24-hour clocks for kids

Timely idea wakes up a new venture

(a news item printed in the Birmingham Post, May 8 2002)

Night after night Mark and Taryn Freemantle faced the same torture.
Come 4am, without fail, they would find themselves abruptly wrenched out of their peaceful slumber.
There, standing at the edge of the bed would be – horror of horrors – their two-year-old daughter Saffron, ready to start the day.
Anyone who has suffered the nightly sleep interruption faced by new parents will sympathise with the Freemantles.
As young professionals struggling to hold down demanding jobs, not getting a good night’s kip can be devastating, undermining one’s performance at work and making domestic life far from bliss.
Mark, however, decided to do something to end the nightmare. He put to use his university training as a product design degree student to invent what he believes is the world’s first clock that helps children sleep.

“I was racking my brains to find ways to get my daughter to stay in her bed,”

said the 38 year-old who works as a commercial manager in the automotive sector.

“She would wake up at 4am and wouldn’t understand she needed to wait another three hours before we woke up. We tried having a light that switched on in the morning, but if she woke up and the light wasn’t on she got very frustrated.”
“The trouble is most children cannot tell the time until they are over five years old and struggle to read numbers.” 

Mark decided what was needed was something that clearly showed the difference between night and day in a way that children could understand.
So, he cobbled together a number of clock parts to make a 24-hour one that split the face into a yellow-coloured day section and a dark blue night section. The difference between night and day was clearly indicated by the position of a star-tipped hour hand. To finish off, Mark gave the clock a mechanism, allowing parents to adjust the size of the night and day period. 

“I thought if my daughter could visually see how long she had to wait before getting up and get a sense of time, it would help,” 

said Mark.

“It needed to be very pictorial for young children to understand.”

The clock worked a treat and little Saffron stayed in her own bed giving the Freemantles the greatest gift known to parents – uninterrupted sleep.



  1. Are you producing these commercially?. I think it would help my husband who has had a stroke distinguish between day and night

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