Login
Copyright

Understanding Time Zones Lesson for Kids

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Electricity Safety Lesson for Kids

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:00 What is a Time Zone?
  • 1:11 Why Do We Have Time Zones?
  • 1:40 How Time Zones Change
  • 2:34 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Josh Corbat

Josh has taught Earth Science and Physical Science at the High School level and holds a Master of Education degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Have you tried to call or send a message to someone across the country or around the world? Calling a place far away from you can be difficult because the time of day might be different. In this lesson, we will explore time zones and why we have them.

‚Äč!!!What Is a Time Zone?

David is texting with his friend Risa, who just moved across the country. After a little while, Risa texts David that it's time for her to go to bed. David looks outside to see the sun shining and is confused why Risa would go to bed when it's so early! 'What time is it?' David texts back. 'It's 9:00PM!' Risa responds. What's going on here? Did David go back in time somehow?

Although it would be great if this lesson was about time travel, it's not. We haven't quite figured out time travel yet. What's happening to David and Risa is actually just a natural event that happens every day to our planet. Since Risa moved across the country, she's now in a different time zone.

A time zone is an area on Earth that has a specific time that all citizens can set their clocks to. Different time zones exist as you move from east to west (or west to east) on the surface of the earth. The farther you travel, the more time zones you'll pass through.

Time zones are not something that naturally occurs. Humans came up with time zones and decided which parts of the earth are in which time zones. We'll talk more about that later, though!

Why Do We Have Time Zones?

Time zones make it so that everyone has the same pattern of sunrise in the early morning and sunset at night. We need time zones because the earth is curved, like a ball. As the sun shines on the earth, not all places get the same amount of sunlight. The sun shines on one side of the earth and makes it light out (daytime), while the other side is dark (nighttime). If time zones didn't exist, many people around the world would have very weird patterns of sunlight during the day.

How Time Zones Change

One important skill that everyone should have is being able to figure out if somewhere on Earth is in a later time zone or an earlier time zone than them. Here is the general rule:

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register for a free trial

Are you a student or a teacher?
I am a teacher

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 95 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account
Support