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You’re going to be late for school! Hurry up! We don’t have enough time! Do you find yourself reciting those lines daily? It might feel like your kids have no concept of time, but you can teach young children proper time management to save them (and you) precious minutes throughout the day.

What Does Time Management For Kids Look Like?

It’s never too late (or too early) to start teaching your kids effective time management. You might feel overbearing, but you can begin teaching basic time management skills to kids as young as three years old—at this age, kids can complete small tasks in short time blocks, such as brushing their teeth or cleaning up their toys. How can you teach kids these basic time management skills? Here are five easy ways to teach your kids time management skills at any age:

1. Establish a routine

A regular schedule is essential for providing children with structure throughout their day. As adults, we use apps and planners to remind us what we should be doing and at what time. Having a regular schedule when you’re an adult can feel mundane, but children thrive on repetition. When you create a routine for your kids, they can know what to expect each day, providing them with a sense of security and the ability to think independently; this can help them become more accountable. Here are a few simple places to start creating a routine for your kids:

  • A morning routine like getting dressed, eating breakfast, and turning off the lights before you leave.
  • An evening routine including things such as chores, homework, and free time.

Your child might benefit from more guidance depending on their age; try using charts or timers to help them visualize their time.

2. Teach your child how to measure time

It’s one thing for your kids to know how to tell time but making sure they understand how to measure it will be essential for instilling good time management habits. Teaching your child how to measure time doesn’t mean scheduling every minute of their day. The goal is to have your kids understand what 5 minutes feel like versus 1 hour. When they realize what different amounts of time feel like, they will be more likely to recognize how much time they have when you say, 10 minutes until dinner.

3. Make a calendar using time management tools for kids

Having your child create a calendar can help build a greater sense of accountability and accomplishment. If your child is younger, have them construct their calendar using paper and supplies. Alternatively, using an app on a phone or tablet is a great place to have a calendar if your child is comfortable with technology. Calendars allow your child to visualize their commitments and have a better idea of their day. The earlier you encourage your child to use a calendar, the more independent they will become and the less you’ll have to manage their time for them.

4. Don’t overschedule 

Often as adults, we stretch ourselves thin by making too many commitments that we don’t have the time to fulfil. Overscheduling yourself can result in stress and exhaustion—the same is true with children. To get a better handle on time management, create a schedule that includes free time. While too much free time can cause problems, it is necessary to make sure that your child has a balance between scheduled activities and time for themself. Allowing your child free time can help teach them that time management isn’t all about going somewhere or requiring something to be done. A well balanced schedule is also essential in helping your child avoid the effects of overstudying.

5. Make it fun and use time management activities for kids 

Apps and colourful calendars help make time management fun and accessible to your child. Visual techniques such as magnetic calendars let your child plan their day in a tangible way which helps them better understand what to expect. You can always get creative and make time management tools that work for your family’s unique schedule. 

Teaching your child how to manage their time doesn’t need to feel daunting! With these five helpful tips, your child will be excited to learn a skill that will help them throughout the rest of their lives. Scholars recognizes the importance of your time and offers flexible programs to best suit your child and their schedule. Find a location today and get results that matter with Scholars!


Dr. Danielle, PhD


August 27, 2021