Elapsed Time Activities for Kids

In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ways to explore and calculate elapsed time. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Elapsed Time topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.

Classroom Activities for Teaching About Elapsed Time
Let’s Go to the Hop

Working with partners, challenge students to hop across the playground or field and back. Have one partner mark down the start time. Then have the other partner hop! The first partner can mark down the end time. How long did the student take to hop across the playground or field? Partners can choose a strategy, such as using a clock, chart, or number line, to calculate the elapsed time. Then have partners switch roles and do the activity again. Encourage partners to select a different strategy to calculate the elapsed time. Which strategy did they find easier? Have the partners discuss or write down their thoughts.

Travel Plans

Take a look at a map together. Have students choose a city they’d like to visit one day. They can research the city and learn about its landmarks and sights of interest. Then have students examine bus or train schedules and calculate how long it would take to travel to the city. Encourage them to show their work using a number line, chart, or drawings of a clock. Finally, have students present their cities to the class and describe their strategy for determining how long it would take to travel there by bus or train.

Time Cards

On one set of index cards, write different times, such as 3:32, 12:00, and 5:13. You may want to draw pictures of a clock or write the times using numbers or words. Then on a different set of index cards, write different amounts of time, such as 3 hours and 2 minutes, 78 minutes, and 51 minutes. Challenge students to pick an index card from each set and calculate what the elapsed time will be. For example, if a student chooses a card that reads 3:32 and another card that says 3 hours and 2 minutes, then he or she should use 3:32 as the start time and calculate what the time will be in 3 hours and 2 minutes (6:34). Encourage students to use different strategies to help them figure out the answer. Partners can check each other’s work.


Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching Elapsed Time
How Long Does it Take?

Brainstorm different activities, such as brushing your teeth, putting away toys, walking the dog, or doing laundry. Have your child time predict how long each activity might take. Then time the activity. You may want to use a stopwatch or have your child write down the start and end times for each activity and then calculate the elapsed time. Which activity took the longest amount of time? Which activity took the shortest amount of time?

Cook It!

Cooking with your child is a great way to spend time with your child, promote healthy eating habits, and practice math skills! Select a recipe together and time how long each step in the recipe takes to complete. Have your child write the start and end time, and then calculate the elapsed time together. Afterward, help your child add all the elapsed times together to figure out how long it took to cook your dish!

Filed as: Elapsed Time, Math, Time