What’s the time?

After a cold bath (summer in Japan) and with my daughter happily engrossed in a game on Starfall, I have 5 minutes to introduce another I-phone app for those few minutes every now and again where you just have to wait for something. It’s the lite version, so it’s free, and as long as they know the numbers 1 to 12 they can jump right in.

The lite version comes with 2 options. For beginners, start with ‘set the time’. Move the hour hand with your finger to set the time to X o’clock. The minute hand stays at 12. Do it correctly 3 times and get a star. Collect 5 stars and get a new fish for your aquarium.

There is a slight problem with overlapping hour and minute hands that actually turned out to be a good learning experience for us. Sometimes the hour and minute hands both start at 12, and this made it difficult for my daughter to move just the hour hand without moving the minute hand from its position. She was frustrated when she hit the solve key and was told she was wrong because the clock read 5:03.

We worked out that she needed to move the longer minute hand round an hour to free up the hour hand, thereby showing the relative movements of the hands.

The second activity is a stop the clock at the right time game. I’m not even going to try this for a while. Even at the slow speed it takes a lot more concentration than I would expect from her while we are killing 5 minutes in a queue.

Nice little app, like the aquarium touch and useful in a pinch. You can even vary the background melody! (I come from the era of the Sinclair ZX-81. If it loaded at all we got beeps at best.)











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