As a child becomes more experienced with the concepts of time, you may want to look a bigger chunks of time, for example, their life, events that were significant for a single year, or the history of their family. You may wish to teach them about things that happened in the far past such as the invention of various forms of travel. This is when you may wish to utilize a timeline.
We all reference timelines when we talk about the history of our family, reflecting on when certain pets came and went from our lives, or when we held specific jobs. A visual or tactile timeline can help students reflect on time by recalling significant events along the way.
These more complex looks at time are important in order to give more context to the passage of time. For example, timelines can help students to get a sense of something that happened in the recent past vs. the distant past. You might want to create a timeline for the school year with your student and place significant events onto the line as the year progresses. It might include things like holidays, birthdays, etc. and also the surprising or unexpected events like getting the flu or going camping. From time to time you can explore the timeline with the student to recall these events and place them in time.
Timelines allow you to introduce more advance time concepts like decades, centuries, and eras. These are also important for students as they continue with their academic studies since the student will be expected to learn about timelines as they advance. This can be a great activity for all students to share during the course of the year. Make note of the personal and collective significant events that occur.