Five Minutes' Peace

Age 3 to 7

Five Minutes' Peace by Jill Murphy

Publisher: Walker Books
ISBN: 9781406361902

In this story, Mrs Large wants five minutes' peace away from her children. But while she's in the bath, each of her children interrupts her! Lester wants to play his tune for one minute, Laura wants to read her book and the little one wants to show her his toys. In the end, Mrs Large manages to get three minutes and forty-five seconds of peace in the kitchen.
This story could be used as an introduction to the idea of timing activities in minutes and seconds. It could also be a starting point for estimating how long an activity would take - for example, Mrs Large says that Lester can play his tune for one minute but he plays "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" three and a half times. Children can estimate how long this might take, as well as estimating how long it would take Laura to read four and a half pages of her book.