England Unit: Big Ben Clock Activity

I love when certain activities just come together. One of London’s more prominent landmark’s is Big Ben (part of The Palace of Westminster), which refers to the tower, the clock and the bell but the name was first given to the Great Bell.

I save random things around the house and thought a milk carton (or a couple of them) would make a perfect Big Ben.

I cut the top of the first milk carton to form a peaked roof, then cut the second one about 2/3 from the bottom and glued the two milk cartons together to make a long(ish) tower. I used hot glue to stick everything together because it’s easier to work quickly and it’s a little more substantial than craft glue (obviously this is an adult only part, lol)

I used corrugated carboard to wrap around my tower to give it the 3-D look. You can buy cardboard this way or you can pull off one side of old boxes to make your own.

I made a small square of this cardboard to make the top of the tower.

I then cut four small triangles and glued them together to form a semi-steeped roof. I did this again, but cut the tops off for the second tier.

Next I had my kiddo paint it – she chose a metallic gold because she insisted it was a palace. Hey, why not – it’s kinda close.

Lastly I printed off a clock face from my printables and glued it on the front. You can download the FREE printables HERE.

I laminated my pinning cards to help protect them from tiny hands. I used the numbers to glue around a paper plate and cut out my clock hands and connected them all together with a brad.

How inviting is this? We use the Big Ben model as inspiration and it looked super cool. My kiddo picked a card and then we’d move the clock hands to the right look and she’d tell me the time. I decided to make a second clock because I figured that at three learning roman numerals at the same time may be slightly too difficult – I think she did pretty good!

This activity worked great for her age, but then we were only looking at times 1-12, lol. One could use the paper plate clock to make it more complicated for older kiddos too.

It didn’t take long before the baby wanted to play too – big sissy wasn’t very thrilled, lol.

But they learned to get along. Spoiler alert, the 18 month old did not get any of the cards right, but she did manage to put a clothespin on a card.

Great for fine motor work as the kids pin the correct place on the card, and a great prompt to talk about this amazing world landmark. My daughter told me that “when” she goes to visit Big Ben (I like the way she thinks), she will know how to tell what time it is. I told her that London is like eight hours different than us, she looks at me and says, “Well, they’re wrong.”

Maybe the time zones will be an activity for another day… :-p

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