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Opening hours

Preparing to go


Suitable for children: 
Marketing opening up in the morning

It’s time to go off to the shops and do the shopping. Have you checked that they’re open? How could you find out?

We need to buy pita, hummus and stuffed vine leaves. I am not sure what time the shop opens. I might ring and see if they are open yet.

Explain to your child that shops have opening and closing hours and they can all be different. Some shops will open very early in the morning. Other shops are only open later in the day.

The supermarket market is open 7 days a week and starts trading at 7 in the morning.

I don’t think the shoe shop is open on a Monday. We’ll have to go there after kindy on Thursday.

Talk to your child about how you can find out when a shop is open. Some shops will have their operating hours on the door or might have their opening hours on a card that you can take home. Sometimes if you are unsure if a shop is open you can google them to see what day and time they are open.

Materials you will need

  • Tablet / smart phone
  • Newspaper
  • Computer

Alternative tools

  • Timetable
  • Shop pamphlet
Skills this activity improves
Why does this matter?

Talking about time and the different ways we can represent it helps children to understand that time can be about the present, the past or the future.

Exploring time together with your child helps them to begin to sequence events and will help them to understand when things will happen.

What does this lead to?

As children explore time they are learning to make predictions about when things will happen, how often they will occur and the likelihood of it happening.

Time can be represented as a numeral on a clock, as an event or something that happens at different times of the day. Time can be represented as something that will happen very soon or is over quickly. It can be an event that lasts a long time or something that we need to wait to happen. When we talk about time as an event or a routine, children are developing an understanding that we might use different language.

Language to use
  • Open, closed, closing
  • Hours, time, clock
  • Before, between, after
  • Day, week, month, weekend
  • Public holiday, festive season
  • Christmas hours, reduced hours
Questions to use
  • Do the shops open at different times on weekends?
  • What’s the difference between festive season trading hours and Christmas trading hours?
  • Are there some shops that only open at night-time?
  • Are all shops open on Saturday?
  • Do shops have phones?
  • How can we find out if the shop is open?
Useful tips
  1. When talking to your child about time, talk about an event they do every day, like ‘we go swimming after kindy’.
  2. You might also like to take a look at the What’s the time, Mr Wolf? activity.
  3. Remember to talk to your child in your home language.
More ideas

Make a visual schedule of your daily routine. Draw a clock face with the time to show when the events will happen.

Variation by age

Three to five year olds

  • Use a calendar to mark the places you visit every week. Write a time next to each place.
  • Look at the different places you go and group together the ones that open at the same time.
  • When the junk mail catalogues arrive, see if you can find the opening hours. Compare the times to work out which shop opens the earliest.