldn’t want to try it at all, since he refused to work on it the last time round, but I guess he just wasn’t ready back then. He had so much fun, and kept asking for more timings, so that he could continue being a human clock. I started with the simplest ones: the hours, then followed up with the half and quarter hours, before using the five minute interval timings. He still gets a little confused when I ask him for “quarter to” and “quarter past”, but if I tell him “915′ or “945”, he has no trouble, so I probably have to work on “quarter to/past” again later.

Materials for the human clock

Human clock in action

N will be going to Grade 1 in August this year, because the academic year in the international schools here in Jakarta begins in August. He has a daily routine of sorts at the moment, but still loves asking me, “What do I do now?” so I thought the Daily Schedule activity would help him be less dependent on me. I got him to figure out the different activities that he has to do daily, and helped him a little with the timing.

Daily schedule

I felt that the reward chart activity is linked to the daily schedule, so we worked on that immediately after he was done with his daily schedule. I got him to choose the activities that he thought he could do independently, and wrote them down for him. He asked to put both the daily schedule and reward chart up on the main door, and posed happily with both. (Meimei saw him posing and ran over to pose with him too.) He then quickly declared that he could get a star for brushing his teeth in the morning, and added it to his reward chart.

Reward chart

N’s chosen activities


I got a star already!

As with our previous experiences with Little Genie Box, I appreciated how everything was already prepared, and that lesson plans were also thoughtfully provided. Of course, I improvised on the activities based on N’s interests and learning abilities, but having everything ready was definitely useful. I also downloaded some free worksheets on telling time from THIS WEBSITE, and I give N one or two sheets every now and then to ensure that he doesn’t forget what he has learnt.

PS. You can click the links to read about our previous experiences with Little Genie Box’s Literacy Program and Little Genie Box’s Everyday Chinese Program.

PPS. We purchased Little Genie Box’s School Readiness Program last year as I thought it would be useful for N, but it took him quite some time to be ready to learn how to tell time. You can check out the other themes available in this series on their website HERE, or you can connect with them via their FB page HERE. Little Genie Box will also be at Punggol Town Square for the Earth Week Carnival this coming Saturday, 21st April 2018, from 9am to 2pm, so you can also purchase their boxes there at discounted prices.

Happy shopping and learning!

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